McCormick Formulas for
36 Colors

Go beyond pre-made shades. The McCormick formulas here show you how. By adding two colors together, you can make wonderful new shades.

McCormick needs vinegar to bond.

Select the shade you want from the photos below. The chart is read like a multiplication table.

In the first photo, Yellow is added to each other color.

In the second photo, Red is added to the other colors.

In the third photo, Neon Blue is added to the other colors.

Each pair of colors was tested at the ratios 1 to 3, 2 to 2 and 3 to 1.

Colors used with abbreviations:

  • Red (R)
  • Neon Blue (B)
  • Neon Green (G)
  • Neon Purple (P)
  • Black (BL)

#1 = 1 part Yellow and 3 parts Red.
#2 = 3 parts Yellow and 1 part Neon Blue.

Base yarn used: recycled off-white wool from a thrift store sweater.
Each sample is 3 yards of yarn.

How the dyestock was made: the McCormick was measured by the drop. Each pair of colors was tested at the ratios 1 to 3, 2 to 2 and 3 to 1.

I didn't simplify the ratio 2:2 as 1:1 because I wanted the same amount of dye in each McCormick formula. 1:1 would have produced a lighter shade.

Unmixed Colors - Straight Out of the Package

A = Yellow
B = Neon Green
C = Green
D = Neon Blue

E = Blue
F = Neon Purple
G = Red
H = Neon Pink

McCormick Formula Notes

  • McCormick Neons come a four pack of pink, green, blue and purple.

  • The Primary set is red, yellow, dark green and dark blue.

  • Red, yellow, dark green and black are also available in larger bottles.

  • The neon pink and the red almost the same color, so I tested the red.

  • The dark blue and dark green are so dark that they need to be diluted if you are mixing colors. These colors aren't used in these charts.

  • 1 drop Red and 3 drops Neon Green makes a golden oak color. Yep, freaky. I had to dye several samples to make sure I hadn't mislabeled the hanks. This effect is especially pronounced on fuzzy yarn.

  • McCormick food color needs vinegar and heat to set.
  • In some grocery stores, black is a seasonal item.

Four different dyeing techniques on wool wrapped nylon. See how over-dyeing, hand-painting, gradient and dip dyeing change the look of one brand of yarn.

Hints on using blue food color.

Yes, we have videos.

Can't find the page you want? Here's our site map.

How lightfast are food dyes: which food colors to use if your worried about fading and how they stack up to professional acid-dyes. Instructions on how to test your own food colors in the sun.

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