About us

Nila Colori is a newborn handcraft Italian company producing quality products for artists starting from natural raw materials, born from an idea by Carlo Ferrara, founder and chemical engineer.

Nila is the Sanskrit name indicating indigo, the night blue pigment which in India was and is extracted from the plant called Indigofera tinctoria with its scientific name.

After in-depth study of texts written since XVI till XXI century we chose the plants which provide the most beautiful colors and with the greatest fastness to time and light. Each product of ours is the result of a research and development work, which blends scientific knowledges with traditional ones. The production is completely handcraftes and takes advantage of cautious choice of raw materials, both for pigments' preparation and honey watercolors'. The so obtained products become therefore high quality tools in the hands of artists. Our extrafine watercolors are prepared with the pigments we produce as well as with natural earths, as for example ocher or umber earth.

The term "natural" was often abused of. We consider a raw matter to be natural when someone is able to recognise it as an entity, when an identity can be recognised to it and a name can be given to it. Therefore madder (Rubia tinctorum) for example is natural for us, because every human might be able to distinguish it within thousand other beings living on Earth. Alizarin instead, the most important colouring molecule in madder, is not considered natural by us, because it cannot be found so isolated in Nature. So for us weld (Reseda luteola) is natural, but luteolin alone isn't. Nature generates complex beings and beings of Nature generate complexes of molecules and hardly isolated molecules. This ensures that a colour obtained from natural raw matters surely owns a smaller chemical purity, but a bigger complexity: it is complexity indeed which generates Beauty.

The philosophy of Nila Colori also desires to reconnect Artists to the awareness of the origin of the material which hey are using during the creative act: this awareness will make it easier for them to feel themselves part of the cycle connecting Art and Nature and to understand their role inside this cycle. At the same time the manufacturing craftsman is able to see a matter coming from one of the three kingdoms of Nature, so as it was generated by Earth and Sky, taking a shape which can then be easily used by Artists to create Beauty again.

We carried out an in-depth study to choose raw matters which could provide the most beautiful colors and the most stable in time: because of this they were used in the centuries.

Carlo Ferrara of Nila Colori, MChemEng