|Tinder, dyes, paper, and fabric.|
What Are Fungi?
Fungi As Tools
References And Links
Functional Fungi: A resource
Fungi may be used to dye fabric. Both macroscopic fungi and lichenized fungi can be used for dyeing. Over seventy different colors can be made from macroscopic fungi by changing the wool, the pH, and the quantity of the fungus used and time of immersion in the extracting bath (Watling). Wool, silk, hair, and paper can all be dyed in this manner. Historically Plains Indians of North America used the Indian paint fungus (Echinodontium tinctorium) to produce an orange-red pigment that dyes the skin. Elsewhere in Australia, aboriginals used the paint brush fungus to paint their bodies (Watling).
Recently hyphae of some fungi have been used in the process of making paper. When hyphae is soaked and beaten out into strips it can be made into household utensils and clothing. In Hungary, hats, belts, and bags are made from the tinder fungus (Watling). Fungi has been used as totems and decorative jewelery by Plains Indians. The versatility of fungi offers many functions for humans and should be seen as a valuable resource to understand and protect.