A secret of colours

dip-dyeing studio 1

The paint I bought at Home Depot was made in this way: I chose a colour from their color sample. A store assistant put the colour number into their computer. A machine connected to the computer extracted three primary colours in the right ratio. Ten minutes later I could left the store with the paint; the machine can make the same colour anytime always.

Two years ago in Tokyo I visited kimono fabric dyeing artisans who dyes colours everyday for more than 50 years. The artisans mixed colour with thier eyes and feel. While I was in their studio one of the artisans was dip-dyeing silk in pale salmon pink. He scooped and added red and yellow dyes into dye-pot and matching the pink of the silk fabric with the salmon pink of the color sample received from a client. Every time he picked up the silk from the dye-pot he added a bit of red or yellow dye. He repeated this several times and immediately stopped. The finished silk looked exactly the same colour as the sample. The artisan said to me: “I never aim to dye in the same colour as the sample because it is impossible. If I try to make the same colour I will lose the moment to stop dyeing. When I see the closest colour I finish right away.”

Machine at Home Depot never tell me such an interesting thing about colours.


dip-dyeing studio 3

dip-dyeing studio 2
dip-dyeing 4



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