Showing posts with the label Staghorn lichen lilac dye

Making a Purple Dye

Making a Purple Lichen Dyes for Crafts There are many lichens that can be used to make dyes for natural materials like wool, cotton, silk, dried grass and even wood. A common one, Oak Moss lichen (Evernia prunasteri), is light-green on the top and white on the underside. It commonly grows on smaller branches of oak, maple and hawthorn trees. In the photo below, the middle branch is turned up so you can see the white underside. It can be used to make a beautiful purple dye. It's species name (prunasteri) mean prune-colored. Ecological Considerations: Be sure to collect only lichens that have fallen on the ground (after a windstorm is a good time to find them) and from the surface of trails so you are not reducing the biomass of material that will be composted. Some lichens also contain nitrogen so we don't want to be removing large amounts of that in one area. Collect from a variety of locations rather than just one. The ones that fall on the trail will be ground up by getting s