Secrets from the Dye Garden: Extracts and Printing

by - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Maiwa Textile Workshops
Secrets from the Dye Garden: Extracts and Printing
Michel Garcia

$395 (Includes $75 Lab Fee) Three full days

October 4 - 6 (Mon - Wed) 10am - 4pm
Maiwa East – 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver, Canada
Class Limit 18

Registration Opens June 21, 2010

This class was the most talked about workshop of 2009. Michel Garcia's deep knowledge of dye chemistry is communicated in metaphor, humour, and wit. Students learn not only what happens with dyes but why. A founder of the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants in Lauris, France, Michel returns to share some special techniques for dyeing and printing with extracts.

The difficulties of using powdered dyestuff (such as a high concentration of madder root on wool) can be avoided altogether if the dyer makes an extract. An extract also presents a wealth of opportunities as it can be applied directly to a piece. In this workshop students will make different soluble extracts and use them to dye wool both as a primary colour and as the basis for a second over-dyed colour. The class will use extracts to print directly onto cotton using blocks and paintbrush. A variation will be presented that permits printing with indigo.

Printing with extracts can be expanded to mordants and mordant/dye combinations. Thickening techniques will be covered so that the student learns to make the dye the right consistency for the technique.

We have expanded this workshop to three full days to allow students to fully explore these processes.


A French national born in Morocco, Michel Garcia was nineteen when he first discovered natural dyes. Since then he has followed his love of both plants and pigments. In 1998 he formed the association Couleur Garance (Madder Colour). The association hoped to connect young ecologically sensitive artisans with the substantial expertise of an older generation of dyers. Under his direction, Couleur Garance produced over twenty monographs on natural dyes and dye plants.

In 2002 Michel founded the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants at the Château de Lauris. In 2003 an international forum and market for natural dyes was added. A year later a resource centre was established.

In 2006 Michel handed over leadership of Couleur Garance so that he could further pursue his interest in colour and dye techniques. He has published three titles on natural dyes showing the range of shades available and how to obtain them.


De la garance au pastel, le jardin des teinturiers

Couleurs végétales: Teintures, pigments et encres

Plantes colorantes, teintures végétales

Student Supply List

Please bring a bag lunch. All other materials provided.

Look for the full course calendar on the web in early May. A print version will be available in June. Registration opens June 21, 2010.

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