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.


Natural Dye Workshops with Michel and Others (updated 2/25/2015)

Several times a year, our sister organization Slow Fiber Studios™ organizes natural dye workshops with Michel Garcia in various places around the world. Check out our listings to see if a workshop will be coming to somewhere near you!



Currently, there are no offered workshops with Michel.


21-29th August, 2014 // Studio Zijdelings, Kapelstraat 93A, Tilburg, Holland

3 Workshops at Studio Zijdelings

Workshop 1: 3 Day Class on Printing on Cotton with Natural Dyes (click link for more information)

21-23 August, 2014 // 10 am – 5 pm // coffee/tea & lunch included

Fee: 325 not including materials 

Learn about types of dyestuffs from plants and insects, and mordants (specific fixing agents). On the second day, participants will learn how to use resists and discharges on the smae piece of fabric in order to get creative patterns of various shares. Finally on the third day,participants will develop their favorite technique further with technical help from the teacher.

Apart from sampling students can also work ‘larger’ size, i.e. bring their own fabrics or scarves to dye in the 50 ltr vat. When using shibori, please do not use or bring large clamps! However, this is not a design nor a production class. Students need to be aware of that!
Spoken language: English.
There will be a lab fee for dyes and chemicals and for the fabric sampler.

Workshop 2: Natural Indigo – Everything you need to know about indigo and derivatives (click link for more information)

25-27 August, 2014 // 10am – 5pm // tea or coffee & lunch included 

Fee: €325 not including materials 

Understand more deeply the indigo vat and the organic ingredients you can use! Work with a vat made of henna leaves, shell lime, and natural indigo with protein and cellulose fibers. Learn a creative method of creating white patterns on a blue background and more!

Apart from sampling students can also work ‘larger’ size, i.e. bring their own fabrics or scarves to dye in the 50 ltr vat. When using shibori please do not use nor bring large clamps! However, this is not a design nor a production class. Students need to be aware of that!

Spoken language: English.

There will be a lab fee for dyes and chemicals and for the fabric sampler.

Workshop 3: Natural Pigment Class on Fabric  (click link for more information)

28-29 August, 2014 // 10am – 5pm // tea or coffee & lunch included

Fee: €200 not including materials 

Learn about pigments on fabric from raw plants, and create prints on various types on natural textiles!

Note: We will work sample size only in this class. Lab fee for dyes and chemicals etc. And for a fabric sample package.


Photos: Michel Garcia,,, posted on

Photos: Michel Garcia,,, posted on Surface Design Association of Washington website

July 10-20, 2014 // University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Natural Dyeing and Organic Indigo Vat Dyeing with Michel Garcia2 Workshops + Lecture

Workshop 1: July 10-14 // 9 am – 4 pm

Subject: Fundamentals of Color from Plants and Insects: Exploring Wide Applications of Natural Dyeing and Printing on Textiles.


Keen on sustainable development and ecology, Michel Garcia will teach special techniques for extracting dye from plants and insects and using these to dye and print on textiles. He will demonstrate a variety of mordants on cotton cloth, using various techniques to get a full range of shades in the same dye-bath! In this workshop, students will make different soluble extracts that can be used to dye wool, silk and cotton.

In printing on wool and silk, the difficulties of using powdered dyestuff can be avoided altogether by using a natural extract. These extracts also present a wealth of opportunities as they can be applied directly to cloth. The class will use extracts to print directly onto wool and silk using blocks, paintbrush and screens. Michel will also present a variation that permits printing with indigo.

Participant Experience: Dyeing experience required.  Natural dye experience preferred.

Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.

Workshop 2: July 16-20 // 9 am- 4 pm

Subject: Indigo – The Organic Reduction Vat


Indigo has a reputation for being a difficult dye. In this class, students will discover some very simple methods to prepare natural organic indigo dye vats. These vats can be kept in the studio for a very long time and can be revitalized through readily available natural ingredients. Students will learn the mechanics of the vat and move beyond a single recipe to a thorough knowledge of the indigo process and the ability to select the appropriate vat to match the desired technique.

 Michel Garcia brings in depth experience and perspective to the vat process. His background in botany and chemistry and his intense knowledge of colorants combine with his enthusiasm for sharing this information! Students will learn about possibilities for making a natural indigo vat using henna, dates, figs, pears, or bananas as reagents. Students will be able to establish and to maintain a fast natural vat that can be used to dye any natural fiber.

Participant Experience: All dyers welcome.

Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.

Lecture: July 17 // 7-8 pm // Catered Reception 8-9 pm

Subject: Natural Colors and Even More

Center for Urban Horticulture

3501 NE 41st St, Seattle WA

Around the world, the rediscovery of colors from plants and insects is strongly linked with the concept of a “better life from natural substances”, of sustainable development, traceability and care for the planet.  From the point of view of Biology and “green” chemistry, it seems that the colorants from plants are bioactive components, with interesting protective effects on the body, even when they are used to dye a simple cloth. The plurality of biochemical effects of these colors is amazing. These natural substances are no longer considered as only ordinary colorants, but also as protective molecules. With the help of simple explanations, Michel Garcia will introduce the world of the bio-active dye.

A reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres will follow the lecture from 8-9 pm.

Cost of the lecture is $12.

Photo courtesy of and Big Cat Textile Studios

Photo courtesy of and Big Cat Textile Studios

June 23-27, 2014 // Newburgh, Fife, Scotland

Alternative Processes for Natural Dyes – 5 Day Workshop

This 5 day workshop will be focusing on several methods of creating attractive colors 100% from plants, on wool, silk and cotton. For the first 3 days, Michel will discuss and demonstrate Bio-mordants from plants, both for wool, cotton and silk. For the last 2 days, Michel will cover creating a fast-acting indigo vat and printing clay resists on cotton.

Big Cat Studios is located in Newburgh, Fife, Scotland and provides an inspiring and dramatic location for the Big Cat Textile studio,benefiting from the east of Scotland’s open skies and generous hours of sunshine.

Price £450 including lunch and some materials.




March 24th – 28th, 2014 // Betchworth, Surrey, UK

Natural & Sustainable Indigo Dyeing

Michel will be teaching at the Potter’s Farm Studios, through Committed to Cloth, this March in Surrey, UK.

The class will be dedicated to polychromatic dyes on cotton and other cellulose fibers, using natural colors from plants. Students will be shown how to print mordants in advance of the dyeing process and Michel will cover an organic indigo vat that is safe and easy to prepare. Ultimately, you’ll have the opportunity to combine all processes covered to generate layers of colour and imagery. There are only a few spots left! If you have enjoyed DVD 1 this is a great chance to practice your skills in person with Michel.

Experience Level: suitable for all levels
Class size: 9
Venue: Potter’s Farm Studios, Station Road, Betchworth, Surrey RH3 7DF
Fees: £475 plus a small supplies fee (tba)
Registration: via the website or email

For more information, visit the website:


September 30-October 10, 2013 // Lauris (Provence), France
Natural Pigment & Dye Classes w/ Michel Garcia

Optional Extension: October 11-14, 2013 // International Forum for Natural Dyes (forum international de la couleur végétale) , hosted by Association Couleur Garance

Slow Fiber Studios will be hosting a trip to France, where members will not only take workshops from Michel, but also be a part of a new Natural Dye Workshop video. Besides workshops, members will be taking various field trips and enjoying the beautiful landscape and amazing food.

Mornings in Lauris: Choose to sit in during the filming sessions of Garcia’s enlightening and entertaining workshop or work with an instructor on drawing and watercolor painting
Afternoons in Lauris: Hands-on workshop with Michel Garcia


*Optional Extension (October 11, 12, 13, depart 14, 2013): International Forum for Natural Dyes(forum international de la couleur végétale) hosted by the “Association Couleur Garance,” Lauris

For more info, here is the preliminary programming PDF: forum international de la couleur végétale (French)

Visit our sister site to register for the tour and see an itinerary:


September 11-17, 2012 // Philadelphia, PA 

Hosted by NDW and Fabric Workshop & Museum.

Annual Lauris workshop with Michel

Beginning Summer 2013, Slow Fiber Studios™ with Yoshiko Wada and Michel will offer two workshop opportunities. Join a 1-week and / or an extended 2-week study tour focusing on dye garden development, plant selection, dye process, and the historical perspective of the natural dye industry Provence, France.

TO STAY IN THE KNOW, join our mailing list



“Natural Dye Workshop” presents concepts of gardening, plants, colorants and how dyes are created as presented by a leading chemist/botanist based in Provence, France. Exploring the fields of natural dye processes and sustainable gardening, the film will be of great interest to both dye makers, gardeners, textile artists and enthusiasts, ecologists, sustainability researchers, and the general public.  Equally appealing, the historical treatment presented on the history of dye making in Provence would be of interest to general audiences.

TO REQUEST A SCREENING at your school, institute, museum or group association, please contact us with details of your interest. A one-time group screening can be arranged by purchasing a minimum of 5 DVD copies at a 10% discount.