Granny Jane's Rug Shop

Theory of Color

Theory of Color

Creative color combinations enhance the beauty and the texture of braided rug designs.  Harmonious color combinations work well in the home where balance is key.  Color values can be tints, shades or saturated colors.  Value and proportion affect the dominant color of all beautiful textiles. We want you to be inspired by color and our presentation of color theory.  

The Primary Color System of Red, Yellow and Blue will be the focus for color theory.  Primary colors can be mixed to create a variety of other colors.  However, other colors cannot be mixed to create primary colors.  When two primary colors are mixed together, a secondary color is created.  For example when yellow and blue are mixed together the secondary color, green is created.  When a primary color is mixed with a secondary color a tertiary color is created.  For example, when yellow and green are mixed together the tertiary color of yellow green is created.

Color values are changed by adding black, white or grey.   Shades are created when black is added to any color.  Tints are created when white is added to any color.  Tones are created when grey is added to any color.

Colors appear in the light spectrum as waves and have length.  Colors are arranged on the Color Wheel from the shortest to the longest wave.  Red has the shortest wave and Violet has the longest wave.

The six factors that influence color are proportion, value, contrast, undertones, separation and combination:

               1.  Proportion creates harmony.  A simple ratio is one third combined with two thirds of three different colors.  For example, use one third of the dominant color of your choice.  Combine it with two secondary colors in a one third ratio to create a fantastic three-color combination.  If you are adventurous, add very small accent color to create a dynamic four- color combination!

               2.  Value refers to the lightness or the darkness of a given color based on the grey scale, which ranges from black to white.  Some saturated colors are naturally light, like yellow.  Light colors placed side by side can appear more pronounced and dark colors placed side by side can appear more subdued.  This can be interesting when working with braided rugs!

               3.  Contrast is the difference between two colors.  The highest possible contrasting colors are black and white.  Contrast can vary from high to low depending upon the value, hue and saturation of any given color.  The highest contrasting colors are opposing colors on the color wheel. 

              4.  Undertones are either warm or cool.  A cool red has a blue undertone.  A warm red has a yellow undertone.  Undertones can be subtle and yet create a huge difference in any given color.  Successful color combinations often coordinate the same undertones of either warm or cool.

              5.  Separation is the space between colors.  Threads, borders or no color can separate the space between two colors.  It’s important to experiment with color separation.  A visual pause or a visual interruption can be created in the space that separates colors in a textile. 

              6.  Color Combination is an art.  Whether a textile design is monochromatic, a two-color combination, a three-color combination, a four-color combination or even a multi-color random combination the key component is balance within the color palette.  An extraordinary color combination resonates like rhythm in music supporting harmony. 

Braided rug and textile design begins with color.  The initial inspiration for color, such as a forest may inspire an evergreen color that one can almost smell!  This initial inspiration does not necessarily become the dominant color, although it easily can.  All subsequent colors will coordinate with the original inspiration color.  This special attention to detail will ultimately create harmony and balance within the braided rug design.

Often Capitol Earth Rugs experiments with two, three and four-color combinations in various shades of light.  Light alters color.  In home color selections they recommend selecting colors in slightly shaded natural light.  Color can be subjective and people perceive color differently.  Experiment with the downloadable color wheel and review our presentation of color theory to create winning color combinations!

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Granny Jane's Rug Shop is an Authorized Distributor of Capitol Earth Rugs