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Thread Colors

Choosing the right color

An important part of embroidery is choosing the thread color. Good colors make or break a design and will be one of your biggest influences, so choose them carefully. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

Use the Color Wheel

Use the Color Wheel

There are many technical terms for colors and their variations, but you should be aware of some of the basics. The simplest way to select colors is by using the color wheel. Color wheels take a variety of colors and put them in groups that blend well into each other.

Pick Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are the easiest to work with because it is straight across from the base color on the wheel. Most colors include shades that genuinely work well together. Use a color wheel to get them, just by seeing where they fall on it. Complementary colors are the safest color schemes to choose since they are two colors directly across each other on the color wheel.

Add a Little Contrast

Triadic colors are colors equally spaced on the color wheel. Many triadic colors schemes can be used purposefully to produce a slight contrast, almost like a split-complementary color scheme, yet remaining balanced. Red, yellow and blue are the most notable example of triadic colors.

Choosing Creative Thread Colors

The fun starts when you find variations on the basics. Instead of using a “true” version of a color, maybe you can use a shade lighter or darker. Take the triadic colors of red, yellow, and blue, but use different strengths. The color temperature can also make a significant difference in your design. For example, blues/greens are considered “cool” and reds/oranges are seen as “warm.” The next shade towards blue or red will determine if it is the warm or cool tone. Keeping colors warm or all cool can help your embroidery designs look fantastic.