May 18, 2023

Not Just Any Blue; It's Cobalt

Not Just Any Blue; It's Cobalt

While fashion trends are enjoying a surge in cobalt blue, it is by no means new to the color wheel. A hue with a long and rich history, cobalt is a vivid color that falls somewhere in between navy and sky blue. It’s bold while still possessing calming qualities at the same time. As Van Gogh said, “Cobalt is a divine color, and there’s nothing so fine as that for putting an atmosphere around things.”


Cobalt is a rare element that is a burnished silver color in its natural state. When it is heated to 1200°C with aluminum silicates, it creates the cobalt blue color we know. In ancient Egypt, cobalt was used to color the beards of royalty. King Tut’s death mask has inlaid cobalt glass in it and cobalt salts were used to make exquisite pieces of Chinese porcelain. While it has been around for centuries, it only became popular in Europe by the beginning of the 19th century. It replaced the color ultramarine that was a blue pigment made from ground lapis lazuli, a semi precious stone, which made it an extremely expensive paint. Artists like Monet and Van Gogh were thrilled to have a vibrant, stable and affordable pigment that dried quickly.

At Mayamam Weavers, we make many products using cobalt yarn including napkins, table runners, placemats, scarves and wraps. Our actual “Cobalt Stripe” is a mix of blues (including cobalt of course) along with magenta, yellow, turquoise, violet and white.  It was first created by the footloom weavers when they were asked to weave a fabric using the colors they had on hand. Cobalt has consistently been one of our most popular colorways ever since.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that all the tones of blues are perennially popular. Some say blues represent inner peace, truth, stability, and durability. Cobalt blue is currently trending and some people attribute that to the mood boost that was needed as the pandemic comes to an end. Cobalt can help with concentration and creative thinking, and it’s also been known to lower blood pressure. Sounds like cobalt is just what the doctor should order!