"The Fabric" - Color

This Summary series is meant to be a quick informative read that will display a breakdown of various fabrics that are used or currently being created within the fashion industry.



Color is very important within fashion and textile design. Designers of fashion collections, consider safe colors to be black, navy, white, stone and khaki. Buyers will often buy garments in these colors as they are the staple colors of most peoples wardrobes. It is sometimes a good idea as a designer to offer some of the basic colors and add seasonal experimental colors to them. These colors will add life to the collection and will ideally entice the customer to buy each seasons new colors, along with the trans-seasonal basics.



Color Referencing -

Color often needs to be consistent across various fibres or fabric types which in turn may require different types of dye that may even be produced in different countries. Pantone and the Munsell color system are common references for color matching, as each color has a certain number for reference. The number can be used to identify the hue. Pantone charts are arranged chromatically by color family and contain over 2000 colors. They are a great resource, but can be expensive and the paper charts need to be replaced regularly as the colors start to fade, making referencing inaccurate. The charts are also available online and as apps.

Proportion -

Difficult and unusual color are best dealt with in smaller proportions but it all depends on the customer and trends in color (one that has not been in fashion for a while) may be first introduced in small amounts within a print or multicolor knit or used as an accent (highlight) within a group of colors. The placement of a color on the body can make certain areas of the body look bigger or smaller. black is seen to recede to the eye so making an object seem smaller this principle can be used to flatter the body shape.


Context -

Consider the context in which color is used and what it is trying to communicate. For example in the west a red wedding dress conveys a very different statement to traditional white dress. Also consider how color has been used historically for certain garments for example indigo denim jeans the white shirt and the little black dress if the color of these staple garments is changed. do they then become faddy and not classic?


Color can help to keep product lines new and fresh. Often, a garment does not change each season in silhouette or detail but it does change color.


Texture -

Designers will see the color in relation to the surface or textile and in the context of a silhouette or garment and this can change the perception of the color. he quality of the color can change in relation to the certain fabrics.Red can look cheap and playful in a plastic but it can look luxurious and rich in a fine silk. A black polyester can look cheap while black wool can look very expensive (obviously this also depends on the quality of the fabric of choice) Lighter colors show texture better than darker colors. A digital print will look much brighter on shiny fabric like silk as it will reflect the colors better than on a matt cotton.




Article reference - Textiles , The Textile reader, The Textiles

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