Natural Dyeing and Organic Indigo Vat Dyeing with Michel Garcia

The University of Washington School of Art in Collaboration with the Surface Design Association of Washington State and Earthues Natural Dye Company Seattle, WA are thrilled to present two workshops and an evening lecture with Michel Garcia!

Michel Garcia, natural dyeing expert

Michel Garcia

Workshop 1:  July 10 – 14, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

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

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

 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, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

Indigo: The Organic Reduction Vat

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

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: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7-8 pm, catered reception 8-9pm

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.


Michel GarciaMichel Garcia short biography

Michel Garcia, a French national born in Casablanca, Morocco, has been interested in plants since childhood. He was a teenager when he first discovered a passion for natural dyeing and his study of plants and pigments over the decades has made him a leading authority on natural dyeing.  Author, collaborator, and founder of Couleur Garance and the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants in Lauris, Provence, he is a passionate advocate for the use of these dyes and for their many commercial and educational possibilities. His work includes professional consultation in West Africa, Tunisia, Mexico, United States, Canada, China, Indonesia, and Europe.  He has written 21 monographs and 3 books and is featured in three pedagogic DVDs.

Since founding his first company in 1988, Michel has continued in his in depth study of the biology and chemistry of plants. His generosity in founding the Botanical Dye Garden as a resource center for anyone interested in sharing in the knowledge of Natural Dyes extends to teaching philosophy.

He is an innovative dyer and hands-on teacher whose enthusiasm is infectious and knowledge extensive. He is interested in using simple methods to present the complex world of Natural Dyes to a wide public.

Registration for Workshop and Lecture


Registration for the workshops and the lecture will open at 9AM PDT on March 15th.  Acceptance into the workshops will be based on date of payment.  Class size for each workshop is limited to 15 each.  Participants can register for one workshop.    Please fill out registration form here (link will work starting at 9 am PDT on March 15):

 and follow the link for Pay Pal payment.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Registration for the lecture and payment on Pay Pal can be found at (link will work starting at 9 am PST on March 15)

Lecture is limited to 200 people.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Please email Layne Goldsmith

Presented by: University of Washington School of Art, Surface Design Association of Washington State, and Earthues Natural Dye Company.

5 comments on “Natural Dyeing and Organic Indigo Vat Dyeing with Michel Garcia

  1. WSN says:

    Michel Garcia’s important work in sustainable natural dyeing has been documented in instructional DVDs. Preview trailers from the 3 NDW pedagogic films available through

  2. Najam says:

    is there any source in Pakistan for these dyes?

  3. […] Last July, Parker had an “opportunity of a lifetime,” enrolling in a five-day natural dye workshop at the University of Washington with French-born botanist, chemist and naturalist, Michel Garcia. […]

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