WeaveMaker User's Manual — Creating Color
Color Overview
Bringing colors into a fabric is a two-step process in WeaveMaker.

Step 1 (Palette)
Colors are created, named, and edited (matched) in a Palette file, a type of WeaveMaker file devoted exclusively to color. Once defined in a palette, a color may be conveniently used in many different fabrics.

Step 2 (Colorway)
To use color in a fabric, the desired colors are dragged from a palette file into the fabric’s colorway window (see
“Color Dragging” for more about this). From the colorway, colors are assigned to individual threads in the warp and weft either manually (using the color crayon) or automatically (using the cornucopia tool).

The Challenge of Color
Achieving a precise color match between the computer screen and the printed page is difficult. Matching both the screen and printed color to a yarn sample is especially challenging.

WeaveMaker’s approach to color makes this process manageable and effective, although it does not make it trivial.

For professional results with a minimum of effort, carefully construct a color palette before putting colors into a fabric. Scattering ill-defined colors (ones which are not correctly screen/print matched, or which are unnamed) through a library of fabrics creates a difficult color management challenge, and will inevitable lead to errors which, if they reach to the mill, will have disastrous consequences.

It is especially important to assign meaningful names to your colors. WeaveMaker tracks colors by the names you give them, and by the names of the palette files in which they are stored. If you thoughtfully assign color names, then any color you see in a fabric can be easily and reliably traced back to a color chip within a palette.

A WeaveMaker palette is a color database in which you can create, name, match, and save colors. A palette is quite separate from and independent of any fabric you design. Colors you define in a palette will probably wind up being used in many different fabrics. Colors defined in a palette become associated with a specific fabric when they are moved into that fabric’s colorway window (see “Color Dragging” for details).

A color definition consists of several kinds of information:

For example, if you have some colors which are to be used for wall coverings and others to be used on the floor, you could group code all the wall colors as “W” and all the floor colors as “F.” This still leaves the second and third group codes available for some other use. You might therefore use the second group code to tag all reds as “R” and all blues as “B.” You might then use the group three codes as, for example, “C” for cool colors and “W” for warm colors.

WeaveMaker uses these codes to group and sort colors, which can help you quickly locate the right color within a palette. So, you could ask to see all the colors which are for use on walls, or all the reds, or all the warm colors. You may define as many palettes as you wish. Any two palettes can be simultaneously available (display on screen) within WeaveMaker. A given fabric can draw its colors from as many different palettes as necessary.

Once you define a color, WeaveMaker keeps its description intact wherever you use it. This means in particular that the printer color codes are always kept associated with their corresponding screen color. Thus, careful construction and calibration of colors within a palette will pay off when it comes time to print fabric samples.

Creating a Palette
A palette is displayed and edited in a Palette window (see illustration below). Select New Palette in the File menu to start defining a new palette.

A new palette window will be displayed. It contains two permanent colors, black and white. These colors will always be the first two colors in the palette.

To define a new color, click the word “Add” at the bottom of the palette window. A window appears that allows you to assign attributes to your new color.

Click on "color wheel" and the Color Picker window will be displayed (similar to the illustration below).

The Color Picker has a color box that displays hue and saturation simultaneously. The scrollbar at the right controls the brightness (value) of the entire box.

Click in the color box and move the mouse around while holding down the mouse button. Notice that the color in the rectangle just below the box changes continually to show you the color you are defining. Move the brightness slider down to add black to the color (decrease brightness) or towards the top to remove black.

If you know a specific set of “color numbers” for the color you wish to define, type them directly into the HSL (hue/saturation/ lumens) or RGB (red/green/ blue) text fields.

Once you have defined the exact color you want, click the OK button. The Color Picker window disappears, and WeaveMaker adds the new color to the palette.

You can immediately use this new color in a fabric. However, your new color is not yet completely defined. It is only a screen color: it lacks a name, a description, and it has not yet been color matched to your printer. Some suggestions: