How to Accurately Measure Color in Clay and Terracotta Products


Posted on February 27, 2018

A garden designer has spent months searching for the perfect teal-colored pots and planters for a new urban green space located on the rooftop of a massive apartment complex. The designer wants the rooftop garden to look beautiful and cohesive, and so she carefully selects plants and pottery that will complement each other.1 Similarly, architects use well-crafted terracotta tile as roofing, flooring, and decorative elements, making buildings appear more colorful and aesthetically-pleasing. In both cases, customers rely on colorful, unique clay products to make their visions come to life.

Color is one of the most attractive features of clay and terracotta products; the right shade can completely transform the appearance of a space or building. As such, manufacturers must take color quality control into serious consideration and integrate spectrophotometric technologies in their production process. Spectrophotometric color measurement helps ensure that each product conforms to your aesthetic expectations, helping you make the most of these colorful materials.

The Benefits of Spectrophotometry for Clay and Terracotta Products

The color of terracotta and clay products can be influenced by a wide variety of factors. The traditional color of terracotta is orange, yet the material can also take on a red or brown hue if it’s left in the kiln for a long period of time. In order to get this trademark look, you need to use an effective color quality control process to ensure that each product is the perfect shade of burnt orange. However, many modern industries also choose to create terracotta and clay products that deviate from their traditional colors. Today, it’s not unusual to find clay and terracotta products in a range of hues, and designers, architects, gardeners, and homeowners often search for shades that match a specific color scheme. This is why quality control is essential, whether you’re manufacturing a traditional product or experimenting with new, exciting colors.

Spectrophotometers are essential for achieving color quality control.2 In part, this is due to the fact that these instruments are capable of detecting small variations in color that the human eye may not immediately see. Additionally, the naked eye is subjective when it comes to accurately assessing color samples, as environmental factors and biological limitations can result in variations in color perception between viewers or even when the same viewer observes an object at different times. Spectrophotometers eliminate this subjectivity; instead, they capture objective color data to ensure accuracy and consistency in your finished products.

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