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Topic: Silk Colors
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (Jul 18, 2004 09:07AM)
Silks are an investsment and they come in so many different colors. Being new to silk magic I'm curious to know what silk colors most silk workers use.

I use mostly red and blue. I am thinking about buying a yellow silk because I've heard that the color yellow can be seen by the eye better than red.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jul 18, 2004 09:33AM)
I use 10 different colours (red, dark blue, yellow, green, purple, pink, teal blue, orange, black, white) in some of my production routines.

In some others, I use the 3 primary colours - red, dark blue, and yellow.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jul 18, 2004 12:40PM)
I use a lot of different colors also. Some routines I do require red, white & blue, (Patriotic) red, green, & yellow, (Safety-Traffic light) red, blue & yellow(Several things I have use this combination). As you can see, red is used in all 3 and yellow and blue in 2 of the set-ups. So for me red and yellow and blue may be the most common. If the routine doesn't dictate a specific color, I will choose contrasting colors to my costume and background, and either a contrast or sometimes a match to props when used in conjunction with silks.

They are expensive! Choose wisely and take care of them.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (Jul 18, 2004 12:56PM)
Thanks Donald and Regan.

Seems like most silk workers stick pretty much with the primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow,

Anyone else have any suggestions or comments?
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jul 18, 2004 03:54PM)
When viewing performance videos taken during live shows, I've found that Blue does not show up as well as many other colors. I use red, white, green, pink, orange, yellow, and black for most of my routines.
Message: Posted by: carbone1853 (Jul 18, 2004 05:04PM)
Black is nice if you use the silk with other props. Like coins, cards, white balls ect.

White silks also contrast with any other color in a color change.

Also there is only version (pretty much) of white and black. Manufactures (and different lots form the same manufacture) will have different shades of other colors.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 18, 2004 07:18PM)
You are wise to see silks as an investment. They are. Some tend to increase in value even if you don't use them. The other way they are an investment is that they have such a long useful life. I have some well over thirty years old I still use on a regular basis.

Color is specifically one of those things that favor silks in magic. A color change does not take translation from one language to another or age group to another. It is simply magic.

By far red is the most used color. White is the next color and that is in part, because with Sharpie pens, you can make your own card silks, pictures, number predictions, "congratulations", etc. directly on them. I think black and blue (dark) are a tie. But these colors give about the maximum contrast available. From there it is a matter of the subject of the routine and the colors in your costume.

Seasonally, I use orange, yellow and black at Halloween; a lot of red, white and green at Christmas; red, white and blue in July; and pink, purple and turquoise at Easter.

In looking at my personal inventory (502 silks) of just 18" solid color silks you made me learn this about me:

21% Red
18% White (Some have been illustrated)
11% Blue
10% Yellow
9% Black
8% Green
6% Purple
6% Orange
4% Pink
4% Turquoise
3% All others (Solid colors only)

From the statistics, I had no idea that I had so many yellows or so few blacks. Thank you. You made me learn a lot about my personal usage. There was no question that I use an awful lot of red. Remember too that I don’t reuse a silk during that day. Everything is poly bagged for the show and nothing is held back for the next show. There is a lot of duplication. In twenty-two minutes I use eleven red 18” silks. There are not near as many spares as one would think, especially on the road. Also this is year number forty-three in magic. Silks have accumulated over a long time, although I do purge old ones ever so often and refresh my stock. I will also tell you that even at auctions I seldom get less than half my cost back. (The most damage is usually a loose hem. Truly damaged silks go into my “parts box”.)

Obviously, I would advise you to buy yellow silks. But never buy just one. Buy pairs (if not dozens) anyway; it gives you more options.


Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jul 18, 2004 07:54PM)
On 2004-07-18 16:54, Dave Scribner wrote:
When viewing performance videos taken during live shows, I've found that Blue does not show up as well as many other colors. I use red, white, green, pink, orange, yellow, and black for most of my routines.

As usual Dave is correct. The darker blues don't show up as well as some other colors. There are lots of different shades of blue in the world of silks and if you need a blue and are worried about this being a problem, the lighter shades do show up nicely.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 18, 2004 09:14PM)
There are two tricks to making blue silks more visible on stage. One is special stage lighting. That is not always under the magician's control. The other method is to pick a costume color that won't hide the blue silks. Therefore, note that white-haired guys like me often work in silver or a steel gray. When we work in other costumes (Yes, many of mine are either black or navy blue too!) we experience the same problems.

I have found that in dark colors the lighter weight silks show up better than the heavy ones. That is true for the black silks too! Being just a little transparent helps. But it certainly won’t hide much if the load sparkles.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Magic Grandpa (Jul 18, 2004 10:10PM)
Magic Grandpa Here:

Avoid yellow at all costs. Studies show that most men consider it to be weak, and do not like it on a subconscious level. Once I read that article, I never used yellow anything. I used to use an assistant years ago. She loved yellow and wanted to wear a yellow dress on stage. I wouldn't let her - made her wear red.

If you want to be thought of as weak, use yellow. Otherwise stick with the strong colors like red, navy blue, and black.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 19, 2004 04:45AM)
Magic Grandpa,

I can't say I don't share your feelings about yellow. As an old marketing professor, marketing research taught us that yellow cars are most likely to be repossessed. That color and poor credit go together. (It is also the wrong color car to drive to your job interview.) Psychographically, yellow usually is associated with irresponsible. How responsible is a magic show audience supposed to be?

After doing my statistics for Gerard, I was surprised how many yellow 18" silks we have. But we do use them for red, green and yellow; red, blue and yellow; black, orange, and yellow; and orange, yellow, and green setups. Since I never produce doves from yellow, those silks never get snagged on claws either. I normally replace colors a dozen at a time, so they just piled up. In a Crystal Silk Cylinder, I purposefully use a yellow silk for the first one placed into the tube because it is so visible. (I have a grocery shopping routine I use that for.)

Looking back at my stats, I use blue and black as almost interchangable. Considering that red, white, black and blue make up 59% of the colors I apparently use. The drop from there to yellow is about 50%.

After all is said and done, if a magician has a good supply of red, white, blue and black silks, yellow is the next color to add. Black and white are the two colors beginners usually avoid until they learn of the opportunities to go to pokka dots or zebra stripes in comedy magic.

Putting my professor hat back on for the moment, I'm not certain that the colors aren't best considered attributes of the audience rather than of the magician. A professional magician is watching the audience. The audience is watching the colors in the act. A performer is likely a more responsible risk-taker than the audience members. Audiences don't deal with the same level of risk. It's hard to fail as an audience.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander