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Joined: Oct 2000
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what colors were available for Joseph's coat?
white, (plain wool
yellows (onion skins)
greens (various green plants)
browns (various tannins--from tree bark)
reds (various insect shells yeild red)
grey, brown, tan and black (natural woolens again)
indigo was already being used in india, and i supect blue would be available.
(purple was available, but very expensive)

many plants will make wonderful dyes, all that is needed is salt for mordant. onion skins will give shades from the palest yellow to deep amber gold. most plant dyes will give deeper colors the longer the fabric sits in the dye bath.



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something as simple as adding white to yellow
On second thought, this is not as simple as it sounds. The basic colors are not "symmetrical" in their perceptual properties. Yellow as such has a much higher "lightness value" than e.g. red or green, which means that "adding white" to yellow causes less of a difference than for the latter 2 colors. This is probably one reason why there is no common name for this diluted yellow. If, on the other hand, you look at a concentrated yellow dye solution (ink) it looks brown rather than yellow.



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random thoughts on color...

When I was in medical school I was always confused when the histology profs would describe something as "blue" when it was clearly purple. Drove me crazy.

In residency a middle eastern friend of mine once commented on the the "golden hair" of an attractive redhead.

"Cornflower" comes to mind as a term for light blue. With a hint of purple, periwinkle.

A lot of the names for lighter colors that I see used don't seem very official, like "sage" for a light green matching the plant of the same name. IS that really the name of the color or did the J. Crew and Williams-Sonoma catalogues just make it the in vogue term?




#78924 08/26/02 05:32 PM
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I think Helen was on the right track when she suggested that colors took their names from nature. [thanks] WW, I have occasionally heard simply the word lemon used, or sometimes, "lemon-colored".
Speaking of cultural references, Alex, the sagebrush plant that grows out west is a grayish-green. So much so that I would not call it a true green.
I have to say, I take utter delight in the room I am sitting in. I wanted an "under water" look; the walls are a light mix of blue and green, and the carpet is a dark shade of the same. Neither is truly blue nor truly green, which fascinates me, besides the fact that to me they are beautiful. The carpet-store lady said there wasn't another shade like this one in the whole store. A white ceiling adds a welcome and placement-appropriate lightening effect, plus white curtains that I tell myself look billowy...


#78925 08/26/02 07:06 PM
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Hey, Jackie - your room sounds like my room, but mine is a bit more blue than green. The official paint colour name was Aegean Blue. My billowy curtains are green and purple, with sailboats on them. Impossible to be sad in this bright, cheery room. I LUV it!


#78926 08/26/02 08:20 PM
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Yes, blues and greens are very cool, comfortable colors.

studies show them to be calming colors.. and they have been used to excess.. hospitals and schools where, in the past painted bilgious shade of green, with the hope of creating a calm environment..

but with color, shades and tints are everything! One shade can be cool water, and another sea sick green!


#78927 08/26/02 09:46 PM
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In my family, we had a wool blanket that was a particularly hideous shade of green. My mother said it was a wedding gift. All us kids called it "monkey-puke green" and it became known as the monkey-puke blanket. That was the blanket we all reached for when running a fever. We didn't care what color it was, it was so good for sweating out the fever.


#78928 08/26/02 09:49 PM
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Consuelo, thank you so very, very much for adding MONKEY PUKE GREEN to our ever-expanding vocabularies. I plan on using monkey puke green in my opening comments when the kids return to school. I'm going to be a big hit this year--I just know it!

Beast regards,
WildWords


#78929 08/26/02 09:51 PM
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You're WWelcome


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WW, i have gone all the way back to your original post, because of something i read to day.. in the todays book review, (If not, Winter, by Anne Carson, about the poet Sappho) the reviewer quotes Alcaeus, who called Sappho, "violet haired, pure, honey smiling" and quotes a translation of Sappho using Sappho's phrase "rosey-fingered moon"
Silver moon, waxy moon, golden harvst moon, but "rosey-fingered moon"? rosey is not a color i would associate with the moon. and violet haired?

i often wonder about colors, and if things looked different in times past. i have read, in ancient times, one could see venus in the day time (just as we can see the moon in the sky in the daytime)

Pollution has given everything a yellow orange haze, and made many things harder to see, and duller. Has it also changed how we see certain colors? was the sea really wine dark, and did it look different? will "blue" mean something different in the future? will increased pollution make the sky not blue, but give it a yellow cast, and make it look a pale green? and thousand of years from now, will people wonder how could we have called the sky blue?

or did ancients, used to seeing natural colors, (even today, the sky is not the same color from sun up to sun down, but changes constantly in color, not just from night to day, but during the night and day!)- did they see (and by this i mean associciate in there mind) colors differently? where grapes (which take weeks to change from small hard green marbles to soft, dark purple grapes,) seen differently than the colors of the sky (which changes almost hourly)?

I watch the sea grass in the bay, and every day it is a different color-- the first rains of spring, and the first hard frost yeild dramatic color changes, but every day the grass is different. i could say the grass is green.. and while the is "correct" it also inadequate.


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