Lichen Dyes: The New Source Book Paperback – Oct 5 2011
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About the Author
Casselman is a consultant who has taught natural dyeing across North America, Europe, and Australia. Her dyed textiles are in the McCord Museum of Canadian History and the Smithsonian Institution.
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall, I found this book to be clear and very well researched. I'm quite fond of lichens, but I have no background in the dyeing field. The author seems to forget how little some of her readers, such as myself, may know about natural dyes. She uses words like "mordant" without definition. Certainly, if you are already an experienced dyer, such words and their corresponding concepts will already be familiar to you.Read more ›
Ms. Casselman is a well known expert for using leaves ,flowers,roots and bark to obtain colours to dye
wool fleece, yarn and cloth. The section included in her book 'Craft of the Dyer' about lichens is a start
on understanding the techniques required to get colour out of the mysterious growths on rocks and trees,
and this smaller book deepens understanding of our Canadian types.
The written instructions are good. As it is difficult to identify lichens with confidence,I would wish for a better
set of drawings or photographs. Those included on the inside of the cover lack any indication of locale or scale.
My copy is already dog eared as I use it for guidance while processing wool fleece and yarn for rug hooking.
My most favourite thing about this book is that the author advocates selvage botany. That is she discourages people from harvesting huge amounts in a non-sustainable way, but rather encourages you to pick up blow-down pieces of lichen, or to harvest from places that are about to be cleaned (like lichen off a gravestone or old building for example). The recipes require very little lichen, about 1 cup full for most. There are also instructions for Y.O.U. (your own urine) and low ammonia fermented lichen dyes, for those interested in more ecologically friendly methods.
Recipes covered include: mordanting with lichen, boiled water dye method, ammonia dye method, Y.O.U. method, and low ammonia method. Some of these methods take at least 15 weeks, so start early.
The frustrating thing for me is that the author uses botanical names for the lichens and assumes that we either know what she is talking about or have a big thick tome of lichen classification next to us to look it up. This is fair enough I suppose as she's writing for people all over the world, but as I live in a place where the lichen classification is incomplete, it makes things more difficult. HOWEVER, when it comes to her recipes, she's far more causal about classification, instead encouraging people to experiment with small batches, see what happens, and keep records.Read more ›
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