Color Story

A conversation on color with
our VP of Design, Tory Lowitz

Date: February 28, 2023

beige fabric being stretched over a machine during the coloring process in a factory

At BELLA+CANVAS, we don't take color lightly. With over 300 shades to choose from amongst our current range of silhouettes, color is of paramount importance to everything we do. But we didn't get here by accident, spinning the color wheel and blindly pointing to 300 shades, crossing our fingers for a win. Each and every color is, in fact, a careful concoction - a perfect mixture of both creative intuition and curious observation.

Looking back, Color has always been the underlying concept at BELLA+CANVAS. As Tory Lowitz, VP of Design, explains,

"About 20 years ago
the basics category had an extremely limited palette - black, white, grey, not much else. We wanted to be the first to roll out an abundance of colors that were unknown to the category. That's really the legacy of BELLA+CANVAS."

roles of fabric in varying colors of pink, blue, green, etc

As both a retailer and wholesaler, we know that when we develop a new color, it not only has to work for our brand, but needs to serve you, the creators. We tirelessly develop our own color story so that you can develop yours, uninhibited and free to tell whatever story you dream up. To do so, we constantly turn our attention outwards to the world around us, but not always where you might think.

white fabric being stretched and guided my a hand into machine
white fabric being stretched over machine

The fabric opening process. Our fabrics go through the dying process sewn into a tube-like shape. Once dyed, the stitching is cut to return the fabric to its flat state before drying.

"Color inspiration doesn't need to be
another color.
It could be a feeling, an experience,
a cerebral thing translated
through color."

When Tory Lowitz and his team of designers think about colors, they're not just thinking in terms of shades. "I believe there's a chance that our colors can bring a feeling and offer the world a color they've never seen in a basic t-shirt before."

Let's take a trip from the ethereal to the practical. Consider this - you're concepting a new range and you're not quite sure where to begin with regards to color. How do you develop and express your own story? High level, Tory suggests you "consider an array of colors that offer a combination of textures, richness, vibrancy, and wearability." But how do we get there?

white tubs full of fabric that has been dyed, on warehouse floor

A shrink dryer that both dries and pre-shrinks dyed fabrics to their final form.

blue temperature machine that sits on counter

A laboratory hot plate used to heat dye samples.


Ultimately, you need to love your colors, and believe they'll work. Trust yourself, and commit to those colors you love.


"Data from the last 30 years say that black, the color, sells 40:1 over other colors, no matter what product you make. My suggestion for small startups would be to consider including black in your color story."


"Consider the community members who could wear it." You know your community best - stay close to them and keep them top of mind throughout product development. As your partners in this process, we specifically produce garments in colors for which we see a strong potential market. Consider which shades feel right for your customers.


Producing consistent product goes a long way in maintaining trust with your customers over time, so "make sure you can repeat your colors in production." Fortunately, we take on the heavy lifting here, adhering to the highest quality standards in the industry to help you deliver the most consistent product possible to your customers with each and every sale.

dye bottles with different color in pour-spout bottles

A laboratory infrared dyeing machine used to dye samples in preparation for final production dyes.

man standing in front of large fabric rolling machine with back to the camera

The beauty of building a brand on a colorful foundation, for both BELLA+CANVAS and for you, lies in the endless potential to evolve. As Tory explains, "color inspiration just keeps flowing. It's not finite. Every day the context with which we see the world changes - it's constantly evolving," and so too can our approach to color.

silver machine wheel with numbers

"color inspiration just keeps flowing. It's not finite. Every day the context with which we see the world changes - it's constantly evolving"

guage on the wall of the fabric dye warehouse
pink fabric being cut from the tube shape it's in when it is dyed by a fabric warehouse machine

While we may have 300 colors today, there's no reason that can't be 500 in the next 10 years, and so on. We'll continue pushing color further and further, enriching our own color story whilst providing you with the tools to do the same.

"If we think we have a successful color palette, we're dead." - Tory Lowitz


Date: February 28, 2023