Spore Prints

I used shop bought mushrooms to create spore prints. I used Portabellini and woodland mushrooms from different shops. For the Portabellini mushroom prints I used mushrooms from Lidls and my local Co-Op. I found that the mushrooms from Lidls did not drop any spores possibly because the mushrooms where not as fresh as the ones from the Co-Op. I thought that the woodland mushrooms would drop white spores so I placed them on black fabric. Unfortunately only one dropped spores and they where very faint. I like the texture created by the spores and that some areas have more dense spore dropping creating darker patches. I can really see these prints becoming a digital pattern, or being used as inspiration for a beautiful print

For a previous science-themed project, I also used spore prints, using wild mushrooms I found in the woods and to see which would drop spores. I then embroidered into the piece with shapes inspired by the spore prints to add depth and texture. I also found some Inkcap mushrooms in the woods and made a separate print from them. I love the layers the ink cap has created and the deep inky colour.

Spore prints


A spore print is the powdery deposit collected by allowing the spores of a mushroom to fall onto a surface underneath. It is an important diagnostic character in most handbooks for identifying mushrooms. It shows the colour of the mushroom spores if viewed together.

A spore print is made by placing the mushroom flat on a sheet of paper or a sheet of clear, stiff plastic. The mushroom is left for several hours, often overnight. Some guides advise using a moisture-resistant enclosure, like a glass dish or jar, to contain the mushroom during printing. When the mushroom is removed, the colour of the spores should be visible. Mycologists often use glass slides, which allow for quick examination of spores under a microscope. A mushroom cannot be identified from its spore print alone; the spore print is only one characteristic used in identification. Spore prints are usually white to cream, black, or shades of red, purple, or brown. The spore print is not always successful, as some mushrooms are too young or old to produce spores.

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