The Romance of Colours, With Names

Sunday, April 01, 2012

There is a certain romance to the names of colours. I was recently given some old cottons. My Aunt quite correctly thought they would be my colours. She was right. They matched the capes I had been making, perfectly. I put them in a bowl to admire and left them there.

After a week or so, I started to notice that some of the cottons had names. Quite fantastic names at that. The three blues that looked almost the same, were not. While 962, 671 and 252 could easily be confused, give them a name and Cambridge looks nothing like Monaco.

There is something almost dull about colours with just numbers. While DMC 666 is devilishly red, it is hard to think of a particular colour for every three digit number. I would love to think of names for every cotton in the drawer and spend my days stitching away with ambiguous colours like avocado. Wondering, would that be the green of the inside, dark greenish black of the outside or wooden brown of the stone? Whatever the case, I don't think anyone can get it as wrong and this stocking repair thread:

Hmm, potato, the most alluring colour of hosiery never to be invented.

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  1. What a great job to have to give colours names! Especially if there was a necessity to travel to authenticate colour name choices-is monaco blue the colour if the sea there? i've heard of a 'cambridge blue' but i'm not sure what it is, maybe a ribbon awarded in the boat race?

  2. I like Potato, but I've always had a soft spot for the name Carmine, to be sure. And it looks like a rather lovely colour, too.

  3. I suspect that 'potato' was the last color named on a Friday of a long week for someone! LOL

  4. Potato! That is a classic for sure! Love Carmine- what a pretty blue.

  5. Hi Amy
    I so agree with you. I have a collection of these old threads. I love the charming names. The thread is still amazingly good too! I use it for small special quilting projects.
    in Taupo


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