Colour definition – the property possessed by an object producing different sensations on the eye as the result of the way it reflects or emits light.

I needed to look at the definition of colour as for me, colour is vital in everything I do, especially in textiles. Colour helps me describe or show the mood off whatever I’m designing or doing.

I understand why we are asked to study colour at this point of the course as colour is very important for all art and design. Mixing colours, understanding colour and applying it to the right products or market segments for which we are designing.

Colour has it’s own vocabulary which I need to learn and understand so I can communicate my design  to others; this will greatly benefit me as many have wondered if I am colour blind, it is one area in my art and design learning that I have always struggled with. Before I researched the textiles Artist and company’s that I was asked by the brief I felt I needed to learn more about colour and it’s vocabulary.

As a designer it is important to utilise a precise colour vocabulary in order to communicate the various levels of colours and moods.

  • Hue: another word for colour
  • Value: the amount of light or dark in colour; a colour with a high amount of white has a high value ( new to me).
  • Chroma: the amount of pure colour (absent of grey).
  • Saturation: the intensity of colour.
  • Temperature: a colour is classified as warm when it’s mixed with red, orange and yellow. Cool when mixed with green, blue or violet.
  • Contrast: the tonal differences between colour.
  • Tint: a colour with the addiction of white
  • Shade: a colour with the addiction of black.
  • Tone: a colour with the addiction of grey.
  • Highligh colour: a hue used in a small proportion to create a visual lift.
  • Naturals: colours that are evocative of natural qualities( Sky, Earth, water).
  • Neutrals: muddy or earthy colours.

Most of this imformation I have taken from a book I bought a while back; Printed Textiles design.

Colour has symbolic meanings in different cultures and their rituals. As I researched before in part one a wedding in western culture for example the bride wears white; but at many Asian weddings a bride wears red. In the west black is often assosiated with death, while in parts of Asia white is associated with mourning.

Research point 1

Voyage Decoration

Voyage Decoration  describe themselves as innovative and stylish designs for the home, they are in the interior market. They use repetitive patterns mostly nature inspired. I think their colours are nature inspired and work well with their designs. I think their signature is the fact that all their designs are painted by hand mainly in water colours and then printed in their own studios using natural fabrics like linens, cottons, wool, velvet and silk. For what I can see they use natural colours with an accent colour. I think the colour and desing are interdependent as  one doesn’t stand out more than the other. I like the fact that they use local resourses and it’s all made in Great Britain.


A Finish design company renowned for it’s original prints and colour. they have high quality clothing, bags and accessories as well as home decor. Armis vision was bold printed patterns standing out from the rest.

Timeless and lasting, which are by chance, often very fashionable -Armi  Ratia

Colour is as important if not more than the design. Simple motifs in bright colours (often primary colours and black) clear colours, often cool ones. Their signature use of colour is by using three hues often contrasting and clashing making them very bold and contemporary.

Mary Katrantzou

I researched Mary Katrantzou in a previous blog she is a fashion designer who mainly uses digital print. I think her prints and colour work well together. She uses clashing colours. Her colours and prints can both be equally  daring and bold. I think her signature in her use of colour is contrasting hues; using a lot of yellows, blues, greens and oranges. I like her proportions of colour; in some of her garments  she uses colour spectrums and charts. It would appear that everything goes with Mary Katranzou!

Wallace Sewell

Wallace Sewel is Uk based. Established by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell-1990.

They have made scarves for the Tate museum as well as maquette fabric designs for transport for Londons underground seating (wow, I always wondered!). Use of versitale wool. Their signature use of colour is using natural tones, earthy colours in block patterns. Browns, oranges, yellows and greens are their most used hues. I think the colours they use work well with the materials they employ making the overall mood very natural and durable. I wouldn’t mind one of they blankets on my sofa 😊

Interwoven blocks of colour to create texture and structure.


ole & Sons are wall paper a company. I think the colours they use are more monotones and they use more neutral hues. Use of repetitive motifs although pretty, I didn’t feel very inspired by this company as I found it very predictable and do I dare say, generic? The colours work well for wall paper and they work well with the pattern and design used. I don’t feel that the colours are as important as the motifs or design but saying that using neutral tones brings the business of the pattern down and tones the mood down.

Norma Starszakowna

e above information answers my questions; colour is very important in Norma Starszakowna designs as it she tells a story. I feel the colour is her design and the marks and texture become secondary. Her proportion on colour is perfect and very interesting. I would like to see her work as I think it would probably be more interesting than in photo. I don’t think the photos on the web do her work justice.


lisco has been grafting unique textiles that influence the fashion landscape in west and central Africa. These fabrics are Dutch craftsmanship and are still known as “hollandais”the french word for Dutch. Vlisco is still the only brand creating authentic Dutch fabrics which are recognised for their exceptional designs, distinctive colours and genuine wax craquele. They have a huge following in Africa. Their fabric goes under 27 treatments taking two weeks to produce. They use Chinese, Indian, Javan, Arabic and European imagery. Sometimes Vlisco use messages in their fabrics allowing Women in Africa to speak without vocally speaking but instead staying silent wearing fabrics with titles that have messages (I love that) Vlisco uses strong imagery and colours making bold statements. Colours and pattern are as important as each other. They use strong accents of hues and contrasting hues making the fabrics very ritch in colour. Their patterns are geometrical, realistic florals with intricate graphic forms. Colour is  the most celebrated feature with the use of vibrant palettes. The colours create a fascinating visual effect.

Personally this is one of my favorite fabric design company  as I love the messages in the titles, the vibrant colours and the intricate detail in their fabrics. Love, love, love.

Ptolemy Mann

chitectural, geometric and sophisticated that would be their description. They are known for their innovative dyeing and weaving skills so I guess that answers the question of does the colour use work well in their design? I believe the answer is yes! As they are  professionals in the art of dyeing. Her home page states that Colour theory underpins all of her work both creative and commercial. I personally think that colour is more important than print or pattern in her designs. Her patterns are woven, linear, stripes and circles. The hues are graded, fading into each other. She uses  warm and cold colours sometimes in the same pallet. The over all look or mood is natural and minimal. I appreciate the natural qualities of her dying and weaving but her designs “don’t float  my boat”. I wouldn’t say no to one of her rugs though or one of her lamp shades. 😋

Paúl smith

Paùl smith is a fashion  designer who uses vivid colours and graphic prints.

He is well known for his primary shades slim tailoring and monochromatic prints. His colours are bright and beautiful. His suits are made with an open weave technique of mohair and ultra fine marine wool. He uses blocks of colour. I feel that in Pauls smith designs, colour is his signature and the main component to his designs.