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BARBARA RUSH chemist and dye specialist at the Conservatory Garden for Dye Plants Lauris

Did you know that under Louis XIV quality control was assured through classification of grand teint (colourfast) and petit teint (non-fast) dyes? That Madder consists of 15 types of red and that tannins have anti microbial, antiviral and antifungal properties? If this piques your interest, read on. The paragraph on Indigo alone makes it worthwhile.

On my return visit in July 2017 to the fabulous Jardin Conservatoire des Plantes Tinctoriales in Lauris in the Vaucluse in Southern France, established by Michel Garcia, I was fortunate to have a personalised tour through this amazing dye garden with Barbara Rush, who is a guide at the gardens.

Barbara is lending her considerable expertise as a multi-linguist and professional chemist to explain the process of Natural Dyeing with the 240 plants grown at the gardens to the numerous visitors that come from all over the world.

Not only did I get my endless questions patiently answered, I also had the pleasure to stay at her delightful B&B La Baronne which is the most charming grande dame of Provençal estates at Puget, just outside of the small village of Lauris, 1.5 hrs from Marseille.

Please enjoy this article which is most informative and offers a lot of interesting facts for beginners and advanced dyers alike, or better still go and visit the gardens when next in France.

The link below allows you to download the full article.

When you have finished you will know where the expression red tape comes from!

link to full article

Entry to the Gardens
Château Lauris where the dye garden is situated

Château Lauris, home of the Jardin Conservatoire des Plants Tinctoriales, built with wealth from the dye trade, particularly Kermes (a red insect) and Madder.

Outbuilding at La Baronne, most charming B & B close the to dye gardens in Lauris

I hope you enjoyed the article and learned some interesting facts. I can assure you that a visit is very worthwhile, they have a shop where you can buy dyes and also run classes. Check their website for details,

À bientôt

B xx


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