When people first open their packages and look at their new fungal pigments, they are often surprised. Many times I get e-mails asking where the liquid is, assuming that the vials got cracked or the liquid evaporated during transit.
First, it is important to remember that these are biological pigments from wood-staining fungi. Their pigments are meant to stick and stay. Therefore they do not exist in a powder form, and we certainly aren’t going to ship them in an organic solvent through the mail. Hence, what you received is the pigment bound to the glass vial. This is the easiest, lightest way to ship the pigments and leaves the solubilization and chemical choice up to you, the user.
For example, see the image below.pigment2
This is an example of the three main colors in laboratory grade. The vials are tall, with solvent safe caps and the color values of the final solution written on the vial. Lab grade means we matched the color of the pigment to our standard, so you can be sure to get the same color each time you order.
Note that there is technically nothing in the vials. They are just colored glass. You will need to resolubilize the pigment from the glass. This means finding a solvent that the pigment likes more than the glass. The easiest to find is acetone (nail polish remover), but it doesn’t carry much of the pigment, so your colors will be weak. We generally recommend using dichloromethane (paint stripper, also called DCM), as it will fully solubilize the pigments. Note – water WILL NOT carry the pigments in any significant amount.
When your pigment is solubilized, it will look like this:
It can then be applied via brush or pipette to whatever you’d like. Please remember that DCM melts plastic, so don’t use synthetic hair brushes or plastic containers to hold your solution.
In the relatively near future we hope to have videos up for you to show you how to do the application. Stay tuned!