Volume 17 Issue 2 A Journal Dedicated to Natural Dyes Spring 2012

DVD Review: Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia
By Rebeca Schiller

Cover of the DVD If you’re interested in taking a dye class with master dyer Michel Garcia, but don’t have the time to travel to one of his workshops, you can learn in the comfort of your own home by viewing the marvelous three hour instructional DVD, Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia. The DVD is produced by famed textile artist Yoshiko Wada’s Slow Fiber Studios and Studio Galli Productions, starring Michel Garcia,
who gently guides viewers with detailed step-by-step instructions in making their own natural dyes with plants.

Filmed at the exquisite Château de Lauris in the Provençal village of Lauris, France, Disc 1 opens with an overview of the Château’s expansive gardens and its multiple plant varieties that make indigo and other dyes. Viewers first meet Wada and Garcia in the first few minutes of the program, and in this short section Garcia provides a brief explanation of the region’s dye and textile-making history. The fun immediately begins with Garcia collecting woad leaves for the first workshop where he demonstrates how to make an indigo infusion.

One of the highlights of this instructional DVD is how Garcia meticulously illustrates the process of making the inky pigment, which he titles "Indigo Vat 1-2-3!" In this section, Garcia, like a master chef, lists all the tools and ingredients that are required and slowly goes through the process explaining the chemistry of each step.

Once the indigo has been made, Garcia provides instruction on how to make a resist paste. With the paste, Garcia paints a design on a large piece of white fabric, allowing it to dry. Once dried, the fabric is dipped in the indigo vat for about a minute and then rinsed for another minute. Garcia demonstrates how the resist process can be used repeatedly to create more designs on the cloth with varying shades of blue.

The second DVD concentrates on mordant, brush techniques and block printing. In addition, Garcia shows viewers how they can create a yellow dye with artichoke leaves, and noting the endless dye possibilities of a variety of plants they can find in their own gardens.

Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia is an excellent introduction for novice dyers, as well as for intermediate ones who need a refresher course. To purchase the DVD, please visit www.naturaldyeworkshop.com.


Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia
Colors of Provence Using Sustainable Methods
Run time: 183 minutes, 2-disc set.
English narration and subtitles.
Produced by Slow Fiber Studios.