The colors in this dress sparked a furor of interest and arguments over the Internet earlier this week. Some people see it as blue and black, some as gold and white.
What do you see?
I see it as periwinkle blue and a charcoalish grey.
There have been lots of interesting commentaries about the controversery and some of them shed light, so to speak, on our stitching.
A blog post on WIRED shows three different views of the dress created by manipulating light, above.
The post explains that what we see depends strongly on the lighting of the item. The photo is ambiguous because it’s lit badly.
This should not exactly come as a shock to needlepointers. We know how the color of thread can be affected by the light and we know that we should pick threads under natural light. But rarely do we find it so dramatically demonstrated for us.
I’m also thinking that more needlepointers may correctly identify the dress in the middle as the correct one. I think that’s because our stitching teaches us two things: 1. to discard lighting to see the color that is really there and 2 to have a better than average ability to distinguish what’s important in what we see. After all every time we stitch we see what’s behind the canvas and recognize that it isn’t important.
But there may be another reason why we are not fooled. We may have more color receptors than normal. Take this test I found yesterday on LinkedIn and see how many colors you see? I see enough to put me in the category with more color receptors. Statistically more women than men have this. This was shown to exist in 1996. If you want to learn more about it read this article.
Where do you stand?
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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