I may have mentioned on this blog a few times that I have been organizing a mushroom dyeing workshop for our small town of Fort St. James. Well, it actually happened! Alissa Allen, from Mycopigments, flew up here and taught us all about mushroom dyeing for a whole weekend. And not only that, but I got to spend time with her foraging during her week-long visit. It was so much fun and I learned so much!On some of our forage walks, we were lucky enough to spot Hapalopilus nidulans, the most exciting and sought after dye mushroom in the world! I have since found a few more specimens for my collection. It dyes a gorgeous purple. It grows on decomposing birch logs (but not too decomposed!).
After Alissa went home, we have been going out mushroom foraging and having some great success! I have two very eager helpers! Rain doesn't stop them in their "banana suits!"
We have found quite a few Cortinarius semisanguineus or smithii, used for making red dyes. It is always such a thrill to turn over a dull brown cap to find brilliant red gills underneath.
And we lucked out and found another little log covered in Hapalopilus! It feels like such a treasure hunt whenever we go out!
Have you ever tried dyeing with mushrooms? Did you even know that it was possible? You will find that after you discover mushroom dyes, you will start looking at the forest in a different way. You'll be noticing all sorts of fungi everywhere!