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  1. #1
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    Scotweb design colors and accuracy?

    I have a question on the colors that the Scotweb tartan designer shows and their accuracy.

    My wife and I are designing a family tartan and I am certain we are going to register it once we're have something we like. We are using the Scotweb design software, which I find phenomenal, but how accurate are the colors that are shown on the computer screen to what the mills will produce? From what I read the colors can vary significantly from mill to mill. Or are these colors taken from a certain mill?

    Would the best way be to order a swatch of material from each mill and see what I like best? I can't imagine that it'd be cheap that way, though I'd rather spend a little more and make sure I have it right the first time.

    Gerald

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't be as concerned with the colours that the mills produce as I would be with the colours your monitor displays! If you have more than one computer in the house, you ought to be able to check your design on both and see a difference.

    Tartan thread counts recorded by the various tartan authorities aren't especially picky about colours - generally they'll only say blue, yellow, red, etc. (and will occasionally go so far as to specify that a colour should be darker or lighter). Varying shades of colour from one bolt of tartan to another are perfectly normal and acceptable.

    Of course, that's not to say that you can't prefer a certain shade to another! And if is this is the case, you can ask ScotWeb to send you a CAD printout and thread samples before they weave your custom tartan (you'll find it if you search for "CAD" using their site's search function). That way you can ensure the cloth is exactly how you want it, even if the design you registered isn't quite so specific.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_W View Post
    I have a question on the colors that the Scotweb tartan designer shows and their accuracy.

    My wife and I are designing a family tartan and I am certain we are going to register it once we're have something we like. We are using the Scotweb design software, which I find phenomenal, but how accurate are the colors that are shown on the computer screen to what the mills will produce? From what I read the colors can vary significantly from mill to mill. Or are these colors taken from a certain mill?

    Would the best way be to order a swatch of material from each mill and see what I like best? I can't imagine that it'd be cheap that way, though I'd rather spend a little more and make sure I have it right the first time.

    Gerald
    If you carefully read the Scotweb designer notes you'll find the following:

    The actual shades chosen for the Simple Palette have in fact been taken from the Weavers' Palette. So if you design a tartan you like with this palette and request us to weave it for you, the results should be reasonably accurate (bearing in mind the inevitable variation in a process like this).

    From the "Weaver's Colours" notes:

    Weaver's Colours

    Our Weaver's Palette is based on actual photographs of a range of around 100 pre-dyed yarns which are normally held in stock by our weavers. A large scale image of the actual yarn cone for each colour can be seen by clicking on the Enlarge link below each small image in the Palette.

    The yarns our weavers hold in stock are, almost by definition, the most common shades used for weaving traditional tartans, so should be suitable for most designs. However, for weaving orders (other than corporate commissions using the Professional Palette) we reserve the right to substitute an alternative within the same broad colour group (e.g. light greens) should the specific yarn chosen be unavailable for any reason.

    Please also see our notes on colour variations in tartans and other woven fabrics. You cannot assume that the colours you see on your screen will look exactly the same when woven, and differences can sometimes be great.


    If you REALLY need something to be EXACTLY a specific shade, I think your only option is to request samples of the woolen yarn material it will be woven from.
    artificer Pronunciation: \är-ˈti-fə-sər, ˈär-tə-fə-sər\ : noun : 14th century :a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman
    Artificer Custom Sporrans
    *Home of the Original Kenneth MacLeay Sporran Project & Functional Brass Cantles*

  4. #4
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    So why is the threadcount and colour code information on their site for registering your tartan so precise?

    Edited to add:

    I understand that they are using best methods for matching their colors, I guess I was just wondering if the precision of the threadcount and and colour code information really helped. Here's a scenario. Say I order many yards of my custom tartan that I register. Then years later I want some more and, for some reason, I can't order it through Scotweb, but I can still use the information from the register and go through a mill. Will it help for that information to be precise? Or am I at the mercy of the mill?
    Last edited by G_W; 17th October 10 at 08:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_W View Post
    So why is the threadcount and colour code information on their site for registering your tartan so precise?
    Thread count should be precise. Colours can vary by mill, monitor, and batch to batch.
    artificer Pronunciation: \är-ˈti-fə-sər, ˈär-tə-fə-sər\ : noun : 14th century :a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman
    Artificer Custom Sporrans
    *Home of the Original Kenneth MacLeay Sporran Project & Functional Brass Cantles*

  6. #6
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    I understand the numbers should be precise, I was just curious after looking at a few registered tartans and the colour codes are a lot simpler.

  7. #7
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    My tuppence, though probably not even worth that :P

    I'd wager that the traditional registered tartans are going to be using the "simple" colour scheme available on Scotweb's designer. They'll be generic colours like "red", "green", and "blue". They're also likely to be the most broadly interpretted by different mills.

    You can get broader colours by going to the weavers' palette, which has the common colours the weaver Scotweb uses has on hand. You'll get more complicated colours available, but they may be specific to that mill... in other words if for some reason you have to use a different mill, you may wind up with widely varying colours. I'd guess a different mill would revert these weavers' colours back to simple colours and use what they have available.

    If you're really concerned about exacting shades, you can use their Pro option, which lets you set the pantones for the colours. It costs more, but instead of names that are open to interpretation you have actual RGB colour designations. You're more likely to get (almost) exactly the same shade every time, regardless of when or which mill is chosen. But your yarn would pretty much have to be custom dyed for you each and every time.
    elim

  8. #8
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    I would encourage you to get a swatch.
    We ordered a sash for my wife from Scotweb, and assumed it would match her kilted skirt. The sash arrived ahead of schedule, and is very well made, and quite lovely. But, alas, it does not match her kilted skirt. Best to take the time to get a swatch first.
    Mark Stephenson
    Region 5 Commissioner (OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, KY), Clan MacTavish USA
    Cincinnati, OH
    [I]Be alert - the world needs more lerts[/I]

  9. #9
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    Here is what the Scottish Register of Tartans has to say about colors. You can specify an exact shade, which they will try to reproduce in their tartan graphics; however, it's not something that will show up in the threadcount. In the threadcount, the best that you can specify is "light", "dark", or whatever.

    What you would get from the mill, however, is a different matter. As the SRT notes, weavers have to work with threads in the colors available to them. The reason the Scotweb tartan designer has the weaver's colors is, presumably, because those are the colors their weavers use. I imagine if you ordered material from Scotweb, they would use your colors. Other weavers not associated with Scotweb may also be able to use those colors if you specified them by name, assuming they buy their thread from the same supplier, and assuming they have the same colors in stock.

    However, while you can see the colors—even actual images of the spools of thread—on your monitor, what your monitor displays may be different from the actual colors. It may just be best to order swatches from the different mills to see what their colors are like. You would probably have to order swatches in a tartan that uses the same colors as the one you are designing. As a rule, weavers will require an order of at least one yard (or four, or thirty) for a custom weave. Getting a swatch in a custom tartan is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. And getting a swatch from a weaver that only does custom weaves may be a bit difficult. I suspect Scotweb only offers swatches from the major tartan mills, but I could be wrong about that.

    There's another caveat. If you go the Scotweb route and one of your colors is not available for some reason, they reserve the right to substitute a different shade of the same color for the weave. I don't know what policies other weavers have, but there's probably no escaping the fact that getting a tartan custom woven entails a certain amount of risk. I'd advise using the colors most likely to be in stock, but I don't know what colors Scotweb's weavers use. I would imagine they keep the standard colors well-stocked but, given that the registered tartans use the pro color palette instead of the weaver's color palette, I don't really know what the standard colors would be.

  10. #10
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    Scotweb Copyright

    I have heard, but can find no verification, that if you use the Scotweb Tartan Designer, that the sett is registered with them via a cookie and when you register it with the Scottish Register of Tartans, they will claim copyright.

    This means that they reserve the right to weave the tartan. If you look at the restrictions remarks on Cornish Countryside you will see the added remarks of the designer Michael A. Rouse.

    Does anyone know if this is so?

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