The first recorded use of beige as a colour name in English was in 1887. The term originates from beige cloth, a cotton fabric left undyed in its natural colour. Standardised in 1934 from samples submitted by the textile trades. See notes on Ecru.
The term pastel has been applied to colours of soft ‘chalky’ appearance since the end of the nineteenth century when there was a vogue for pastel drawings. The name pastel blue was originally given to colours produced by the pastel plant, a French name for woad.