Field Notes in the Colour Garden pt 2 — Micahel Garcia

When leading natural dye expert Michel Garcia goes into a garden, what does he see? He sees botanical strategies for survival that often give new insights into dye procedures and methods.

A tireless investigator of the plant kingdom with a chemist’s insight, Michel returns this year to give what has become one of the hottest tickets of the symposium—his biennial lecture. This year he shares recent discoveries from his natural dye studies, delivered with his trademark wit and humour. 

Michel Garcia is a French national born in Morocco. He 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.