The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide


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The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide is a comprehensive book first published in 2001. Written by Arleen and Alan Bessette, two knowledgeable mycologists, it is full of useful information and details. The book thoroughly reviews both the anatomy of the mushroom, as well as identification methods, species details and photographs of specimens. The authors present a color key to the types of mushrooms, which is extremely helpful. The mushrooms species are presented in a detailed chapter with illustrations following in the next chapter. The authors also discuss how to store and preserve mushrooms and how to mordant and dye. The focus of many mushroom books is on dyeing wool and this volume is no exception. The authors also discuss how to mordant and dye silk. A very useful glossary of terms as well as a table of mushroom species and their expected color yield are included. There are few photos of dyed wool fiber as variables which will affect each dye bath and the authors let you experiment to see what colors you get with the mushrooms.

Shop our Cortinarius Uliginosus Dye Mushrooms

The book also includes mordant instructions which are a bit dated in that both copper and chrome color options are included. As a reminder, both chrome (potassium dichromate) and copper (copper sulfate) are not recommended as mordants as both are toxic to humans and aquatic life. However, you can still experience many amazing colors using aluminum sulfate, cream of tartar and iron as your mordant options.

This is the perfect book to start your mushroom dye journey.

Softbound, 178 printed pages with 55 pages of color photographs.

Are you a dye mushroom nerd?

Check out the Mushroom Color Atlas, a wonderful compendium of dye mushrooms dyed and curated by our friend, Julie Beeler who also presented at a FEEDBACK FRIDAY! Watch her video recording here.

Additional information

Weight 626 g
Dimensions 10 × 8 × .5 in


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