Folks write us sometimes to ask about colour matching. “Do these tights match those socks?” “Is this really that bright?!” Even though we do our best to accurately represent the real-life colours of our socks, everybody’s monitors are different, lighting situations are different, it’s frustrating. So what I thought might be fun is to look at how a colour is represented across brands and fibers, to share the similarities and differences.
I hope to make this a regular thing, not only because it makes my desk look exciting, but because colours are fun! We’re starting with purple, because it is kind of one of our theme colours here.
There’s lots of ways to approach this, but this time around, let’s focus on each brand’s interpretation of “purple” (and variants) across the different fibers they use (and within the fibers they use!). Because different fibers dye differently (as you may have learned in your own experiments). Now, I'm not trying to define purple or argue for why that sort-of-more-maroon shade is called "Plum." We tend to go by what a supplier or brand calls a colour, so I'm taking some things at face value. If you want some poem-like lists of names for shades of purple, both Wikipedia and the Color Sorting Wiki are kind of amazing resources. I've done my best to accurately represent these hues in relation to each other, so you can gather a good idea of what matches and what doesn't.
First, let's look at a quick visual of representative and key purples for each brand. I'm focusing on styles that are solid purple (or plum, or violet!) because, more often than not, a brand will use their purple yarns across styles. If they have a big ol' spool of plum wool on hand, they're going to use it for stripes and solids! So this is not all the purples.
DreaM Stockings & Dreamer Socks
Our house brands have great purples, but most of the time the hue runs to plum.
They have a pretty great representation of purple, across a couple of shades!
They've got some very basic purples, in both nylon and cotton.
It's no surprise that B.Ella offers a rich array of the hue, tending more often than not to plum.
They've also got some lovely purples, including their signature "Inky Violet"!
They don't have a lot of solid shades of purple, but they are a great example of how vibrant the hue can be when used in nylon styles. Put on your sunglasses!
Glorious! This is going to get a bit long and full of pictures, so join me after the jump for more purple and more info!
Overall, “Plum” means a darker, richer shade of Purple. The Plum shades a little differently between Dreamer Socks and Dream Stockings, but it is pretty dang close to the same, as you can see on the left of the image below. But Plum as represented by Foot Traffic Opaque Trouser Socks and B.Ella’s Bess Cashmere Slouch Rib Knee Socks are a different beast all together from the Dream Stockings Plum, as shown on the right.
But different suppliers, of course their idea of Plum is different, right? Well, Tabbisocks has a bit of variation in what they call straight up "Purple", as does Leg Avenue. The fiber contents aren’t so different you’d expect this much of a dye batch difference, but there it is!
Interestingly, Tabbisocks’ Harajuku Scrunchy Socks in Purple are a pretty great match for their Color Tights in Grape. And Tabbisocks is also pretty good about matching their lighter purples, like with these Harajuku Scrunchy Socks in Lavender to the Harajuku Arm Warmers in Violet.
Two brands that are pretty solid about keeping their colours the same across a name are Foot Traffic and B.Ella. Sure, Foot Traffic’s Signature Cotton Tights aren’t the same purple as their Solid Opaque Thigh Highs and Diamond Jester Trouser Socks (shown on the left), but they’re not at all the same fiber! And B.Ella not only has the most fabulous colours, they also use the same yarns a lot across styles. So the deep purple in the Eggplant Marled Liza Knee High is the same yarn as is used in the Eggplant Gregorio Boot Sock (shown on the right)! Not Plum, not Purple, straight up Eggplant. Or Aubergine, if you want to be fancy/French.
Oh dang, this is getting long. I guess you’ll have to wait for next week to see what styles from different brands have purples that match! And remember, probably our favourite sock question is "do these two styles match in colour?" So drop us a line if you have any questions! And, Rosalind insists I also mention that we LOVE cosplayers who send us swatches so we can help them find the perfect match to whatever fabric they're using.