Pearsalls Color Chart

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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by ForumGhillie » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:10 pm

I am curious, isn't there an actual Pearsall's color reference chart? I thought I saw one once in a book, but I am not sure.

Or maybe I was thinking of this one...
pearsalls_color_chart.pdf
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John
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by daringduffer » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:34 pm

I keep that collection of 24 wooden spools, that Mikael Modig photographed for me, in a clear acrylic box for reference together with a Pearsalls reference chart just like the one John Shaner showed. Number 15 maroon is a much more interesting shade than comes through in the photos. It is very difficult to photograph all colours at the same time because they need different lighting to show their best. In the photo of my spools, the first four look washed out compared to how they look in real life.

I'm down to no more than about sixty spools by now, maybe even less...

dd
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Theroe
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by Theroe » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:16 am

Great, great photo- thank you John. I love the footnote on the left card : “larger spools may be wound to order”....... Who would’ve known ?????
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by Greenwell » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 am

WiFlyfisher wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:10 pm
I am curious, isn't there an actual Pearsall's color reference chart? I thought I saw one once in a book, but I am not sure.

Or maybe I was thinking of this one... pearsalls_color_chart.pdf

John
John,

Yes, the Silk Color Chart appears in Edmond and Lee's Brook and River Trouting. but curiously they omit colors # 19 & 20. The Pearsalls Chart is reproduced in Rob Smith's book as well and probably in a couple others that I can't call to mind at the moment.
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by joaniebo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:04 am

Greenwell wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:35 am
WiFlyfisher wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:10 pm
I am curious, isn't there an actual Pearsall's color reference chart? I thought I saw one once in a book, but I am not sure.

Or maybe I was thinking of this one... pearsalls_color_chart.pdf

John
John,

Yes, the Silk Color Chart appears in Edmond and Lee's Brook and River Trouting. but curiously they omit colors # 19 & 20. The Pearsalls Chart is reproduced in Rob Smith's book as well and probably in a couple others that I can't call to mind at the moment.
I might be mistaken but I believe the Pearsall #19 (Hot Orange) and #20 (Light Olive) are relatively newer Pearsall colors are may not have been around when the above mentioned color chart was made.

For years, I used to buy my Pearsall silks and flosses directly from Alec Jackson, who was the North American importer of the Pearall silks, and I do remember Alec telling me that he had Pearsall so a few new colors several years back.....not the Hot Orange but possibly the Light Olive or the Golden / Yellow silk.
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by Greenwell » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:38 pm

"I might be mistaken but I believe the Pearsall #19 (Hot Orange) and #20 (Light Olive) are relatively newer Pearsall colors are may not have been around when the above mentioned color chart was made."

Color # 19, Hot Orange has been around for a very long time. Skues makes several references to it for flies like his March Brown, Pheasant Tail, and Red Spinner. I have spools of #19 that go back to the early part of the 20th century and while the designation has stayed the same the colors have changed quite a bit over the years. This is probably true of most of the colors as the dyes changed, but the difference in the Hot Orange is particularly striking.
My best guess is that Edmonds & Lee simply left out a couple colors that they didn't mention in their fly patterns.

As an interesting aside, Leonard West suggests that all of the fly patterns in his book The Natural Trout Fly and it's Imitation1912, can be tied with orange silk as he felt that was the strongest color. And this from someone who went to great lengths to get every other color of his imitations just right, including the eyes of the insects! Go figure..........
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by PhilA » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:49 pm

A shade of yellow is probably the most commonly specified color of silk in old fly patterns. The photo below shows side-by-side comparisons of the various Pearsall's Gossamer yellows. I manually set the white balance of my camera and, on my monitor, the colors are very close to the real thing. On any monitor (even poorly adjusted ones), the RELATIVE color differences should be apparent.

Image

John, do you know the approximate year when Pearsall's switched from spooling their Gossamer threads from wooden to plastic spools?
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by tie2fish » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:01 pm

That is a revealing comparison, PhilA. If I had been guessing without your ID text, I would have switched the labels on No's 4 and 5. Probably my monitor ...
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by PhilA » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:41 pm

tie2fish wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:01 pm
If I had been guessing without your ID text, I would have switched the labels on No's 4 and 5.
Bill,
That's what I thought, but no! Spools of No. 4 (Light Yellow) are almost impossible to find. I once wrote to Pearsall's Ltd. (actually, Langley's) to inquire if they had any spools of No. 4 available. They did not, but they had two remaining spools of Gossamer (actually, SuperFine) they called color "No. 4-H". The "H" stands for "Harding". Mike Harding had submitted an old spool of true No. 4 to Langley's to be replicated, which their thread dying expert did. Subsequent to that correspondence, I found several spools of old No. 4 on wooden spools and took the above photo.

I didn't take a photo of No. 4-H integrated with the above yellows, but the photo below shows No. 4-H relative to the above No. 4. Color No. 4-H is lighter than No. 4, and a little darker than a modern No. 5.

Image

Given the decades over which all these colors were made, such tiny variations are surely insignificant. There's not a trout in the world who would snub their nose at any of these threads due to an inexact shade of yellow! We get snubbed for other reasons.
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Re: Pearsalls Color Chart

Post by joaniebo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:07 pm

As an added note, in one of my conversations with Alec Jackson, I asked him about the possibility of getting some of the old colors reproduced. He told me that some of the colors could not be reproduced using the old dye formulas because many of the chemicals / materials used in the old dyes were no longer legal / safe to use.

In addition, even modern day dyes used with the Pearsall silks, before they were discontinued, had variations in each dye lots. (I've seen that also in different dye lots of yarns). Age / exposure has caused some colors to change slightly over time. I have some spools that I purchased years ago that (to my eyes) look slightly different than the same color number purchased just a couple years ago.

I've had so much trouble seeing the difference in some of the yellows, that when I ordered them from Alec, I asked him to mark which was "primrose", "straw", etc.
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