We have windfall lichen in abundance …

scattered in the leaf litter …

beneath the live oaks …

It was easily gathered …

then laid upon Mo’s satin pennon …

which was folded over …

rolled and bound …

Layered above and below with more lichen-clad twigs, which will provide tannin …

then covered in boiling tap water and left to steep, the heady fragrance of rain-soaked woods drifting from the pot …

The hardest part will be the waiting.

A sneak peek …

So far, the cotton tie is picking up more color than the satin.

17 thoughts on “Lichening

  1. wow! how beautiful, who would have thought lichen would grow so abundantly in Texas? I always associate it with a cool temperate misty mountain terrain (that's where it grows well here in Australia)


  2. Mo – lichens are amazing beings … Sue – I'm always glad when I dye cloth, but for some reason I have to overcome tremendous inertia whenever I consider doing so. And in truth, most of the colors have faded to grays and tans over time … although the marks are still wondrous


  3. I look forward to seeing the results. I've been gathering lichens this summer, for the first time, and have done my first bit of dyeing with it. So far, silk picked up more color than cotton. On my walks, I'm always on the lookout for wind fallen lichens.


  4. Laurie – just took a peek at your blog and very much liked your conservative approach to lichen harvesting. I actually tried relocating felled branches to a wet area in hopes of encouraging more lichen growth with less than stellar results. Still, we have so much windfall that I don't think my dyeing makes any significant difference. This particular trial is on a satin of unknown fiber content … 'twill be interesting to see what comes of it!Thanks for coming by!


  5. Lis, I'm late to the lichen party but I've shared before with you my attempts…the color you have gotten so far, that peachy color is what I achieved on my cotton strips using windfall lichen in TN. Unfortunately, my cloths did not retain a good scent due to the \”human\” ammonia that I used to help bring forth color but that is a story that I've shared here before with you and it is best kept in the past…! Your photos of your lichen are so wondrous and beautiful, I would wall paper a room with them.


  6. Marti – my best results in terms of longevity were actually the simplest: steeping the lichen like tea. And if the heat kills the green-giving chlorophyll, at least it leaves behind my second-most favorite color.


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