Archroma, a global leader in colour and specialty chemicals, announced today that its Archroma Colour Management service business has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and its Textile Development and Marketing Department to create the first Archroma Colour Center. The Archroma Colour Center @FIT is a facility where FIT students can utilize leading-edge industry colour management tools for their design projects, gaining hands-on expertise that equips them for successful careers in the fashion and textiles industries.

FIT students designed the space under the direction of Sean Cormier, an associate professor at the college’s Textile Development and Marketing program. Key components for the room were donated by Archroma.

The Archroma Colour Center @FIT includes a large-scale color reference that recreates the 4,320 hue Colour Atlas by Archroma® as a wall-hung, flip-through display. A complete six-set Colour Atlas – featuring an easy-to-use system of detachable fabric swatches – has also been donated to the lab, which students use to select hues for their design projects. Colours from the physical Colour Atlas library are easily found using the cutting edge online Colour Search tool. A set of colour design tools representing each shade in Colour Atlas has also been donated for students to incorporate into their individual class presentations.

Students use the Colour Atlas as a guide in developing colour stories for various projects that are done in the FIT textile program, including a ‘colour pitching’ assignment where they must create two new colorways, one warm and one cool, for a chosen print. Students are also asked to use the library to research colours, then they dye sample fabrics and matching trim materials. The students also use the on-line colour matching system, visiting retail stores where they spot trends and capture colour info on their phones. Students have asked to use colour chips from the Center for projects they have in other classes, like product development, or for developing mood boards for vocational club presentations.

“It’s key that FIT students not only graduate with the theoretical knowledge about how our industry works, but that they are exposed to the most advanced design libraries, tools, software and equipment,” says Sean Cormier. “With Archroma’s generous donation of materials, our students are actually using and becoming familiar with a modern colour selection system that they will encounter when they walk into the marketplace after graduation.”

“We’re giving the students a realistic environment to learn in,” says Brad McClanahan, Global Head of Service Businesses at Archroma. “These are the same tools that they will use in industry, assembling color palettes for seasonal design presentations and production specifications. We want the next generation of industry professionals to have hands-on experience with the next generation of tools.”