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Mar 15

Carding for Color Part II: Fiber is Not Paint

by Deb Gerish

Once you understand the basics of color theory, you have a lot more control over fiber colors. In Part 1, we explored hue, value, and saturation using paint colors and dyed fiber braids. Now we can start blending fibers for our own color designs.

Tools and Materials

  • Schacht hand carders—I strongly recommend using hand carders because we’re making very small batches of colors. I used Mini Curved Carders (72 psi).
  • Fiber: half an ounce each of white, black, and at least one pair of complementary colors (blue and orange, red and green, or yellow and purple). I used red and green for my complementary pair.
  • Other fiber colors if you have them. I had blue and yellow in my stash.

Before we start blending, let’s discuss one more color theory term: optical mixing. It refers to the way human eyes and brains process colors that sit right next to each other. We visually blend the colors to create a new one. And it happens all the time—for instance, when we look at a page printed in full color. Printing equipment uses dots of four ink colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create every color you can imagine.

Download the PDF for the complete tutorial