This image is a bit fuzzy, but it does show the Hydnellum “teeth” clearly. This is the first H. caeruleum I’ve ever found—the distinctive blue-gray border gave it away. It was a real surprise, given how dry it’s been lately, but these were growing in a shady spot near a stream.
These were in the same area as a good number of H. aurantiacum, so I’ll be able to do some comparison dyepots later in the season. For now, I’m mordanting as much fibre as I can, to get ready for the great mushroom pop-out that’s sure to happen soon. (Rain is predicted for later this week, so I have high hopes.)
4 thoughts on “Hydnellum caeruleun”
Hi, I live in Maine, and have just begun collecting mushrooms for the dye pot. I’ve done one batch of cortenarius sanguineus which produced amazing results and dyed an incredible quantity of yarn.
Hopefully, over the next week or two, I’ll get some others going. Right now, identifying the mushrooms at all, and then those that are hopeful of producing color, has become an overwhelming obsession.
I’ve learned much from reading your blog, thank you for taking the time to write it.
I suspect there’s amazing color potential hidden on the forest floor.
Thanks for your comments. Mushroom dyeing can indeed become an obsession – pity it’s confined to such a short season each year. Our Cortinarius won’t start appearing here for at least another month – you’re fortunate to be able to use them now!
I’m off to check on the progress of a couple of little Phaeolus – do you have those in Maine?
Yes; common name dyers polyphore? Found one about six weeks ago, but it’s late to hope to find them now.
Tried some turkey tail today; but I fear it takes a lot more mushroom then I’d collected to get a saturated color.
I’ve also got some sulphur shelf/chicken of the woods, which I’ve read is a dud. I’m thinking of chopping it and putting it in a jar of ammonia. Have you ever tried anything like this?
Thanks so much,
Yes, the common name for Phaeolus schweinitzii is Dyer’s polypore. I’d love to know who first discovered that it could be used to dye fibre.
With turkey tails, you’re better off boiling them up for a mushroom tea that is said to be very good for you. (You can pay big bucks for Trametes versicolor in Asian markets.) I like to keep a pot simmering on our woodstove over the winter; I get three or four steepings from a handful of turkey tails, then dry them and use them for making a lovely textured paper or textured beads.
I’ve never tried dyeing with sulphur shelf – I don’t find enough of it around here, but I don’t imagine it has a lot of pigment in it. Everything’s worth a try, though – I’m curious to hear of your results after soaking it in ammonia (or you could try soaking it in vinegar, too, just to see what happens).
Keep me posted,