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Tutorial I. Colorants. Beyond the recipe

This is the first video tutorial of  Michel Garcia's video course "From plant to dye". It contains Michel's lectures, demonstrations, recipes and description of plants. This course is suitable for all people with strong interest  to natural dyes.

This video course contains appr. 280 minutes of video and a 25-pages handout. 

English narration, subtitles in French, Italian, Spanish and German. 


Classification of colorants and biodiversity

Many plants on Earth produce coloring matters. However, only a few of them yield colorants, which can be extracted and worked out to be economically usable.

Anthocyanins: false friends

Anthocyanins are called  “chameleons between plant pigments” because they are too pH sensitive


Chemistry of flavonoids

Flavonoids represent a giant group of colorants which give colors from lemon yellow to orange. They are subdivided in several groups. Michel gives a lecture about chemistry of flavonoids. What is the secret of  their lightfastness, how can we manage it?

Pagoda tree: extract, lake and printing paste

Demonstration and recipes

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Neoflavonoids. Logwood demo

Logwood is very popular, but it is a versatile dye. How can we stabilize it? The secret of Logwood dye stabilization.

Quinone dyes

Quinone colorants are extremely valuable for the dyer. Michel gives a lecture about alizarin, the famous colorant present in madder roots.

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The secret of beautiful madder red

Demonstration and recipes

Cochineal: extract and lake

Theory and demonstration


Safflower: selective extraction

Let's learn how to separate desired colorants from non-desired

annato, alcanet, sandalwood...dyes not soluble in water

Special cases: colorants poorly soluble in water

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Indigo, the king of color

Michel talks about the chemistry of indigo, about lime and maintenance of the vat.

Indigocarmin, a promising blue colorant

From saxony blue to indigocarmin. Demonstration and a bit of theory

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Turmeric: a fugitive dye

Turmeric demo.

Lichens: alternative source
of colorants



Tutorial II is dedicated to mordanting

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