Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Capturing the true color of things...and new HDT!

Not all computer monitors are equal. When it comes to displaying color, three different monitors can display three different shades of the same color.

This has always been the challenge with capturing the true colorways of my hand dyed threads.

Fortunately so many of my customers have reported that their threads are even prettier in person.

However recently I had one customer who reported that the thread she received was very different than what her computer showed...and the way she described what she thought she was getting was very different from the original. It was clearly a case of a bad monitor or improper settings. Anyhow, in the end I helped make this customer happy.

But all this got me to thinking how important it is to do the very best that I can when photographing. Of course I will never have control over other people's computer monitors but I can at least do my best from my end.

I've tried all kinds of things. Scanning (usually bleaches out the object), photographing in sunlight, shade, under photography lamps....you see where I am going with this right? ....and on top of all that some colors really trick your digital cameras, for example, shades of red and purple in particular.

Well, I am not saying I solved this problem but I do think I have achieved at least a big step forward.

I don't know why I didn't think of it before....anyways, I decided to photograph the threads under my OttLite (which I love BTW) and I am very please with the results.

It's the truest representation to date....o.k. I'll shut up now and just show you.

This picture makes me very happy because (on my monitor) it not only matches my thread exactly but it also shows the fine quality of the thread. Is this silk or is this cotton? It sure is shiny right?

I think this is the first time a picture I have taken has shown the true sheen of my hand dyed Hakelgarn 6 cord threads (my personal favorite). So to answer the question...it is indeed cotton.

..and this leads right into the question of quality. To caveat this I have to admit I have become a total thread snob so what I write here on out is not meant to put anyone or any other thread down, it is meant to educate. Just like monitors, not all threads are created equal.

I started tatting with the two and three cord threads and for most of my tatting life those are what I used...I mean that is what is sold at craft stores and they are fairly cheap (for good reason).

I was very content with those threads because I didn't know any better. Then thanks to YarnPlayer, I was introduced to her hand dyed threads and she uses 6-cord threads to boot...so I was just astounded the first time I tatted with it.

I think hand dyeing improves the strength and feel of any thread but it truly does justice to the 6 cord thread.

If a tatting pattern is designed well and you use a 6 cord thread you rarely (in my case NEVER) have to block your piece. That is how strong and sturdy these threads tat up. I always describe them and tiny shiny little ropes. Besides, we all know how much time goes into tatting so why not use the very best thread to start with?

So if you have never tatted with a 6 cord thread I highly encourage you to try, but beware you might become a thread snob too! Next time you buy thread be sure to know what you are buying. Handy Hands top end threads are 6 cord for example. ...and of course all my hand dyed cotton threads are 6-cord.

If you are a winner in one of my weekly giveaways, you are likely to get one of the very threads I have been speaking of.

....and if not, you can always check out my Etsy Shop...LOL!

BTW the thread on this post is called Vinyard and is newly listed.

...oh and thank you thank you OttLite!


Ridgetatter said...

I have never found the colors represented in the Etsy and on your blog to be much in difference from what I receive; look the same when they arrive in person. Also, buyers should allow for differences in lot dyes, which is why I always buy a minimum of two skeins as the budget allows. My monitors both DELL and MAC represent the colors well.

I admit to bias as I'm addicted to HDT and even if I don't budget for buying; I always end up buying what I want. Especially, the silk. YUM

XX Bev

Krystle said...

Oooh I love the color!

I just got a new monitor, so I'm not yet sure about the color representation, but previous orders have always been well represented.

I personally think that there is some sort of magic in HDT. Maybe it's the extra love that makes it so beautiful!

Gina said...

The best advice I got early on in my tatting was to buy good thread. Like you, I didn't even know there was something besides the cotton thread you could find cheaply in Kmart and Walmart. The 1st time I tatted with a 6 cord thread, I could immediately tell the difference. It was like my tatting improved 100%! I do have a lot of DMC Cebelia because ...it came in colors and hardly anything else did at that time. Manuela had just come out. Handy Hands did have 6 cord thread but colors were limited. We are so very fortunate these days to have so many choices, even if we do have to order online the majority of the time.

I wouldn't expect your threads to match exactly what is on my monitor but what I've gotten was pleasing and I didn't even check to see if there was a difference. I have seen some monitors show a distinct difference though. In fact, I was doing an ergonomic assessment last week and 2 monitors have become very common on campus. It's just so much easier to move things from one monitor to another instead of opening a gazillion windows. Anyway, I noticed this one client's 2 monitors both had the same photo of her children on the desktops and one was quite muted while the other was more "brilliant". They were by the same company but different models.

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

I have a Mac, and the colors have always looked exactly like the real deal... I've never been disappointed! The new colorway is gorgeous!

Tattycat said...

That truly is the most beautiful thread picture I have ever seen. You have done a wonderful job. I love that thread too. Guess I better check out your shop!

Imoshen said...

The threads are pretty. Hording, *cough*saving*cough* to splurge on your threads. ^_^

TattingChic said...

It seems like the colors I've received from you are much more vibrant than what my monitor shows...hey that works for me! :)

You latest colorway is lovely! :)

~TattingChic ♥

umintsuru said...

Thank you for this post. It was really helpful. I love your threads.

Valerie said...

i didn't have a problem with the colours shown on the monitor vs the real thread. love your HDTs all the same.

pretty new colour!

Marty said...

Great picture! That thread looks good enough to eat. I've got to start using my hand-dyed threads instead of being a miser with them. I take them out and look at them then put them away thinking the perfect project is somewhere on the horizon. *sigh* You're so right about the 6 cord threads, too. I use a lot of Cebelia, because it was what I could find locally. I'm hoping to use it all up one day!

Tatskool said...

That was a great post. 6 cord thread is must, the difference is beyond belief. Your threads have always looked the right colour to me.

Isdihara said...

Well! Never have I been so pleased to embrace snobbery. Ha ha!

I only discovered HDTs a few months ago, but everything you've said has proved true to my own experience.

Salut to Vinyard! It is a very fine colorway. Ooh, I need some to "christen" the launch of Tattered Wine Wednesdays. (see my blog for details)

Imagining a wine glass filled to the brim with these luscious skeins... :-D

cnuland said...

Those are beautiful colors!

Clyde said...

Mojo looks like he is fitting in very well.It is great that you are going to do some training with him as they love the challenge and it is nice when they go poo before leaving the cage and not on you. I know that is what we try and teach our birds to do. Now for HDT's. Yes there is nothing like them for tatting thread and I don't think that makes me a snob, it is just I like to use the best. You are so right that the hand dyeing improves the quality of the thread the problem I have now is that HDT is the only kind of thread I can tat with when I try to use anyother kind it just does not feel right and I am never happy with the results. Oh well I am just a HDT addict.

tattrldy said...

Love the new colorway! Gorgeous colors! I, too, have discovered taking pictures with my Ottlite - just recently - and wondered why it took me so long to think of it. It sure makes the end results much better! Your post had a lot of good info in it, thanks!