Today was dye day with the Lichen and puff ball brew. The lichen in one jar and the puff ball in another, were each soaked and brewed for 30 days in ammonia water. They each created a pale russet to pink colored fluid. I performed the dye ritual at low heat on a selection of pre-mordanted yarns and I got- zip. Nada. No color- not even pale yellow. A total waste of good ammonia- well not total waste as it went to the compost heap to be fertilizer, but a total waste of time. The lichen remaining in the collection bag was then simmered in plain water for about an hour (low heat) and the dye ritual was repeated on fresh yarn- golden-ish color across the board. We have wash fast, and there is a chance of light fast. Definitely more compost material. Puff ball was the same as the lichen in ammonia- nothing.
So a recap of the experiment to date suggests that Tea Tree is a winner, yellow mushroom was very golden and kind of stinky, the eucalyptus bark was very rust colored, and all the others were pale and washed out looking.
Then there was the Indigo dye class- blue, very blue, very messy, very expensive. A good education in social misfits and antiquated colorants.
Sometimes you need to do things you know are not what you want to re-enforce your understanding of why you want what you want in the first place. I want simple, easy, predictable, permanent, convenient, reasonably priced dye products that don't stink, pollute the water ways, or dye my hands blue when I rinse them out. Yo! I am un-natural.