|Actual size of this piece of lichen is about 10 inches across.|
Lobaria pulmonaria was traditionally used by the Coast Salish people as a dye for wool. I was first told about this excellent dyestuff by Katherine Tye, an amazing Fraser Valley woman who was involved in the revitalization of spinning, weaving and natural dyeing amongst the First Nations communities in that region, back in the early 1970's. I met Katherine as part of my research into dyeing with native plants that I was doing for a high school science project. (She now has an ecological reserve named after her.)
Lobaria pulmonaria does not require any mordants to give up a lovely, fast, orange-y tan colour on wool, cotton and silk, and I haven't experimented with mordants so it may be possible to shift the colour with iron, copper or tin if one was so inclined. I have always just boiled the whole leaves (fresh or dried) in a big pot for an hour or two, then added the cloth/yarn and simmered for another couple of hours and let it cool in the dyebath. I imagine more colour might be yielded up if the leaves were finely chopped but I haven't tried that yet. It also gives the dyed material a wonderful rich forest-y smell.
I am sure I don't have to remind you that lichens are an integral part of the forest ecosystem and grow very slowly, so do not gather any lichens that are attached and growing on tree bark or rock. Lobaria pulmonaria is relatively lush growing and falls very generously to the ground in wet, windy weather, so it can be easily gathered then.