Your Cart


Free Shipping on Orders $49+.

Shop Now

Add $12 to unlock FREE Shipping!



Secure Checkout

30-Day Returns


Mushroom Dyes: A Natural and Sustainable Way to Color Textiles

Mushroom on the floor

Mushroom dyes have emerged as a natural and sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes used in the textile industry. These dyes are non-toxic, biodegradable, and provide a range of unique and earthy shade variations. As consumers grow more environmentally conscious, the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly fashion practices increases. Discover how fungi-based dyes can offer a natural and environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic colorants.

What are Mushroom Dyes?

Mushroom dyes are natural colorants derived from the pigments present in certain types of mushrooms. These extracts successfully dye fabrics, yarns, and other textiles, creating unique and sustainable tones. Various fungi are suitable for dyeing, each offering multiple shades: the golden chanterelle yields yellow and orange hues, while the red-capped mushroom provides reddish-brown tones. Other favored fungi include shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms. Artisans extract pigments by boiling mushrooms in water and then soaking fibers in this solution. They use mordants like iron or alum to fix the dye, ensuring deep, rich colors.

The Benefits of Natural Textile Coloring


Synthetic dyes significantly impact the environment through water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, often containing harmful chemicals. A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Innovative Research highlighted that natural dyes, including those derived from fungi, offer advantages such as being non-toxic, biodegradable, and renewable. These pigments provide a viable solution for creating sustainable textile products from renewable materials like plants, fruits, and fungi. Natural dyes not only improve the environmental footprint but also enhance textile quality by producing vibrant colors less prone to fading. Fungi-based dyes can add texture and depth to fabrics, supporting local economies and traditional craftsmanship.

Mushroom Dyes and Sustainable Fashion

Mushroom dyes are poised to significantly impact the fashion industry’s shift towards sustainable practices. As noted by Virendra Gupta in Fundamentals of Natural Dyes and Its Application on Textile Substrates, natural colorants represent the future of sustainable manufacturing. Unlike synthetic dyes, which release harmful chemicals into the environment, coloring methods using fungi are essential for reducing the ecological footprint of textile production. Products dyed with mushroom pigments can be safely composted at the end of their lifecycle, minimizing waste and contributing to a more sustainable fashion cycle.

How to Color Textiles with Mushroom Dyeing

Purple mushroom thread

Embark on a simple mushroom dyeing project at home with just a few materials. Follow this step-by-step guide to color textiles using fungi-based dyes:

  • Gather mushrooms, water, fabric or yarn, and a mordant like alum or iron.
  • Chop the mushrooms into small pieces, place them in a pot with water to cover, and simmer for at least an hour.
  • Strain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove solid pieces.
  • Soak the textile in a mordant solution for an hour to help the dye adhere better.
  • Place the textile in the dye bath and simmer for an additional hour; the longer it soaks, the darker the color.
  • Once the desired shade is achieved, rinse the textile thoroughly and hang it to dry.

Mushroom dyeing is a simple and eco-friendly way to color textiles. Enjoy beautiful, unique shades and textures using natural materials, experimentation, and patience.

A Sustainable Alternative 

Mushroom dyes offer a natural and sustainable way to color textiles, providing a viable alternative to synthetic colorants. They are biodegradable, non-toxic, and renewable, making them an environmentally friendly option for the textile industry. As awareness of fast fashion’s environmental impact grows, natural dyes play a crucial role in advancing sustainable fashion practices. These colorants support closed-loop production, reducing textile waste and benefiting the environment by enabling safe composting at the end of a garment’s lifecycle. Fungi-based dyes also support local economies and promote fair trade while preserving cultural heritage and promoting sustainable harvesting practices.

Mushroom dyeing is a simple process that can be done at home with just a few materials, making it accessible to small-scale producers and artisans.

Visit the Fungushead blog for insightful mycological information and other innovative uses for mushrooms. Explore the potential of fungi and their sustainable contributions to various industries.

All of the content and images on our site are for informational reference only. The cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is federally illegal in the United States. We do not promote the cultivation of psilocybin “magic” mushrooms under any circumstances. Do not contact us asking for advice related to this subject. Any products found on this site are for microscopy and taxonomy purposes only. None of the psilocybin mushroom spores we offer are for consumption or cultivation. We do not sell any products containing psilocybin.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Stay Up to Date on Magic Mushrooms.

Enter your email below to sign up to receive product updates, bi-monthly news, and weekly articles.