Fungi Dyeing

Running a natural dyeing workshop in a natural park without spilling anything.

Fungi Dyeing

Running a natural dyeing workshop in a natural park without spilling anything.

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

Creative pedagogy is a playful way to transfer knowledge and engage community.  The process of creating and employing natural dyes fits within this pedagogy and provides a content-rich platform for Landcare coordinators wishing to build a communities understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

The issues faced are practical. One needs a source of heat to extract the dye, hours  to transfer the colour to fabric and finally, clean water for rinsing the finished garment. These commodities make it difficult to fit this activity into a typical half-day field-based event.   This case study outlines a procedure for overcoming these barriers.

The solution

One-hour dye-in-the-bag cold process.

Makes 10


Complete ahead of time or during the workshop.

  • Pisolithus marmoratus (Horse dung fungi) is a reliable dye source, suitable for cold-process.
  • Cut 40g fungi into slices. Place in 400ml jar & cover with alcohol (approximately. 100ml).  Alcohol pulls dye faster than water alone.
  • Place lid on jar and shake to increase dye transfer.  After 15 mins  fill jar with water & shake.  The dye is now ready.


  • Paj silk, 6momme takes dye rapidly & is cost-effective. Pre-hemmed scarves, 160cmx16cm available wholesale from $6-$10 each.


  • Once participants have completed their designs (tie-dye), place scarves in zip-lock sandwich bags. Transfer 40ml dye using a syringe. Seal bags & secure with sticky tape.

The impact

Our fungi foray & dyeing workshop was fully subscribed within 2 days. 13% of participants were new to Mid Lachlan Landcare and attracted because of the activity. All participants produced beautiful silk scarves & completed a fungi foray safely, on time and without spilling anything! We used the activity to discuss the role of fungi in a box gum grassy woodland,  why fungi produces chemicals that we can use as dye & what a fungi’s colour can teach us about the site’s ecology.  

Key facts

  • Creative Pedagogy is an engaging & effective way to achieve Landcare's goals
  • A fungi's colour tells us about the environment in which it was found

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