attributes of color

Term of the Week: Attributes of Color

Hue, value, and chroma are the three attributes of color. Just as three dimensions are required to describe a room (length, width, and height), all three qualities are necessary to define a color. 

Hue is the name of the pure state of color. It is the quality by which we distinguish one color family from another. Hue is determined by wavelengths that strike the retina and cause the sensation of color. 

Value is the quality by which we determine the lightness or darkness of a color in relation to a scale that extends from absolute white to absolute black. Color values are called tints and shades. Black, white, and shades of gray are often not considered color choices. However, values are critical in the process of controlling the hues as well as creating complex color combinations. 

Chroma is the intensity or saturation of color—the strength of a color. A very bright cobalt blue and a soft French blue that are the same hue can be the same value but are very different in intensity or chroma. 

Image: Wikipedia

By understanding the attributes of color and how to blend threads (or inks)—while also studying how to create texture using the play of light created by dimensions, layers, or digitized stitches—there is no limit to the dynamic combinations decorators can work into their designs. 

Source: Helen Hart Momsen