Workshop: Indigo: The Organic Vat

by - Thursday, April 29, 2010

2010 Maiwa Textile Workshops
Indigo: The Organic Vat
Michel Garcia

$250 (Includes $75 Lab Fee) Two full days

October 7, 8 (Thu, Fri) 10am - 4pm
Maiwa East – 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver, Canada
Class Limit 18

Registration Opens June 21, 2010

Dyers can spend years mastering the quirks and personality of a specific indigo dye vat. Indigo has a reputation for being the master of the dyer and sometimes it keeps its magic to itself.

Michel Garcia comes to the vat with a fresh perspective. A background in botany and chemistry and an intense knowledge of colourants combine with his eagerness to share information. During this workshop, some new possibilities for making a natural vat will be presented using henna, dates, figs, pears or grapes as reagents. Students will be able to easily establish a fast natural vat that can be used to dye any natural fibre.

The natural or organic vat can be fed and maintained with many things. The vat can also be maintained and revitalized through natural ingredients. Students will gain an appreciation of the mechanics of the vat and move beyond any single recipe. Students will leave with a thorough knowledge of the indigo process and will be able to select the appropriate vat to match their technique.


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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