Russet (color)

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About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#80461B
sRGBB  (rgb)(128, 70, 27)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k)(0, 45, 79, 50)
HSV       (h, s, v)(26°, 79%, 50%)
ISCC–NBS descriptorStrong brown
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Russet is a dark brown color with a reddish-orange tinge. As a tertiary color, russet is an equal mix of orange and purple pigments.[1][2]

The first recorded use of russet as a color name in English was in 1562.[3]

The source of this color is The ISCC-NBS Method of Designating Colors and a Dictionary of Color Names (1955) used by stamp collectors to identify the colors of stamps.[4]

The name of the color derives from russet, a coarse cloth made of wool and dyed with woad and madder to give it a subdued grey or reddish-brown shade. By the statute of 1363, poor English people were required to wear russet.[5][6]

Russet, a color of autumn, is often associated with sorrow or grave seriousness. Anticipating a lifetime of regret, Shakespeare's character Biron says in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 1: "Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd / In russet yeas and honest kersey noes."

The color is mentioned in a famous quote taken from a letter Oliver Cromwell wrote to Sir William Spring in September 1643: "I had rather have a plain, russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, [than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else]".[7][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Miskella, William J. (2004) [1928]. Practical Color Simplified: A Handbook on Lacquering, Enameling, Coloring and Painting 1928. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 9781417980512. pp. 20–21.
  2. ^ Lemos, John T. (June 1920). "Color Charts for the School Room". The School Arts Magazine. Worcester, Mass.: The Davis Press. 19 (10): 580–584.
  3. ^ Maerz and Paul (1930). A Dictionary of Color. New York: McGraw-Hill. page 203; Color Sample of Russet: Page 37 Plate 14 Color Sample I12.
  4. ^ See sample of the color Russet (Color Sample #55) displayed on indicated page: ISCC Color List Page R
  5. ^ R. H. Britnell (1986). Growth and decline in Colchester, 1300–1525. Cambridge University Press. pp. 55–77. ISBN 978-0-521-30572-3.
  6. ^ a b St. Clair, Kassia (2016). The Secret Lives of Colour. London: John Murray. p. 246–247. ISBN 9781473630819. OCLC 936144129.
  7. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 1970. p. 167. Cites Carlyle Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell.