color wheel: fabric and color distribution

RefreshClick to expand a color

Happy day, hello there! In my last post, I wrote about basics in color theory and color spaces. I wanted to set a foundation for this blog post about the pigment color wheel, so I could get *here*!

What you see above is a pigment color wheel divided into 24 colors, or a color wheel representing hues/colors evenly around a circle. From the set of solids I shared as open source, each solid color is matched with the tick on the color wheel closest in hue. Then, each “bucket” of colors closest to each hue are sorted from highest to lowest saturation from the center out. The result is a visualization of color distribution across these 8 solids sets from major manufacturers.

My Observations

Below are some observations that I make on this data. But first, one thing to keep in mind are that these are based on representations of the swatches available on the public websites, so be aware that there may be color discrepancies. Also, note that some of the solids lines have colors that match or can be paired with their print fabrics, so the skew in distribution may be reflective of that.

  • Aquas and reds seem to be the most popular across all 8 solids sets.
  • Pure Elements AGF Studio is consistent with that theme, having a handful of colors in the bucket Base: #347C98.
  • Free Spirit Solids are heavy on the colors in the buckets Base: #4D9665, Base: #347C98, and Base: #1B62CB, but not as much opposite side of the color wheel.
  • Riley Blake Designs Confetti Cottons have many options in the buckets for Base: #347C98 and Base: #FF0040, too!
  • As expected, Kona Cotton has a decent color distribution around the color wheel, but follows the trends with lots of options in the buckets for Base: #4D9665, Base: #347C98, Base: #1B62CB, and Base: #FF0040.
  • Moda Bella Solids have a lot of options with colors in the buckets ranging from Base: #347C98 to Base: #FEFE33, and much less on the red and oranges, enough to make me want to double check my data set!
  • Clothworks American Made Brand Cotton Solids follows the trend on having many options close to Base: #4D9665 and Base: #347C98, with less options on the other side of color wheel.
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture has lots of options in the buckets for Base: #347C98 and FF0040.
  • RJR Studio Cotton Supremes has better color distribution around the color wheel, with lots of options in the buckets for Base: #FF0040 and Base: #FF3300.

What Now?

Now that you can visualize color distribution across these solids, here are a few additional resources I found comparing these solids lines, outside of color options (note that some of them are a bit outdated in color count, but still offer great perspective):

I’d like to continue on this path of a solids series that this has been evolving to, so stay tuned!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    karen s
    September 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Hmmm. So, is aqua my favorite color because it’s so widely produced, and I’m just being seduced by the marketplace, or. . . ? Another great color study. Thanks so much–I can already see how useful this is going to be 🙂

    • Reply
      stephskardal
      September 12, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Aqua is also my favorite color! But it was my favorite color before I started sewing. I’m not really sure what the answer is (the chicken or the egg). I think aqua is generally a popular color, and I also think aqua solids coordinate with prints well, so I think it’s a bit of both, maybe? Thanks for your feedback!!

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