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Lichen Dyes: The New Source Book [Paperback]

Karen Diadick Casselman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Mar 2003
Noted textile designer and lichen expert explains how to create and use dyes derived from lichens. Text covers history of the use of lichen pigments, safe dyeing methods, ecologically sound dyeing, and use of mordants, lichen identification, more.

Frequently Bought Together

Lichen Dyes: The New Source Book + Colours from Nature: A Dyer's Handbook + Wild Color: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Price For All Three: 30.79

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; 2nd annotated edition edition (28 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486412318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486412313
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 459,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sad that it doesnt help identify the lichens 6 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It doesnt help identify the lichens so they can be used for dyeing. It was disappointing in this regard and so much less useful than expected.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dyeing with Lichens 18 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most thorough little book I have found on the subject. Not a quick read - still working my way through all the different methods and permutations. A must for the serious natural dyer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Basically ok 21 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good basic information but somehow not inspirational. Fine as a source book but there is so much local variation to be taken into account.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Companion 18 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book complements another I have by the same author - the two combined give me all the information I need to progress with my dyeing. It is very well set out but is most useful as a supplementary guide.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good guide, but not for complete beginners 22 Mar 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a decent guide to dying with lichens. It is a very condensed presentation of the author's academic and practical research on the topic over many years. In terms of topics considered, the book is quite varied. It begins with a preface on ethical collecting of lichens. Next comes 10 common questions about dying with lichens covering such topics as "Will lichen dyes fade?", "How many lichens does it take to dye something?", and "How can I avoid collecting rare lichens by mistake?". Following this are short chapters on the history of lichen dyes in Asian, European, and American cultures. Then there is a very practical chapter describing in detail methods and recipes for lichen dyes, together with a list of common lichens used for dyes, grouped by dye method, and specifying final colors that can be achieved. One of the author's pet topics is ecodyeing, and she has developed techniques for dying that are less harmful to the environment than traditional methods, and she devotes a chapter to describing some of her alternatives. The last full chapter covers ethics of lichen dying and lichen identification. The book ends with a 15 page annotated bibliography. There is also an index. The only photographs in the book are the ones printed inside the front and back covers.
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. But if you are a rank beginner like myself, you might want to find another, more basic book, or seek some instruction before trying out the instructions in this one.
The author works exceptionally hard in this book to convince readers that lichen collecting for making dyes is not necessarily a bad thing. Again, she overlooks the fact that some readers may come to her book completely unfamiliar with the controversy that she is trying to argue with. To make the issues more clear for the reader, it might have been useful to lay out the arguments against collecting lichens explicitly, enumerating explicitly what kinds of environmental costs may be involved. Her advice to lichen collectors sounds valid, however. She stresses above all, looking for "found" lichens, lichens that have blown off or become detached from their substrates and are lying on the ground, or collecting from sites that have been recently logged and consequently have great quantities of detached lichens on the ground. She also cautions against lichen collecting in groups, or taking more than 10% of a single lichen species from any one location. One obvious point that she makes is that you should consider your color needs carefully before you make your dye pot- -for example, there is no need to use lichens to make a simple brown dye, since browns can be had so easily from other materials. She also points out that you don't need to fill your pot with specimens from just one species- -think about the color you are trying to achieve, and you can mix lichens of different species to get that color. If you follow her recommendations, it sounds quite plausible to be able collect lichens ethically, and using her instructions, you should have some success with your dyes.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Academic Abstract 12 Aug 2006
By C. Gee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Deep and solid information, Casselman knows her lichens and seems to have devoted a lifetime to their study. That said this is a book for the trivia buff and the very serious dyer. You will learn more than you thought possible about lichens and their role in history. You will be able to dye with lichens, but you will have to have large expensive Field Guides in order to identify the lichens as in this book all you get is the Latin name. A small tome with loads of information that works witout the nasties -tin, chrome and copper
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lichen Dyes by Karen Casselman 15 Feb 2014
By Catharine Gunderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little paperback is one of the few books for lichen lovers, and I have the author's other book. I refer to them (as well as a couple other books) whenever I am looking to lichen dye. Clearly written, and full of important information.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... dyeing is a hobby and this book gives a good resource for me to follow to get colors I ... 9 July 2014
By Lee Bates - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Collecting lichens and mosses for dyeing is a hobby and this book gives a good resource for me to follow to get colors I would like to add to my collection of dyed yarns.
5.0 out of 5 stars small book but very informative 9 May 2014
By Art Ness Proano Gaibor de Vries - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must for lichen dyes afficionados, the literature list is good! I do miss the molecular structures of the dyes.
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