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If ever there was a colour associated with richness and spirituality, it has to be purple. It may not have the kudos of being part of the visible light spectrum (a status afforded to its lighter relative violet) but it has always been the favourite colour of those in power. While it may not be a common choice for interior design, we love these purple made to measure blinds, and purple made to measure curtains for home decor.
It is said that if we surround ourselves with too much purple or the wrong tone, we can become too introspective and lose touch with reality. The colour is then perhaps at its best when used as an accent or in rooms where drama and intimacy are required. There’s no doubt that the right tone communicates luxury and exclusivity, which may be why it’s used by retail brands Liberty and Asprey, and why purple is perfect for creating an opulent, enveloping look.
At Stitched, we have a wide range of purple fabrics to suit every setting. The deep berry tones of our Ruby Velvet represent purple at its most red. Team with other berry tones for a harmonious scheme and chocolate for added depth. Our Blackberry Purple Silk Curtains are glamorous and intense, so combine with navy, midnight blue or metallics for even greater intensity. Purple also comes into its own in candlelight or when teamed with materials that sparkle - perfect for an intimate dining space or living room.
If you’re looking for something more understated, our Purple Flax Curtains and Purple Wool Curtains lay more towards the lilac end of the purple spectrum. These are romantic yet sophisticated colours that create a relaxed, stylish look ideal for bedrooms. They’re also beautiful teamed with grey and a dash of green to conjure up a sense of eternal summer.
Purple is a secondary colour, lying between red and blue on the colour wheel. It’s therefore thought to combine the power, energy and strength of red with the integrity and truth of blue. In the visible light spectrum, purple is most closely aligned to the slightly lighter violet. It has the shortest wavelength of all the colours and is the last one we see, lending it a mystical, celestial quality. Purple has long represented spirituality. It’s the colour we link with spiritual awareness and reflection which is why it is favoured by those following a spiritual vocation and for meditating. It is the colour for contemplation and a search for a higher truth.
The first purple dye, known as Tyrian purple, dates back to the fifteenth century BC and was made, rather unpromisingly, from the mucus of sea snails that inhabited the Eastern Mediterranean! Given that 250,000 snails were needed to make a single ounce of dye, it was eye-wateringly expensive and literally worth its weight in gold. No wonder then that Julius Caesar got a taste for it and decreed that no one else was allowed to wear it but him.
Purple’s popularity amongst the elite continued in succeeding centuries. Elizabeth I wore the colour to her coronation banquet in 1559 and when she died 44 years later, her coffin was draped in purple velvet. It was Queen Victoria’s favourite colour - a fact that is supposed to have led chocolate makers Cadbury’s to adopt it for their branding - and the British royal family still use it as the ceremonial colour on special occasions.
Fortunately for those of us with more limited means (as well as the population of sea snails), a way of creating purple (or mauve) synthetically was discovered by the chemist William Perkin in 1856. This led to the colour’s much wider use. Famously it was adopted by the suffragettes; the purple symbolising loyalty and dignity alongside white (purity) and green (hope).