Wednesday, May 25, 2011


          The dictionary was produced originally with the object of defining the exact shades indicated be such common expressions as sky blue , flesh color coral and so on . These terms had come to have different meanings for different people with consequent loss and confusion when these divergences impinged upon commerce. For example flesh color may range from a pale salmon in some minds to a dark pink in others Mr. R..F Wilson the manager of the color council in the preparation of the dictionary asked a large number of representative people to send patterns which they considered to answer to the various names put forward . The variety of shades which was proved to be current under any single color name was astonishing. It is however now possible to select a soler from the color dictionary and to cable its name to a firm in say Australia with the assurance that the firm will be able to know exactly what kind of color is meant . It is also of course possible by means of the dictionary to define the shade of any dyed pattern as being for instance rather darker than the salmon shade.

         The dictionary of course despite its general utility provides only a rough and ready method and has serious disadvantages . The most important of these lies in the fact that the color of any substance depends upon two factors A the absorption spectrum of the color and B the composition of the light shining on the pattern . It is well known that two patterns may be dyed to a perfect match in north day light but may yet be very different in color when seen in artificial light . In the same way whenever a color which has been obtained be using certain specified dye stuffs is matched by means of other dye stuffs the absorption spectrum of the resultant match will be different from that of the standard. Thus the color council pattern dyed on silk will match the same color produced in for example pottery leather rubber wool etc in one specific light only and in and other light it will probably appear a different hue . There is also the difficulty that a color produced on a lustrous material such as silk can never be matched exactly in a dull material such as unglazed pottery on in a very broken surface such as raised woolen cloth.
         When more exact nomenclature is required without the use of a scientific instrument the chief alternatives at the present time are the Ostwald and the mun sell color systems.