One of the things we know our customers love about Naturally Soft Merino and Naturally Soft Aran ranges are the vibrant colours. Every now and again we like to shake things up a bit by adding new limited edition shades. We love how adding only a few colours to the range can refresh the entire palette and lead to completely new colour combinations in our pattern collections. This season, our stunning new shades Denim, Coral, Lemon Twist and Raisin are providing a whole new range of inspiration for our knitters and we hope they will inspire you also to try some completely new colourways.
We always want the colours we create to really reflect what MillaMia stands for; modern design influenced by our Swedish roots. We’ve gotten some lovely compliments on our shades in the past and so thought we would share the process that goes into creating every single one of our colours.
All of our colours start their journey on the drawing board. Our colour palettes often come from inspirations we have picked up in Sweden - bright shades that remind us of long summer days, or more muted tones reminiscent of cosy winter nights by the fire. Inspiration for a specific colour is often organic - Helena might see a painting she likes, a flower in a bouquet, an accent colour on an item in a magazine. You are never quite sure where she will find the perfect shade of blue, pink or green….. Depending on our inspirations and the tone we want to set with the palette, the first decision that needs to be made is how many colours are going to be added and how many of each colour family, so how many blues, reds, greys, greens etc. will exist in the range. While we like to start our process with a rough framework of the colour families we want to include, this often changes as we get closer to deciding on our final colours.
The Pantone book then plays a crucial part of this process as we literally choose first colour schemes from it, using the colour chips to create shortlists of shades within each colour family - often seeking to match a small fragment or picture Helena has provided as her original inspiration. Then we start playing around with the colour chips to find colours that complement each other well and will work together in our patterns. Even the smallest gradient differences in a shade can determine whether the shade will fit into the range or not, so this step is crucial in making sure we create a coherent range of colours that will bring out our collections in the best possible way.
Only then can the lengthy process of turning these colours into yarn begin. First off, our colour selections are sent to the mill who begin mixing their dyes to match our colour chips as closely as possible. The mill will then test these colours on small portions of our yarn to see how the fibres take on the colour - this is called a lab dip. Lab dips are what we essentially base our final decisions on, as often the original Pantone colour we picked can come out looking completely differently when applied to our fibres. The mill will send the initial lab dips back to us and we will liaise with them closely on any alterations that need to be made to the dye so that the yarn ends up fulfilling our exact specifications. The mill will send new lab dips every time a change needs to be made, and often times we’ll do multiple lab dips before we finally achieve the colour we want. We are perfectionists after all! Once we are happy with the lab-dips, we sign off on them, and off they go into production to create those lovely coloured yarns that inspire our knitters every day.
Speaking of colour inspiration - we’re really excited to share some big news with all of our knitters and followers this month. Both the Naturally Soft Merino and the Naturally Soft Aran ranges are growing, with about 15 shades being added to each range! They have been a long time coming and we really can’t wait to finally share them with you. In the mean-time, enjoy this little sneak peek of what’s coming soon - can you guess their names?