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What colour is that?

The names of t-shirt colors are often inspired by various sources, including nature, industry standards, cultural references, and even marketing strategies. Some common sources for naming t-shirt colors include:

1. Nature: Many colors are named after elements found in nature, such as “sky blue,” “forest green,” or “sunshine yellow.” These names evoke the hues of the natural world and help consumers easily visualize the color.

2. Industry Standards: Certain colors may have specific names designated by industries or standards organizations. For example, “safety orange” or “hi-vis yellow” are commonly used in safety apparel to ensure high visibility.

3. Cultural References: Some colors are named after cultural phenomena, historical events, or geographic locations. For instance, “Mediterranean blue” or “safari beige” evoke images associated with specific cultures or places.

4. Marketing and Branding: Clothing manufacturers often use creative or unique names to market their products and differentiate them from competitors. These names may be inspired by trends, emotions, or the desired image of the brand.

Overall, the names of t-shirt colors can come from a variety of sources, reflecting the diverse inspirations and influences in the world of fashion and design.

Below are same t-shirt colours I always found fascinating.

Kelly Green

The term “Kelly green” refers to a specific shade of green that is bright and vibrant, resembling the color of fresh spring foliage. The name “Kelly green” is believed to have originated from the surname “Kelly,” which is associated with Irish heritage. This shade of green is commonly associated with Ireland due to its lush landscapes and the use of green in Irish flags and symbols. It’s likely that the term “Kelly green” emerged as a way to describe this particular shade of green, perhaps popularized by its use in clothing, including t-shirts. However, it’s worth noting that the exact origins of the term may not be definitively known, and it has become widely accepted as a descriptor for this specific shade of green.


The color “navy” gets its name from the dark blue color associated with the uniforms worn by officers and sailors in the British Royal Navy. This deep blue hue was originally called “marine blue” or “marine navy,” as it was used for naval uniforms in the 18th century. Over time, the term “navy blue” emerged as a common descriptor for this dark shade of blue, reflecting its association with naval attire.

Navy blue is valued for its versatility, as it can be both formal and casual, making it a popular choice for various clothing items, including suits, dresses, and, of course, navy t-shirts. The color is often associated with qualities like strength, authority, and professionalism, further enhancing its appeal in fashion and design.


The color “fuchsia” is named after the vivid purplish-red flowers of the fuchsia plant, which are known for their vibrant and striking appearance. The plant was named in honor of the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566), who was a pioneer in the study of plants and herbalism during the Renaissance period. Fuchsia flowers come in various shades, ranging from pinkish- purple to reddish-purple, and the color fuchsia reflects this spectrum of hues.

The color fuchsia is often described as a bold and intense pinkish-purple or magenta, with a rich and lively tone. It gained popularity as a fashion color in the late 20th century and continues to be used in clothing, accessories, and various design applications for its eye-catching and energetic qualities.


The color teal gets its name from the common teal bird (Anas crecca), which has a distinctive greenish-blue or bluish-green coloration on its head and wings. Teal birds are a type of small freshwater dabbling duck found in various parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

The color teal is a blend of blue and green, with varying proportions of each contributing to its specific hue. It’s often described as a medium to dark blue-green or greenish-blue color, depending on the exact shade.

Teal has been used as a color name since the late 19th century and gained popularity in fashion and design during the mid-20th century. It’s valued for its soothing and calming qualities, as well as its versatility in complementing a wide range of other colors. Teal is commonly used in interior design, fashion, graphic design, and various other creative fields.

Marle Grey

The term “marle grey” is a variation of the color name “marled gray.” “Marled” refers to a yarn or fabric that is made by twisting together two different colors of fibers, typically one lighter and one darker, to create a subtly textured or mottled effect. This technique results in a fabric with a unique speckled or heathered appearance.

The term “marled gray” specifically describes a gray color that is created using the marling technique. It often has a slightly textured or variegated look due to the intermingling of light and dark fibers. The term “marle” is likely a variation or alternative spelling of “marled,” and “marle grey” is used to describe this specific shade of gray with a marled texture.

Marled grey fabrics are popular for their visual interest and texture, and they are commonly used in clothing, particularly in casual or athleisure wear, as well as in knitwear and outerwear.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been wondering about these names for colours.