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How To Pick The Right Embroidery Thread Colors: Tips

5 Mins read

Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” – Pierre Bonnard tried his best to emphasize the importance of colors in designing with this quote. Picking suitable embroidery thread colors for your patch design is a major step. It is like deciding the fate of someone’s life. Your choices will determine whether your patch will shine in public or will end up losing its charm, looking like a mess.

Colors are used to blow life in any embroidery design. No embroidery design can be completed without colors. Thanks to modern technology, we have access to an array of color palettes to choose from and different types of threads that come with their unique features. Newbies are more likely to neglect the part of choosing the right threads and colors for their work, making their hard work go down the drain. It looks like you decided to play carefully in this department and went on a journey to find out the best colors and threads for your design. You made the right decision now, stick with us and keep reading to find out a treasure of information on embroidery threads, colors, and their types.

There are three unique types of color threads used for the purpose of embroidery. Let’s introduce our readers to these unique types of color threads first.


  • Metallic thread: It is a thread admired by many enthusiasts of embroidery. This type of thread is commonly used for decorative stitching on garments or home decor items to add a sparkling touch. It can be used for both hand and machine embroidery, as well as for sewing and quilting.
  • Glow-in-the-dark thread: This type of thread, also known as Luna, is a unique type of embroidery thread that produces light in the dark after being exposed to any light source, whether natural or artificial. Created from polyester fibers embedded with phosphorescent pigments, this thread is a Tex 240 (similar to a #207 or #277 thread) bonded polyester with a special glowing dye impregnated into the fibers. It appears white in light and glows bright green or blue in the dark.
  • Neon Threads: This thread is comprised of pure polyester with shiny fiber that helps make your artwork look reflective. If you are looking for an embroidery design in this thread, you should only rely on reputable service providers of embroidery patches UK. These type of threads is made up of the same color numbering system as DMC Floss. Hence it can be considered a good replacement for the normal satin strand if you are looking for a glossy, sparkling effect.

Now let’s talk about some basic procedures used for picking the thread colors of your applique and how to work with them.

  • Color Wheel: There are numerous complex terminologies of colours and their alterations, but let’s start with the most basic method. There is one simple tool that has been used for decades to choose colours, and it is called a color wheel. Color wheels can be basic with some natural colors or can be designed with various tones and types. But their purpose is the same, to represent and organize a type of color into the group.
  • Complementary Colors: We recommend working with complementary colours if you don’t want to get into the complexities of mixing and matching various colors. Find the color of the base of your design on the color wheel. The complimentary color for your chosen base color would be the color that is straight across it on the wheel. That should be the ideal hue for your embroidery. This method works like a charm every time and helps create the most natural-looking catchy designs.
  • Analogous colors: Analogous Colors offer more nuance compared to complementary colors. They are a set of three colors that are positioned adjacent to one another on a color wheel. For instance, in the case of yellow, the analogous colors include yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. While it’s possible to combine analogous colors, it’s also advisable to incorporate a complementary color. For instance, if one of the yellows is being used, adding purple, which is the complementary color, can create a pleasing effect.
  • Triadic colors: Colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel are known as triadic colors. Using triadic color schemes can create a slightly well-balanced contrast, similar to a split-complementary color scheme. The most well-known examples of triadic colors are red, yellow, and blue.

Now that we have been introduced to the color wheel, it’s time to jump on to the types of colors and how we can gain maximum benefit from them.

  • Experiment with Colors: When it comes to choosing colors for embroidery, getting creative with variations can make it more fun. Choosing from the Pantone color system would be the best option for you if you looking for velcro patches online. Instead of sticking to the true versions of colors, try using shades that are lighter or darker. For instance, you can experiment with different strengths of triadic hues like red, yellow, and blue.
  • Hue temperature: Hue temperature is another vital aspect to consider when selecting colors for embroidery. The warmth or coolness of color can make a significant difference in your design. Blue and green shades are considered cool, while red and orange shades are warm. Every color has warm and cool shades that can be easily identified on a color wheel. It’s essential to determine the warmth or coolness of a shade of blue or red to ensure your embroidery designs look fantastic. Keeping colors either warm or cool can help you achieve the desired look.
  • Go With Your Gut: While color wheels and schemes are great starting points, you should ultimately trust your instincts and choose the colors you feel drawn towards. Close your eyes and think about the art you have chosen for your embroidery patch. For example, if the patch is related to Valentine’s Day, figure out which hue may best represent the theme of Valentine’s. When thinking about Valentine’s Day, the shades that come to your mind are the right choice for you. Begin by selecting complementary hues and then take it to the next level by adding a few more shades.
  • Pro Tip —— Break the Rule: After all the technicalities of selecting color schemes, you can discover an “unscientific” secret to choosing colors for embroidery threads. You can also go for reliable service providers of sew on patches UK to get your work done from experts in threads and colors. Find a design that you like, which has already been put together. Look at your Royal thread chart and match the colors, noting which thread comes closest to the existing design. This may go against color theory “rules,” but if you or your client like it, then it works.


Practice makes a man perfect. This phrase fits best when it comes to learning the art of choosing the right color for your embroidery designs. Sometimes, deciding on the right hue for your design can become tricky. Allow yourself to experiment, learn and take your time. We hope with the help of this article you will be able to make a quick and effective selection of your thread colors in no time. Playing with colors is not only therapeutic but also increases your experience and skills in the field of embroidery colors. Keep learning!

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