About me & Alizari



My name is Belén Merelas and I am the founder of Alizari, the atêlier where I work with natural dyes and botanical printing in Galicia, the northwest of Spain.

I am a biologist and due to my studies I trained in different universities in various countries along my career (La Réunion, Madagascar, Azerbaijan, Canada, Seville, Granada). All those experiences made me the person I am today, who loves travelling and discovering new places. 

When finished my degree, I lived in Quebec, Canada, for two years to study a master's degree in plant ecophysiology and peatland restoration at the Université Laval. When I came back to Spain I did my second master's degree, on Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville. Right after I started a PhD. in genetics and forest ecology in Galicia, but after a year and a half (and covid-19 in between) I decided to quit. In this moment I had a big turning point in my life, as I decided that I wouldn't continue in academic research.

After going through a bad period and while I was doing small training courses in botanical print, I began to consider the idea of creating my own project. The following two years I started training, I prepared my atêlier and I set everything up so the project could move forward.

In 2022 I decided to start a dye garden to have access to plants that give me the possibility to play around the chromatic circle and also to learn about dye plants traditionally cultivated in Europe until the 19th century, when the first synthetic dye molecules appeared and the cultivation, trade and use of natural dyes disappeared.                 
I met the botanical print technique by chance but I was fascinated by it since the beginning. My attraction to the plant kingdom is obvious due to my background, but I am also familiar with the textile world, as my grandmother used to make clothes and I spent many afternoons and summers sewing clothes for my dolls from the little pieces that she dropped on the floor.

This project is born out of love, admiration and the continuous learning that the vegetable world demands, the colour, the textures, the natural fibres and the desire to use what surrounds us to create art, art that we can also wear.