TravelFacts#7: Secrets of the colour blue

In the ancient world, the search for the colour blue was one steeped in mystery and enigma. It was in the Middle Ages, however, that the colour producing properties of woad or pastel were discovered, and this priceless pigment became highly prized by all.  That was, of course, until the industrial revolution took hold in Europe, and the pendulum swung the other way again and these long sort after skills were slowly lost.

After several centuries of neglect, pastel has found new acclaim at Terre de Pastel in  Toulouse. This museum, spa, shop and restaurant is dedicated to all things blue (the spa products are even made from woad) and they even hold regular demonstrations on the ancient methods of extraction and dying – as shown above. 

But that cotton is yellow I hear you cry… do not fear the oxidation slowly turns the cloth blue.


You can visit Terre de Pastel museum from just Euros 5 for an adult with the guided tour starting at Euros 7.  A visit to the spa is a must.

Contributor & photographer: Alexandra Pinhorn

Toulouse is part of the CRT Midi-Pyrénées which is a client of Magellan PR. Follow them on Twitter: @tourismemidipy and Facebook: Tourisme-en-Midi-Pyrénées.  Toulouse is also on Twitter: @VisitToulouse and on Facebook: Toulouse.tourisme

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook & YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
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