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How Do I Choose the Best Thread Color for a Project?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales

Choosing the right thread color for a project can be extremely important. Whether you want the thread to blend in or stand out, selecting a thread can make or break your project. The best color of thread for a project can depend on numerous factors, including your project's fabric, its design, its dominant color and how visible you would like to thread to be.

Generally, choosing a thread color that is a shade darker than the project's fabric is a good idea. The darker shade of the thread helps it to seamlessly blend into the project. Of course, projects can contain multi-colored fabrics as well. If you have a project that contains multi-colored fabrics, identify which color in the pattern is the most dominant, and select a color based on that.

Three spools of thread.
Three spools of thread.

When sewers decide on a thread color, they often take the entire project into account. If a project is design-heavy, they can decide to use a thread color that matches the base fabric of the project. Simple projects can be accented by using contrasting thread colors. Choosing an appropriate thread can depend on whether you want your thread's color to stand out, blend in or simply appear invisible.

Metallic thread is frequently used for embellishment.
Metallic thread is frequently used for embellishment.

Natural colors, such as beige and light gray, have reputations for blending in with most fabric colors. If you're looking for an all-purpose thread that you can use across many different projects, choose a natural thread color. If, however, you're looking for threads that can do more than just blend in, consider buying "invisible thread." Invisible thread is made out of nylon and can come in clear and gray colors. This thread is designed to be almost undetectable, and it can be used with many projects.

Sometimes, sewers wish to add a little pizazz to their projects. Many achieve this by using metallic thread. This type of thread can beautify your project, but you should be aware that this type of thread can break easily and create debris that could get caught in your sewing machine.

Take into account that certain thread types can have drawbacks. For example, colored rayon threads made in countries outside of the United States are known to fade over time. Common nylon thread can yellow and become brittle. Research potential thread types before you buy, so that you can purchase a durable thread for your project.

Discussion Comments


Don't try to remember a color in your mind, either. Always take a small swatch with you to the fabric store to match the thread. Even if you have a good memory for color, you'll never be able to match it in the store unless you have a swatch with you.

Take it from someone who has had to buy extra thread for a project: Always, always have your fabric in hand when you go to pick out thread for it. That way, you'll know what you're getting from the outset. It's just a good practice for sewers or crafters.

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    • Three spools of thread.
      By: Carlson
      Three spools of thread.
    • Metallic thread is frequently used for embellishment.
      By: Alcerreca
      Metallic thread is frequently used for embellishment.