What’s the US Color Association?

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The Color Association of the United States was formed in 1915 to provide color forecasts and coordinate color choices for the textile industry. It later expanded to include other industries and became a worldwide organization. Today, it continues to influence color choices in various sectors.

The Color Association of the United States, based in New York City, plays an important role in the selection and presentation of color choices used by many companies to attract the attention of an ever-changing consumer market. The Color Association has a history dating back to the World War I era when access to many European resources was suddenly unavailable.

Before World War I, many US-based textile manufacturers relied heavily on French and German sources to determine the color trends that would define the product offering for the upcoming fashion season. Interestingly, it was hat manufacturers in the United States that often imported the pronouncements of experts in Germany and France, and then spread the ideas to other sectors of the textile industry.

However, as the war progressed, it became increasingly difficult to get these seasonal predictions and incorporate them into US fashion trends. The solution to the problem was the incorporation of the Textile Color Card Association of the United States on February 19, 1915 in New York City. Hosting the first board meeting of the new organization was the Silk Association of America. This organization would later become known as the Color Association of the United States.

The newly formed TCCA has set some basic goals. Firstly, the association will issue color forecasts twice a year, with the forecasts targeting all sectors of the textile industry. Second, the TCCA would help various segments of the textile market coordinate their efforts in using the selected colors. Subsequently, the association’s headquarters would serve as a clearinghouse for information on color, coloring, and other color-related information. Finally, the organization would seek to establish a reliable channel for purchasing products around the world that could be used by US textile manufacturers.

In the early 1930s the TCCA was working closely with the federal government to produce colors that would form the standard for every branch of the military. This included the color schemes for uniforms, flags, ribbons and various kinds of ornamental decorations. Standards such as West Point Gray and Marine Corp Blue are two examples of the results of such a relationship. In the 1940s, membership in the organization was extended beyond the borders of the United States. TCCA membership included representatives in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Egypt and France. During this period, much of South America also joined the association.

As the TCCA became a worldwide organization with input into everything from official national colors to determining specific colors for everything from gloves to sports jerseys, the decision was made to update the association’s name. On December 1, the TCCA became the Color Association of the United States. The Color Association, also known as CAUS, carried on a much broader focus than the old TCCA. While continuing to provide support for fashion, hosiery, hats, the Color Association has also been involved in the selection and standardization of colors for synthetic fibers, floor coverings, paints, plastics and white goods. Today, the Color Association continues to inform the color choices that are presented to the public.

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