Less Petroleum and More Minty Please…..


Look at the above image and ask yourself is this you ? Do you cross the divide, go against your gender ? If you are faced with 3 Red shades do you try to find a way to separate the colours or is it all just RED ?.  One question you should ask is does it matter? Generally on a day to day basis it does not matter if you are looking at your favourite football teams new strip or a new garment for the weekend it probably does not matter.  If you are working in the textile sector and you are trying to communicate a new shade or how you want a sample to be changed then it does matter and having a clear communication policy and language is essential to ensure that your colour submits progress quickly and efficiently.

This is the point where some of our readers will be saying ‘ah but what about the spectrophotometer, this has made colour communication much easier.’ It is true to say that the use of spectrophotometers has meant that knowing if something is within tolerance and is acceptable to the clients standard is now a simple numbers game.  Unless your client is taking your data and still pass / failing manually and thats a whole different blog.

Having worked with designers on colour submits for many years,  I have often been at the other side of the conversation that goes it needs to be ‘ more tangerine’ ‘ less petroleum and more minty’  these kind of descriptions confuse us poor dyers and with the globalization of the textile industry your dyer could be in a different country and your language may not be their first language.  This is why there needs to be a standardisation of the colour descriptors.   The Spectrophotometers usually describe the difference in colours in very simple terms.  The sample is yellow, bluer, greener, redder etc.   I have not to date seen a Spectrophotometer describe a sample as lemon, sky, laurel or cherry.  This is probably because the original programmers of the software were men and we like things simple.

Having said that using RYGB in your descriptions when speaking to your suppliers will give you a universal language that everyone can work to.  It will speed up your communication with the suppliers and get the product quicker to market.  When the product gets to the packing stage and your are doing the labels you can then describe the sample as Winter Berry etc. Until then, please help your dyer and keep it simple, Red Yellow Green Blue is fine,  keep to this and we will get on just fine….


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