The color red.
France, June 2018
It started with; I want to know how to create red, true red from madder. My many experiments had not resulted into anything I could steadily repeat. I have been successful in learning things through sheer stubbornness but sometimes you have to admit defeat.
This lead me to David Santandreu, hard to find on the internet (he is, smartly, avoiding Facebook and mostsocial media) but he came highly recommended. He has an official degree in natural dyes (there is such a thing in France) We talked a bit and agreed I would come to his workshop in Lautrec and do two days of internship privately.
First of all, the place Lautrec is amazing, and worth a visit under any circumstance. Second; the dye studio built inside the shop/restaurant of "La Ferme au Village" is a true gem. Fully equipped with a HUGE woad vat, and run by the lovely Francoise Carayol. Third; the other participants were all great people, and some touching conversations were had.
More about the colour red;
As an eco printer, the natural dyes were 'fun to have' and I treated them as such.Also, the results were unpredictable and I found it hard to repeat results. After learning the precise way to treat them, I have discovered a world of options, and a whole lot of dreams to pursue, with similar outcomes each time I work. Madder is a wonderful dye if you know how to use it, slow is definitely the key word. Slow soak, slow heat, low cooling down.
Below you will find all the dresses where I visited and stayed, and a link to Davids' blog.
The next blog I will tell more about Cochineal natural dyes as well as the lesson I learned about food.
David Santandreu's Blog; http://lamaindessables.blogspot.com
La Ferme au Village: http://www.lafermeauvillage.fr
Where to stay in Lautrec; https://www.lautrectourisme.com/hébergement/gîtes/ch-d-hôtes/chambres-d-hôtes/lautrec/
Textile museum in Bastide https://musees-occitanie.fr/musees/musee-departemental-du-textile/