A colour name popular in use since the beginning of the nineteenth century standardised here at the request of many colour using industries. This colour is found in Chinese imperial wares of the sung period (A.D 960-1279) and is said to be typical of that ‘blue as the sky after rain seen through the rift in the clouds,’ described by T’Ao Shuo in the 18th century.
Colour standardised in 1934 with the following notes: ‘There is considerable confusion concerning the colour named Ecru, Beige and Grège. They are all French, and mean exactly the same thing- the colour of the condition of cloth in its raw, unbleached state. Ecru is simply composed of è and Cru, from the Latin, crudus , rude, crude. Beige is derived from an old dialectical form bei-beges, meaning grey. Originally these names were technical dye-house terms, and their use as fashion colour names dates only from the latter half of the nineteenth Century. With little idea of what words mean, most people believe that they refer to different colors. Ecru refers to unbleached cloth of any kind, silk, cotton, wool or...
This name, hitherto rarely known outside the world of ceramics, is called after William Duesbury, the potter, who bought the Chelsea china factory from James Cox in 1770 and founded the china business in Derby, England, where Chelsea-Derby was first made. Duesbury Green is a ground laid colour, a process invented at Derby about 1814.
There has been much controversy about this colour name. Some people have ascribed this name to the average colour found in Delft tiles, some to the colour predominating in Dutch paintings, including those of Vermeer of Delft. The colour here represented is the darkest blue tone found in Delft pottery, although lighter tones of a redder and lighter hue are seen in the tiles.