Color Scheming

Change is a good thing. If only we could convince it to arrive on a more convenient schedule.

Spoonflower, the digital textile printer I use, announced this spring that they were changing their color profile. They gave designers special pricing and a reasonable window of opportunity to “swatch” fabrics, so we could see how the colors of our designs would print after the change. Unfortunately, that window was open while I was preparing for and teaching out-of-town workshops.

I managed to proof most of my fabrics once at the special price, and did some color palette tests. Across the color spectrum, I had significant shifts in the way fabrics print now compared to before. Reds, for example, shifted dramatically. Blah.

So most of my fabrics have been swatched again (not at the special price) to make sure my corrections were, well, correct. As usual, I’ve learned a lot from this.

First, no amount of calibration seems to get my monitor to display the way some colors now print. What looks blue on my screen can print purple. That’s why we print proofs on fabric swatches instead of relying on the monitor alone.

Second, the angle of my monitor makes a huge difference. This thread on the Spoonflower Flickr discussion board introduced me to that notion, as well as to Colorzilla.com. I’m always grateful to the generous designers who share their knowledge on the boards.

Finally, I’ve learned it’s OK to not weed anything. Not. One. Thing. No weeding whatsoever. And the world did not stop rotating on its axis.

Who knew!?

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin