Archroma's EarthColors natural dye denim.

Archroma, a color and specialty chemical company based in Switzerland, said today that its Archroma Color Management service business partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology and its Textile Development and Marketing Department to create the “Archroma Color Center @FIT.”

The facility enables students to employ Archroma’s color management tools for textile design projects and facilitates further training and preparation for careers in the fashion and textile industries. Archroma donated various “key components” throughout the space, which was designed by FIT students under the direction of Sean Cormier, an associate professor at the college’s Textile Development and Marketing program, the company said. Donations included a complete six-set Color Atlas that showcases detachable fabric swatches for students’ use when selecting colors for projects.

The Archroma Color Center @FIT features a large-scale, wall-hung, flip-through display that re-creates the Color Atlas by Archroma, a sizable library featuring 4,320 hues. Colors can also be located via its Color Search tool, an online version of the physical Color Atlas library. More specifically, students refer to the Color Atlas when developing “color stories” for projects in the FIT textile program, which involves a “color pitching” assignment that challenges students to create two new “colorways,” one warm-toned and one cool-toned, for a selected print.

Its Color Atlas library is also commissioned for researching colors that inspire hues for dyeing sample fabrics and matching trim materials, according to the firm. Students have utilized the Center’s on-line color matching system, visited retail stores to spot textile trends, and captured color information on their phones, the company said. And students use color chips from the Center when developing mood boards or product development courses.

Cormier said that “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. With Archroma’s generous donation of materials, our students are actually using and becoming familiar with a modern color selection system that they will encounter when they walk into the marketplace after graduation.”

And Brad McClanahan, the global head of service businesses at Archroma, said that “We’re giving the students a realistic environment to learn in,” and that “[Archroma’s tools] 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.”

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