Ivory vs Ecru: Difference and Comparison

The terms ivory and ecru are two visibly distinct colours in a colour palette. Even so, there are a few shades of the above colours that do look similar.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ivory is a pale, creamy shade of white, often associated with the color of natural ivory from elephant tusks.
  2. Ecru is a slightly darker, beige-like color with a more pronounced yellow or gray undertone, resembling unbleached linen.
  3. Ivory and ecru are popular choices for neutral color schemes and can create a warm, inviting atmosphere in interior design.

Ivory vs Ecru

Ivory is a color that resembles that of an elephant’s tusk. It is creamy white or off-white and is used at weddings. Ecru is a color that looks like a mixture of pale or slight yellow with gray and is mostly used in linen and wool, although some darker shades look like a creamy or pale white color.

Ivory vs Ecru

Ivory is a creamy white or off-white colour that significantly resembles the ” ivory ” material (commonly found as the material that forms the hard tusks of elephants). The shade of ivory is quite similar to that of beige, and the colour, as a whole, represents a calm and peaceful nature.

The colour ecru is a pale or slightly yellow-grey mixture commonly found in colour palettes when making linen and wool. There are shades of ecru which resemble beige and are creamy white.


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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIvoryEcru
DerivationDerived from the Anglo-french word “ivorie”, ivory was used to describe “elephant bone”, and the colour derived from the same name.The word ecru was derived from the French word “écru”, which meant “the colour of raw silk literally or unbleached linen”.
ColourAs a colour, ivory is creamy white or off-white and resembles the colour of an elephant’s tusk.As a colour, ecru is a pale or slightly yellow-grey mixture, with a few shades resembling a creamy or pale white colour.
Shade of colourAs both colours look similar to beige, in comparison to ecru, ivory is a lighter shade.In comparison to ivory, ecru is a darker shade.
UsesOne can notice ivory colour palettes commonly at weddings. Here, bride dresses are available in different shades and patterns of ivory.The colour ecru is used in places such as linen or wool manufacturing.
Nature of colourIvory, as a colour, represents a quiet, collective, and pleasant nature.Compared to ivory, Ecru represents a calm and relaxing nature with a warmer tone.


What is Ivory?

The word ivory was derived from the Anglo-french word “ivorie”, and at the time, it was used to replace the word “elpendban”, which meant “elephant bone”. It was about the tusks of elephants.

These tusks are made of the material “ivory” and resemble the colour of ivory.

The colour ivory is a shade of white and looks creamy or off-white. It seems pretty similar to beige and can be said to be a lighter shade.

The colour ivory goes hand in hand with the colours beige and gold.

Compared to others in the beige colour palette, ivory is a lighter shade of beige but a darker shade of white. The tone of ivory makes it easier for it to be used with other lighter shades, forming elegant combinations.

The colour ivory can be used primarily in clothing lines, especially for weddings, where the bride’s dress and the bridesmaid’s dress all reflect different shades of ivory or the colour ivory itself is used.

Ivory is an elegant colour that reflects a quiet, calm, or pleasant nature. Many believe in the representation and meaning of colours and take it as a good sign when they see the ivory colour.


What is Ecru?

Ecru, as a colour, is quite similar to a darker shade of beige and is seen to be a yellow-grey mixture or a pale greyish-yellow version of beige. The term ecru originated from the French word “écru”, which meant “the colour of raw silk literally or unbleached linen”.

The name of the colour was adapted from the same.

The primary use for the colour ecru is seen mainly in the textile industry, where the manufacture of linen and wool is done. The ecru colour is dyed on all the clothing material to reflect a beautiful soothing tone.

As mentioned, ecru is a darker shade compared to others in the beige colour palette, which is why it goes great with darker shades of gold and brown.

Another plus point here is that as a colour, ecru is a derivative of yellow and brown, so it can also be used in colour combinations involving lighter tones. As a colour, ecru represents a calm, relaxing nature with a warmer tone.


Main Differences Between Ivory and Ecru

  1. Ivory was derived from the Anglo-french word “ivorie”, meaning “elephant bone”, while ecru was derived from the French word “écru”, which meant “the colour of raw silk literally or unbleached linen”.
  2. Ivory is a lighter shade when compared to ecru.
  3. As a colour, ivory is creamy or off-white, while ecru is yellowish-grey and pale.
  4. The primary use of ivory is seen in wedding colour combinations for the bride’s dress. In contrast, ecru is used mainly in manufacturing linen and wool in the textile industry.
  5. Ivory represents a pleasant and quiet nature, while ecru represents a relaxed and calm nature with a warmer tone.
Difference Between Ivory and Ecru

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/ivory
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecru
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