How to USE a Color Gamp


Now that you have woven a color gamp, what do you do with it?  It is a pretty piece of fabric…it looks great as a wall hanging, or as a throw in your favorite chair, and your grandbaby thinks it is to “drool” for.  But what else can you do with it? Our favorite reason for creating a color gamp is to use it to plan future projects. A perfect example of how we use our color gamps to plan a project is the Fiesta Shawl and Runner project that was featured in Handwoven May/June 2014.

Tubular Spectrum Plus Gamp Kit

As we mentioned before about how to arrange the colors, in a color gamp, every warp yarn interacts with every other yarn within a warp stripe.  And, every color crosses itself:  the pure colors are on the diagonal.  Therefore, you can look at how the colors interact with each other as groups on the color gamp, or you can isolate individual colors to see how just those two interact on a particular square of the color gamp.  To isolate color squares or areas of the gamp that you want to look at without the interference from other sections, use two L-shaped pieces of paper to isolate the squares, or you can use your hand with the thumbs extended in an L-shape.

Isolate colors with white L-shapes

We started off the design process on the Fiesta Shawl and Runner project with the premise that we wanted a purplish shawl and runner in 10/2 Tubular Spectrum mercerized cotton yarns and we wanted the shawl and runner to looks as different as possible from each other even though they would be made from the same warp. With that in mind, we pulled out our handy dandy gamp to make some color decisions.

Using white L-shapes to isolate the colors on the gamp, as shown on the left, we focused on the purplish area of the gamp, and made the first decision to narrow our color choices:  we wanted to stick to the red side of the purple spectrum rather than the blue side.  Now that we had a general feel for the fabrics, how to make the shawl and runner look different by using the same warp?  As you can see from the part of the gamp shown on the left, when you isolate the purple section, the top right corner looks very different from the bottom left corner.  We could use that difference to select the colors for the runner and shawl.  Using a purple yarn would make the shawl fabric look like the top right corner and a red yarn would make the runner fabric look like the bottom left corner.

10 Red
5 Red Purple
10 Purple

Then we looked at the individual squares on the gamp to decide which colors we liked as they interacted in the woven cloth.  We settled on 10 Red and 5 Red Purple as our main warp colors, with 5 Red Purple, 10 Purple and 5 Purple as the shawl weft colors, and 10 Red and 5 Red Purple as the runner weft colors.

5 Yellow Red

The final decision was to select the spice color to give our warp an extra zing.

We decided to use 5 Yellow Red because it showed up well with all the colors that we had selected, created a little bit of vibration with 5 Purple and would add just a bit of high value contrast to keep your eye moving around the fabric. We were happy with the results and were glad we had our Color Gamp to guide us.

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