In Vedrin, near Namur, the Jardin des Plantes à couleurs (the garden of colourful plants) features 130 species selected for their dyeing qualities.
The colours thus obtained are sometimes short-lived but can also survive centuries... Some varieties, used for generations by artists, dyers, colourists to create fascinating tapestries, silk pieces, brocades... have passed the test of time.
They can be found in vegetable patches, usual flower beds, woodlands, meadows... Others are more exotic.
Dyeing with plants: a trade of yesteryear
It was, until the 19th century, the only way to add colour to fabric. This skill, based on practise, plants, minerals, animals... has now been replaced with more chemical products.
- This know-how passed through generations, is part of our cultural heritage and must be preserved
- Still useful to artists wishing to experiment with long-lasting tints
- A less polluting option than modern options..