One of the major priorities for any carpet or rug manufacturer is to keep fully up to date with colour selections for new range development. Chromatone is the ‘premier’ international colour reference system produced and specifically for use by the carpet trade using a format familiar to all the industry people, that of an end on dyed yarn or better described as a yarn pom.
Since it’s introduction in 1988, Chromatone has proved its worth many times over and now provides an excellent colour bank of over 2,000 poms, each one identified with its own 6 digit number. This enables colours to be classified and be communicated to anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently. Each Pom produces an objective description of one unique colour and taking into account the intermediate numerical spaces, allows the theoretical specification of almost half a million colours.
Chromatone Carpet Color details the ‘premier’ colour system which, because of the pom format of presentation, shows mobile ‘end-on’ yarn colour and therefore its response to differing directions of light source. ‘End-on’ yarn colour, as seen by the consumer in carpeting and other pile fabrics, is deeper and richer than the same yarn in flat or woven form.
Equally, no other colour system (except one other for cotton), satisfactorily provides a reference standard for other forms of textured textiles. Chromatone is relevant to each of these sectors. Other internationally recognised colour selection systems are based on print colour or paint chips – ideal for print, wallcoverings or paint, but too flat and even to be relevant to the depth of yarn and fibre colour.
The unique 6-digit numbering system allows a common international language of colour communication, not only within the textile industry, but between the industry, its clients, its consumers and its suppliers. The Chromatone colour system is based on three primary colours: red, yellow and blue, from which all intermediate colours derive, in order to give an evenly graded full colour spectrum.
The Chromatone reference system (the Atlas) comprises 1080 yarn colours divided systematically into 45 shades of 24 basic hues. All colours have three properties: Hue (Colour), Value (lightness/darkness) and Chroma (intensity of saturation).
Chromatone assigns numerical values to these three properties in the 6 digit numerical system:
32 = Hue (colour)
70 = Value (degree of lightness/darkness)
50 = Chroma (intensity of colour saturation)
Chromatone have deliberately left numerical ‘gaps of 3 between each hue (i.e. 04/08/12 etc.) and 9 between each intermediate point (i.e. 10/20/30 to 90), allowing the theoretical specification of over 472,000 colours.
In practice such fine graduations would be undetectable by the human eye: 1080, provide a truly comprehensive selection for industry use. Chromatone colours can therefore be specified numerically, but also measured by electronic instrumentation – the most commonly used are spectrophotometers and colorimeters. Chromatone yarn poms are specially designed so that when used with Standard Testing Sleeves, they fit the small aperture of systems such as Datacolour, giving a standard density of colour which produces LRVs (Light Reflectance Values). Thus Chromatone provides an international colour standard, one which is not subject to individual perceptions and interpretations which can vary wildly – some persons favour either the red or blue parts of the spectrum and the same persons perception can vary according to age or even eye fatigue. By the same token, colours can vary considerably when seen under different light sources – this is known as ‘metamerism’ and the most common standards are daylight, tungsten, and in the UK: TL 84 (Marks & Spencer) and TL83 (BHS).
Metamerism is extremely costly to all colour related textile industries, but Chromatone can provide a flying start for a non-metameric match and eliminate the need for lengthly and expensive trial matching and submissions. Note: Matching should be carried out under identical light sources, preferably daylight, and lab dyeings should be split-accepted by clients prior to bulk production. By using colour measurement, principal manufacturers of textile dyestuffs now fully co-operate with the Chromatone system to provide a service of CRP (Colour Recipe Prediction) to customers worldwide, thus eliminating most of the hit-and-miss preliminary work of lab matching.

The full Chromatone System comprises:-

Title of Collection Number of Colours
Atlas Colours 1080
Additional Atlas Colours

Intermediate Colours
Glacial Colours

Neutral Strip
Evergreen Chromatone
Chromatone Treasure Chest
The Carbon Collection
Treasure Chest
Contemporary Style



Patents and Trade Marks are registered for Chromatone in all major textile producing countries.