Rick Kennerly rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM
Thu May 2 09:41:38 UTC 2002

: I can remember hearing this word used by speakers on fashion matters 20 or
:so years ago when I was still occasionally weaving fabrics for
:clothes.  I think it is the only context in which I have ever run
:across it.

Although the term has been hijacked to include almost any designer color
unique to a product line or manufacturer from lighting fixtures to hanging
blinds to bathroom fixtures, colorway has it's origins in the weaving world
where it refers to a unique, repeatable system of laying out colored threads
or yarns to form a distinctive, repeatable pattern.  Think tweed or plaid,
not tapestry.  In olden days, colorways often identified individual weavers,
clans, or regions of a country.  Later, distinctive printed patterns on
cloth became known as colorways as well.  So says the wife, who has a degree
in textiles.

Rick Kennerly

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