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Dyeing Wool with Fungi


Source Institutions

    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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Dyeing Wool with Fungi

In this activity (p.23 of PDF), learners dye wool with fungi. Learners discover that natural chemicals in fungi can dye wool different colors. Note: Natural dyeing normally requires a color fixative such as alum. This is not necessary if you use an aluminum, tin, or copper pot as the metal in the pot will take part in the dyeing reaction. However, if you use a non-stick saucepan you should add a few copper coins to the mix. Safety note: Always wash your hands after touching fungi! Adult supervision recommended.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Approximately 100g of clean mushrooms, coarsely chopped (fresh or dried)
  • Approximately 100g of light-colored nature wool
  • A large aluminum, tin or copper pot (see note)
  • Approximately 3 liters of water (2 liters if using dried mushrooms)
  • A mixing spoon
  • A straining spoon or sieve
  • A means of heating water

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Protists and Fungi
      • Biodiversity

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Assinder, Sue; Rutter, Gordon

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, British Mycological Society and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, ©2002

Funding Sources:

  • British Mycological Society
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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