Rogue Community College
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Natural Dyeing with Lichens

Winter term 2018
Saturdays  |  3/3-3/10  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  RWC-Z1  |  Cost: $45
Learn how to create luminescent colors from common tree and ground lichenslichens that can be used to dye wool for knitting, felting, weaving, hooking and other hand crafts. Class includes how to identify a dozen varieties in outdoor locations. First day begins in the classroom covering dyeing techniques, the equipment you need, and an overview of the colors the various lichens can produce. Then carpool to a nearby forest service trail for a short hike to see lichens in their natural habitat, and then back to RCC to prepare for your dyeing experiments at home. The second day is a show and tell and a short field trip to an orchard. Bring snacks, water, and wear appropriate outdoor shoes and rain gear.
For you:
Bring your lunch, snacks and water.
Wear or bring shoes appropriate for walking outside as well as rain gear if it’s wet.
For lichens:
You will need 3 x 5 index cards, scissors or a pocket knife, and tape to assemble a lichen sampler. 
A notebook you can use outdoors.
Plastic or small paper bags if you want to take home lichens.
A camera will also be helpful.
NOTE: You may want to collect lichens that have fallen to the ground in our recent storms and bring them in for identification. Please do not pick growing lichens off of trees.
For dyeing:
If you would like to bring some of your own wool fleece or yarn make sure it’s washed first to get out any finishing or detergent residue. Wool fabric might also work, and possibly silk. Cotton and synthetics aren’t compatible with lichen dyes. (Instructor will provide plenty of washed sheep fleece and yarn for you to take home and experiment with.)
For your home dyeing projects you will need small saucepan (that you are not planning to cook in) for dye baths at home. It can be enamel, glass or stainless steel. If you don't have one, check out the Goodwill annex on 5th where they have items that don't meet standards for the regular store. You don't need to bring this to class. Glass jars to store your lichen dyes in are also useful.
Resources Instructor Rachel Winters recommends:
Lichen Dyes, The New Source Book by Karen Casselman
Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest, Bruce McCune (OSU Press)
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Pojar and Mackinnon (Lone Tree). This book is available at the RCC Bookstore.