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Dyeing Mushrooms in BC

a stack of flyers on a table

Want to learn which wild mushrooms will create that perfect purple or moss green for wool or paper even? Here’s a list of wild dyeing mushrooms that you can find in BC.  Mushrooms can make some of the most gorgeous wool colours I have ever seen.  So let’s get picking!

cortinarius sanguineus 1

Vancouver Myco Society Show Fall 2014

Where do I look?

  • North Shore Mountains, Manning Park… lots of places, depends on which colours you want.

When do I look?

  • Fall Sept to Nov

How do I dye with mushrooms?

Collect, boil with a mordant/modifier like ammonia or salt water in an iron pot, vinegar etc. depending on the mushroom (list below), then soak your fibre (fabric or paper).  Look to the reference links below for specific recipes.

Which mushrooms should I pick in BC?

  • Dyer’s polypore (Phaedus schweinitzii) –  yellow, gold, orange, red, green!
  • Velvet Pax (Tapinella atrotomentosa) – purple
  • Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus, L. cincinnatus) – orange
  • Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum) – red, pink, cinnamon
  • Artist Conk (Granoderma appalanatum) – rust
  • Turkey Tail (Trametes verisicolor) – brown
  • Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) – bayberry, grey-green
  • King Bolete (Boletus edulis) – chrome mustard
  • Oyster mushroom (Pleurotis ostreatus) – grey/green
  • Chanterelle (Canterellus spp. yellow variety) – muted yellow
  • Northern Red Dye (Dermocybe sanguinea or phoenica) – pink, red
  • Coral mushroom (Ramaria spp. yellow variety) – purple
dyer polypore - phaeolis schweinitzii

Dyer’s polypore – Phaeolus schweinitzii

To learn more: The International Fungi and Fibre Symposium will be held on the Sunshine Coast in 2016, Oct 17-22 (Madeira Park).   The last one was held in Estonia, cool!  Or come with us on a wild edibles tour to learn some mushroom foraging basics this fall.   Also, we have an online foraging program that focus’ on wild edibles, check that out here –


Reference for what modifier to use

Dyeing with Velvet Pax

Dyeing with Dyer’s Polypore