Archroma, a global leader in colour and speciality chemicals, announced recently that its Archroma Color Management service business has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and its Textile Development and Marketing Department to create the first Archroma Color Center. The Archroma Color Center @FIT is a facility where FIT students can utilise 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 programme. Key components for the room were donated by Archroma. The Archroma Color Center @FIT includes a large-scale color reference that recreates the 4,320 hue Color Atlas by Archroma® as a wall-hung, flip-through display. A complete six-set Color 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. Colors from the physical Color Atlas library are easily found using the cutting edge online Color Search tool. A set of color design tools representing each shade in Color Atlas has also been donated for students to incorporate into their individual class presentations.

Students use the Color Atlas as a guide in developing colour stories for various projects that are done in the FIT textile programme, including a ‘color 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 colour 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.”