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Basic Concepts of Color on Dress

Basic Concepts of Color on Dress

Lopa Ajrin Mitu
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh


Color is the most important elements in fashion designing. Dress design is incomplete without color. Choosing colors is fun. But there is more to choosing an effective color scheme and simply picking the colors that appeal to you just as there is more to being a connoisseur of fine art than knowing what you like. Basic concepts of color measurement are most essential to know the use of color in our daily life. It is impossible to imagine a life without color on dress.

Color concepts on dress
Color concepts on dress

Definition of Color:

Color is the byproduct of the spectrum of light, as it is reflected or absorbed, as received by the human eye and processed by the human brain.

Types of color:

  1. Primary Colors
  2. Secondary Colors
  3. Tertiary colors

1. Primary Colors:

There are three Primary colors: RED, BLUE and YELLOW. Primary colors cannot be created by mixing other colors.

Primary Colors
Primary Colors

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually two types of primary colors –

i. Subtractive color
ii. Additive color

i. Subtractive color:

Subtractive colors are colors that are used in conjunction with reflected light. In this case the subtractive colors are blue, red and yellow, (cyan, magenta and yellow where printing and coatings are concerned).
If all three of the subtractive primary colors were combined together, they would produce black.

Subtractive color
Subtractive color

Some examples where subtractive primary colors are used-

  • Textiles
  • Clothes
  • Furnishings
  • Printing
  • Paints
  • Colored coatings

ii. Additive color:

These are the colors that are obtained by emitted light. The additive primary colors are red, green and blue. If all three of the additive colors were combined together in the form of light, they would produce white.

Additive color
Additive color

Some examples where additive primary colors are used-

  • Television
  • Theatrical lighting
  • Computer monitors

2. Secondary Colors:

A color created by mixing two primary colors is called a secondary color. Secondary colors can only be created by mixing true primary colors. There are three types of secondary color. These are

Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
Yellow + Blue = Green

Orange, Purple and Green are secondary color when primary color is intermixed with secondary color.

Secondary Colors
Secondary Colors

3. Tertiary colors:

Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors. There are six tertiary colors;

Red + orange = Red orange
Yellow + orange = Yellow orange
Yellow + green = Yellow green
Blue + green = Blue green
Blue + violet = Blue violet
Red + violet = Red-violet

Tertiary colors
Tertiary colors



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