There is a growing demand for natural dyes for use in the textile, cosmetic, and food industries. Growing Color: Natural Dyes from Plants is for professionals in the farming, herb, and textile industries and anyone interested in the fascinating history and potential of natural plant-based dyes. The symposium is hosted by The North Carolina Arboretum in conjunction with Local Cloth to raise awareness on the issues and opportunities in growing plants for natural dyes and to encourage a sustainable natural dye industry in Western North Carolina. In addition to presentations, the symposium will feature demonstrations, vendors, and exhibits.

Michel Garciabotanist, chemist, dyer, and naturalist, is this year’s keynote speaker. Long recognized for his leading role in revitalizing the natural dye scene in France and world over, Michel is the founder of Couleur Garance in Lauris, France, and Le Jardin Conservatoire des Plants Tinctoriales (Botanical Garden of Dye Plants). His efforts have been pivotal in cultivating a greater understanding of natural dye history and teaching more sustainable adaptations for current practice.  

Click here for an overview of the conference and pre-conference events. 

Pre-conference events scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, are sold out. Please contact us to be added to a wait list for the demonstration on Indigo Application with Michel Garcia and Catharine Ellis and the Tannin and Dye Plant Walk through the Garden with Michel Garcia and Clara Curtis. 

For more information, contact Beth Johnson, adult education coordinator, at or call 828-665-2492 ext 222.