Windows and doors : in the south west of France

Colours of windows and doors catch my eye as I pass by…


Opening their bleary eyes as the light returns…


Time to spring clean, soon the sun will shine in…


“Blue gold.”

The pale blue of painted shutters, commonly seen throughout the south west of France, is reminiscent of the indigo dye that has been used for centuries to preserve wood, as well as to dye cloth. The plant and it’s extracted dye was called ‘pastel’, a derivative of ‘pâté’ simply because the harvested leaves were fermented to form a paste during the extraction process. Pastel was agricultured alongside grape vine and brought prosperity to many towns, so it was also known as “blue gold”. Folklore credited it with being a fly repellant and it’s use on doors and windows was welcomed for a second purpose.

 NB. “Pastel” also known as “Woad”.

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