Russet (color)

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About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#80461B
sRGBB (r, g, b)(128, 70, 27)
HSV (h, s, v)(26°, 79%, 50%)
CIELChuv (L, C, h)(36, 54, 33°)
ISCC–NBS descriptorStrong brown
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

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. The first recorded use of russet as a color name in English was in 1562.[1]

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.[2] However, it is widely considered hard to standardize, and the same vary name could be applied to various tones; russet often has no more specific meaning than ruddy or reddish.[1]

The name of this 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.[3][4]

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."

Russet 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]".[5][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Maerz, Aloys J.; Paul, Morris Rea (1930). A Dictionary of Color. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 177. ASIN B0014LYBSG.
  2. ^ See sample of the color Russet (Color Sample #55) displayed on indicated page: ISCC Color List Page R.
  3. ^ Britnell, Richard H. (1986). Growth and decline in Colchester, 1300–1525. Cambridge University Press. pp. 55–77. ISBN 0-521-30572-1.
  4. ^ a b St Clair, Kassia (2016). The Secret Lives of Colour. London: John Murray. p. 246–247. ISBN 978-1-4736-3081-9. OCLC 936144129.
  5. ^ Partington, Angela (1970). Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (2 ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-19-211523-5. OCLC 239676679. Cites Carlyle, Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell.