Mathilde Guignard and the natural dyes
Born in 1985 from ethnobotanists parents, Mathilde has been surrounded with plants from a young age. After her parents created a botanical garden in Limeuil, France, she started to give tours with her brother at the age of 10.
At the age of13, she was spellbound by vegetable dyes during an exhibition about plants in textiles, in Périgueux.
“I found it magical right away and wanted to experience processes for myself with various readings as well as following my instinct.”
She started her business Brins de Couleurs in 2013 so people would find out about vegetable dyes.
“There are thousands of dye plants: madder dye has existed since ancient times and is used for red dyes. For yellow dyes, the reseda, a rare plant that can be farmed quite well, is found in ruins or quarries. For green dyes, we use a yellow dye and then a blue dye. The blue dye, which comes from woad, was widely used in Europe but is also made with exotic plants grown here like dyer’s knotweed (Traditional plant in Japan introduced in France in the early nineteenth century). I also take inspiration for my colours from wild plants (tree bark, flowers, berries, …) “
Mathilde participates in events, she offers community learning workshops and open days for both children and adults, including strolls to identify and collect plants and then take part in vegetable dyeing workshops.