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Short description: Color of unbleached linen or silk
About these coordinates     Colour coordinates
Hex triplet#C2B280
ISCC–NBS descriptorGrayish yellow

Ecru is still defined by some dictionaries as the colour of unbleached linen,[1] which it still is in French (approximately #FEFEE0 ). In English, over the years it has come to be used for a quite different, much darker color.

Ecru comes from the French word écru for the color of unbleached linen, and the word means "raw, unbleached" in French.

It has also been known as "the colour of silk".

Traditionally ecru was considered a shade of beige.[2] Beginning in the 19th century it became more precisely defined as "a grayish yellow that is greener and paler than chamois or old ivory".[3]

The normalized colour coordinates for ecru are identical to sand, which was first recorded as a colour name in English in 1627.[4]

See also



  1. "ecru". 1989. 
  2. Maerz & Paul (1930), p. 149
  3. Gove, Philip B., ed (1961). "ecru". Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Unabridged. "First Known Use: 1836" 
  4. Maerz & Paul (1930), p. 203; color sample of sand: p. 49, plate 13, color sample B2


  • Maerz, Aloys John; Paul, Morris Rea (1930). A Dictionary of Color. New York: McGraw-Hill. OCLC 1150631.  There is a newer 1950 2nd edition, but both versions are collector's items that are difficult to find except via inter-library loan.

External links