Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia and Sustainable Dye Practice

A film series and discussion forum dedicated to the science and practice of natural dyes and pigments using sustainable methods.

Topics of Consideration

1 : How green is your dye ?

Visitors of the garden will be surprised to discover so many medicinal plants presented as dye-plants. The reason: plants use colouring as a strategy for self-protection. There are several families of dyes which need specific treatments in preparation to be used on fabrics — flavonoids for yellows, tannins for browns, anthaquinones and neoflavonoids for reds, indigotin for blues, and so on.

Green idea: The same reason plants are commonly used as health and well-being supplements is the same reason why they are perfectly suitable for dying fabrics: antioxidant properties. Indigotin Indigo Dye preparation using an organic reduction agent – why not go all the way with the idea of using natural?

2: Tannins : finding hidden color treasures in the garden

Green idea: using wild plants or by-products, we can dye fabrics and thus eliminate the need for costly products

3: Mordants: flavonoïds and aluminum salts

Green idea: Mordanting is a natural process ; Temperature, acidity/ alkalinity of vat, soaking time and repetition will contribute to brightness and colorfastness.

4: Madder, underground color

Green idea: promoting minimal use of mordants in fabric to achieve brighter colors, greater colorfastness

5: Polychromatic effects

Green idea: recycling a previous workshop’s dye bath materials produces exciting results on fabrics

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