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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2004

Color Matching of Fed. Std. 595B and Textiles, Fabrics

Q. I am trying to determine if an equivalent color exists in FED-STD-595 for Tan No. 457 and Green No. 483. Both of these colors are identified in MIL-PRF-44103 for fabric colors. I am trying to determine the appropriate color chip in FED-STD-595 to use to check the fabric colors.

Thanks for your email. Since I do not have sufficient knowledge to answer this, I referred it to a colleague Danny Pascale, who specializes in color technology. Here is his answer:

"MIC-C-44103 makes reference to a visual comparison with physical references of both colors, which should then be available somewhere.

However, the spec also mentions that the textile should be measured in the deep red and close infrared (860 nm) in order to meet the required camouflage specifications. This part requires a spectrophotometer which can measure up to these wavelengths. This kind of instrument is not impossible to find but a lot less common than visible instruments, and I have no access to such a beast.

If the requirement is just to match the visible color AND NOT THE MIL-SPEC, then I could see if there is a FED-STD equivalent. If he must meet the MIL-SPEC, then I cant help."

Generally, the camouflage colors used by the military were based on NATO colors and you should not be surprised if there are no Fed. Std. equivalents. "Camouflage" as used in the military refers not only to visual camouflaging, such as most of us are used to, but it also refers to camouflaging when the colors are viewed through infrared scopes and night goggles. None of the Fed. Std 595B colors were ever designed for this latter purpose. Therefore, please get back to us if you require only a visual match.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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