Embroidery thread color and chart

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Machine embroidery
Module: Computerized embroidery
to improve
2021/03/20
See also


1 Introduction

Embroidery thread colors build on palettes based on proprietary spool numbers. They differ by manufacturers and by product lines.

Each brand has its own color numbering system and this makes it very difficult to manage embroidery designs. However, some brands provide equivalence tables with the color Pantone chart, popular with graphic designers and in the textile and plastics industries. However, the Pantone system includes thousands of colors while thread manufacturers have only hundreds. Finally, it is difficult (but possible) to find correspondence tables between digital colors (RGB, HSL, etc.) and yarn colors.

Example:

Name RGB Pantone Madeira Rayon 40! Sulky Durak
Red ff0000 (255,0,0) 54029 unknown (1146, 1485 are close) 942-1317 "POPPY" and 942-1246 "ORANGE FLAME"(?) unknown (527, 3016, 700, 3094 are close)
Orange ffa500 (255,165,0) 165 unknown (1021 is close) 942-1065 "ORANGE YELLOW" -

In short, it's almost impossible to know what a brand's color looks like without having the thread in front of you. And without a Pantone color chart, it is difficult to identify. Because online color charts are unreliable due to differences in monitor calibration, you need to order good quality printed versions. Refer to the Links section at the end of this article for some RGB/Pantone conversion charts or check the table below.

2 Best Practice

Certain types of embroidery, require an effective management strategy. To begin with, we recommend:

  • Certain types of embroidery, especially "beautiful embroidery" use sophisticated shades. If you are interested in this type of embroidery, we recommend that you choose a preferred type of thread and brand, such as Rayon size 40 (like Madeira Rayon Classic 40) or polyester 40 (like Gunold Polysoft 40). Then, buy a fairly extensive palette of threads. If you're more interested in embroidering logos, it's not necessary. A few colors are enough and you can easily mix brands and thread types.
  • Understand how your embroidery machine handles palettes.
  • Use the "palette" functions of your embroidery software, so standardize the colors you use. This also allows you to more easily copy elements from one design to another.

2.1 Color management in Stitch Era

In Stitch Era 2.0, you can find the palette manager on top of the embroidery thread palette on the left (small "palette" icon). Then you can choose a palette, create favorites and associate a palette element to a chosen needle (to be developed).

2.2 Color management in Inkstitch

Inkscape allows you to manage various palettes. If you did install InkStitch properly, you can choose from a wide range of palettes. Even if you are working with threads from other manufacturers, we recommend that you choose only one, e.g., the one from Brother Embroidery, because there is a small but good selection of colors. This allows you to easily exchange elements from one design to another without having to align the colors.

To choose a palette, click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the palette ribbon. Then choose from the Ink/Stitch palette.

Choose a palette in InkScape

Missing is a palette for the Turkish manufacturer Durak that is often used in some areas of Europe, e.g. by ourselves.

3 Brother Thread and Color Chart

Brother defines a limited choice of colors in its palettes, but there is a sufficient number for creating not too ambitious embroideries. In other words, if you work with a small Brother palette in a program like InkScape or Stitch Era, you won't get lost in the color forrest. In addition, our Brother PR1050X will display the colors correctly without additional manipulations. Obviously, we work with other threads and that's why the table also includes thread numbers of other brands. There is still a column missing for Gunold Poly and Durak.

Remember that the display of colors on the screen is approximate and that a "flat" color cannot do justice to an embroidered color that will undergo light effects and depending on the type and direction of the patterns. How also can download a tiny PDF version for printing on a A4 or A3 sheet.

Thread definition and conversion chart / Définition et conversion de couleurs de fils à broder
Names/ noms "brother" Brother embroidery Brother country Autres / Other
English Deutsch Français No. #HEX RGB Color R G B no.2 #HEX RGB Color2 R-2 G-2 B-2 Madeira Polyneon Madeira Rayon Sulky R.A.
Polyster
1 Black Schwarz Noir 900 #000000   0 0 0 100 #000000   0 0 0 1800 1000 1005 5596
2 White Weiss Blanc 1 #F0F0F0   240 240 240 0 #F0F0F0   240 240 240 1801 1002 1001 5597
3 Red Rot Rouge 800 #ED171F   237 23 31 149 #E70268   231 2 104 1637 1037 1037 5678
4 Pink Rosa Rose 85 #F993BC   249 147 188 155 #FD566E   253 86 110 1921 1108 1224 5523
5 Deep Rose Tiefrot Rose foncé 86 #F64A8A   246 74 138 24 #CC2838   204 40 56 1721 1117 1154 9168
6 Flesh Pink Fleischfarben Rose chair 124 #FDD9DE   253 217 222 152 #FC8DAF   252 141 175 1915 1015 1064 5677
7 Dark Fuchsia Dunkelviolett Fuchsia foncé 107 #C70156   199 1 86 126 #A0074E   160 7 78 1984 1383 1533 5804
8 Vermillion Zinnoberrot Vermillon 30 #FE370F   254 55 15 148 #FF4209   255 66 9 1779 1179 1184 9023
9 Carmine Karminrot Carmin 807 #F73866   247 56 102 158 #E50033   229 0 51 1986 1081 1511 5561
10 Royal Purple Purpur royale Pourpre royal 869 #770176   119 1 118 636 #450451   69 4 81 1788 1188 1192 5681
11 Magenta Magenta Magenta 620 #913697   145 54 151 625 #670070   103 0 112 1710 1319 1191 5592
12 Salmon Pink Lachsrosa Rose saumon 79 #FCBBC4   252 187 196 122 #F19FBC   241 159 188 1816 1317 1225 5773
13 Amber Red Bernsteinrot Rouge ambre 333 #B54C64   181 76 100 212 #E94C64   233 76 100 1942 1341 1119 5591
14 Lemon Yellow Zitronengelb Jaune citron 202 #F0F970   240 249 112 342 #FEFE7B   254 254 123 1623 1023 1067 5625
15 Yellow Gelb Jaune 205 #FFFF00   255 255 0 43 #FBFB20   251 251 32 1980 1068 1187 5860
16 Harvest Gold Erntegold Or blé 206 #FFD911   255 217 17 334 #FBE96A   251 233 106 1971 1024 1124 5770
17 Orange Orange Orange 208 #FEBA35   254 186 53 335 #FAB600   250 182 0 1951 1137 1024 5694
18 Pumpkin Kürbisgelb Citrouille 126 #FEB343   254 179 67 322 #FAAD4E   250 173 78 1952 1155 1065 5630
19 Tangerine Mandarinenorange Tangerine 209 #FE9E32   254 158 50 336 #FAB700   250 183 0 1965 1078 1078 5518
20 Cream Brown Braun Weiss Brun crème 10 #FFFFB3   255 255 179 331 #FFEFA8   255 239 168 1866 1022 1061 5761
21 Cream Yellow Gelblich Weiss Jaune crème 812 #FFF08D   255 240 141 370 #FFEB84   255 235 132 1861 1349 1135 5564
22 Khaki Khakibraun Kaki 348 #D0A660   208 166 96 242 #E4983B   228 152 59 1939 1255 1055 5636
23 Deep Gold Tiefgold Or foncé 214 #E8A900   232 169 0 354 #F2990E   242 153 14 1772 1172 1025 5770
24 Brass Messingfarben Cuivre 328 #BA9800   186 152 0 404 #EECC0C   238 204 12 1791 1192 1159 9109
25 Linen Leinen Farbig Drap 307 #FEE3C5   254 227 197 25 #FCDBA1   252 219 161 1682 1149 1082 5635
26 Dark Brown Dunkelbraun Brun sombre 58 #2A1301   42 19 1 717 #1D1803   29 24 3 1859 1130 1129 5637
27 Reddish Brown Rotbraun Brun rougeâtre 337 #D15C00   209 92 0 264 #FE470C   254 71 12 1753 1253 1021 5781
28 Clay Brown Lehmbraun Brun argile 339 #D15400   209 84 0 224 #B87432   184 116 50 1621 1021 1158 5590
29 Beige Beige Beige 843 #EFE3B9   239 227 185 12 #F0D5B3   240 213 179 1738 1138 1127 5598
30 Warm Gray Warmgrau Gris vif 399 #D8CCC6   216 204 198 706 #AC9A61   172 154 97 1860 1085 1218 9126
31 Russet Brown Rotbraun Brun roussâtre 330 #7D6F00   125 111 0 414 #BAA308   186 163 8 1726 1194 1126 5702
32 Light Brown Hellbraun Brun clair 323 #B27624   178 118 36 255 #682408   104 36 8 1729 1056 1128 5789
33 Seacrest Blassgrün Vert pâle 542 #A8DDC4   168 221 196 505 #74C6B1   116 198 177 1647 1219 1077 5578
34 Mint Green Pfefferminzgrün Vert menthe 502 #9ED67D   158 214 125 461 #C8DCC8   200 220 200 1702 1302 1047 5511
35 Leaf Green Blattgrün Vert feuille 509 #66BA49   102 186 73 463 #77C487   119 196 135 1749 1050 1510 5514
36 Olive Green Olivgrün Vert olive 519 #132B1A   19 43 26 476 #0D2A07   13 42 7 1904 1396 1174 5502
37 Dark Olive Dunkelolivgrün Olive foncé 517 #435607   67 86 7 473 #B0CF78   176 207 120 1769 1156 1156 9122
38 Teal Green Blaugrün Vert sarcelle 534 #008777   0 135 119 483 #78C79F   120 199 159 1879 1298 1503 5751
39 Emerald Green Emerald Grün Vert émeraude 507 #00673E   0 103 62 485 #005127   0 81 39 1750 1250 1079 5508
40 Deep Green Dunkelgrün Vert foncé 808 #003822   0 56 34 467 #00301E   0 48 30 1703 1370 1208 5615
41 Fresh Green Frischgrün Vert frais 27 #E3F35B   227 243 91 442 #CBE9A2   203 233 162 1706 1102 1209 9153
42 Lime Green Limonengrün Vert tilleul 513 #70BC1F   112 188 31 444 #B6DD11   182 221 17 1848 1049 1177 5622
43 Moss Green Moosgrün Vert mousse 515 #2F7E20   47 126 32 446 #518921   81 137 33 1770 1369 1176 9091
44 Blue Blau Bleu 405 #0A55A3   10 85 163 586 #006390   0 99 144 1829 1177 1076 5684
45 Ultra Marine Ultra Marin Outremer 406 #0B3D91   11 61 145 575 #0A59A3   10 89 163 1842 1076 1042 5736
46 Light Blue Hellblau Bleu clair 17 #A8DEEB   168 222 235 150 #D5ECEB   213 236 235 1932 1132 1074 5683
47 Sky Blue Himmelblau Bleu ciel 19 #2584BB   37 132 187 512 #B1E2DF   177 226 223 1828 1029 1196 5506
48 Electric Blue Elektrischblau Bleu électrique 420 #095BA6   9 91 166 564 #085A6F   8 90 111 1797 1297 1250 5829
49 Peacock Blue Pfauenblau Bleu paon 415 #134A76   19 74 118 57 #056060   5 96 96 1652 1252 1206 5810
50 Prussian Blue Berliner Blau Bleu de Prusse 7 #0E1F7C   14 31 124 588 #062934   6 41 52 1767 1166 1535 5737
51 Cornflower Blue Kornblumenblau Bleu centaurée 70 #4B6BAF   75 107 175 15 #557FBA   85 127 186 1830 1335 1028 5601
52 Light Lilac Helllila Lilas clair 810 #E49ACB   228 154 203 133 #F36FB1   243 111 177 1911 1031 1121 9016
53 Lilac Lila Lilas 612 #915FAC   145 95 172 623 #C4A0CF   196 160 207 1831 1080 1080 9009
54 Violet Violett Violet 613 #6A1C8A   106 28 138 624 #B480C4   180 128 196 1631 1033 1194 5588
55 Purple Purpur Pourpre 614 #4E2990   78 41 144 635 #691588   105 21 136 1880 1122 1122 5554
56 Lavender Lavendel Lavande 804 #B2AFD4   178 175 212 604 #9285C3   146 133 195 1630 1261 1193 5586
57 Wisteria Violet Wistaria Violett Violet glycine 607 #686AB0   104 106 176 3 #9CBEDB   156 190 219 1943 1311 1032 5587
58 Pewter Zinngrau Étain 704 #4F5556   79 85 86 745 #A8ABAD   168 171 173 1840 1041 1041 9114
59 Dark Gray Dunkelgrau Gris sombre 707 #293133   41 49 51 747 #10140C   16 20 12 1841 1241 1220 5565
60 Silver Silber Argent 5 #A8A8A8   168 168 168 20 #E0CAC6   224 202 198 1812 1087 1011 5640
61 Gray Grau Gris 817 #878787   135 135 135 734 #6E6452   110 100 82 1640 1118 1219 5782

If I understand right, names chosen by thread makers are often badly chosen and some do not correspond to the general consensus, in particular when displayed as RGB colors.

To do one day: Adding web/X11 color because they are often found in designs made for the web and the superb list of colors, because we find it quite convenient to search for a color name on wikipedia and then retrieve the "hex" code, for example the spring green HTML (#00FF80) which is fine for embroidering radioactive monsters, finally the even more appropriate uranium green (#2cfa1f) is missing.

Note on the construction of the table:

  • Done with Excel from the InkStitch Palette files (based on a "gpl" convention), then export and clean up the html.
  • To create the background colors in the cells, we used the following macro, found on stackoverflow
  • The formula to calculate the #hex from 3 cells R,G,B is: ="#"&DEC2HEX(H4,2)&DEC2HEX(I4,2)&DEC2HEX(J4,2)

4 Gunold chart

5 Madeira chart

6 Special threads and gradients

In embroidery (as in any other field), there are colors that can not be reduced to a simple RGB type scheme. We can distinguish:

  • The bi- or multi-color threads, difficult to represent in a drawing
  • Metallic wires that have a brightness, difficult to display on the screen without using superimposed textures. In a design software, it is necessary to choose a close color (for example "gold" or "silver" for two preferred metallic colors).
  • Gradients, composed of 2 to 3 threads embroidered at various densities. Stitch Era does not allow to import vector gradients, but allows to define gradients in the embroidery settings. InkStitch (Jan 2021) allows you to create gradients by manipulating code. Look in this wiki for examples.

7 Links

7.1 Lists of colors

7.2 Lists of embroidery thread manufacturers

If you really care about colors, we recommend buying a color chart because it will be printed with some concern for quality, in other words not as far from reality as a computer screen or printer at home. Otherwise, most online specialty vendors also offer a color chart included in the purchase portal.

  • Cartes de couleurs Madeira: Des fichier PDF par ligne de produit qui comprennent la liste des fil
  • Couleurs Madeira: Des fichiers zip téléchargéables qui contiennent des images jpg pour chacun de leur fils. Pratique analyser les une couleur de près
  • Madeira USA resources (notamment des cartes pour tous les fils, no + images de couleur)
  • Thread Charts de Sulky USA et free downloads contiennent des informations diverses (listes PDF, feuilles excel, convertisseurs, etc.)

7.3 Services de conversion en ligne pour fil à broder

7.4 Tableaux conversions de couleurs fils

7.5 Liens de liens