Sustainably collected on private property here in Oregon. Old man's beard (Usnea) dyes a pale yellow-green color. 2 oz package of dried old man's beard lichen. It was apparently first used for red and purple dyes by the people of Tyre thousands of years ago. Sunscreen.These lichens have also been made into natural sun protection because they … Though lichens appear to be single plants, they are really a combination of fungus and algae that grow together for their mutual benefit. Lichen dyeing has a long history, and by long I mean it was first mentioned in the Bible (Ezekiel 27:7). The desired orchil purple colors were derived from Roccella tinctoria, and other rock lichens … Lichen dyes can be used in handlooms to serve local people in their livelihood. ... Cladonia and Usnea. Usnea is a type of lichen that grows on trees. Dyeing fabrics.You can soak and boil usnea lichens to create a liquid that will dye fabrics a beige color. 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