Matching Colors is one of the most important issues in embroidery. We feel it's so important because
no matter how good the colors selection of original designs is - you often just have to
change the colors, to make them fit your specific project. Otherwise, the original color scheme may look
ridiculous, or even ugly.
In this issue, we'll try to cover "safe" ways to match colors, and show how to predict if a certain combination
of colors will look nice on your project.
You've probably noticed that when you download embroidery designs, and try to view them via your embroidery
software (or embroidery machine), the colors don't look like the original picture.
Sometimes the difference between original colors and what you see in "design preview" is minor. And sometimes
it is huge. This happens because each machine and software loads it's own color palette.
If you're lucky enough to purchase designs digitized in similar software to yours - you will see very close
or similar colors to the original ones. Yet, most often this doesn't happen, and you
drive crazy trying to recognize the design.
What to do?
Most decent companies that sell embroidery designs offer thread change lists that you can use as color
guides. These lists usually include color swatches, color names, and often matching numbers of thread
for popular thread brands.
In this case, all you need to do when stitching a design is open it's color sheet file (usually in
graphical GIF, JPG or PDF format), and match the thread exactly in the order of thread change list.
You may even print these color sheets if you want.
Yet, how do you know whether the original colors fit your project? And if not - how to change them
to get a winning combination? There is a more or less easy and inexpensive way to do this.
Checking If The Original Color Scheme Fits Your Project
Often the original colors, suggested by digitizer, will look on your project perfectly well. So
they're worth checking, before you dive into creating your own color scheme.
To check whether the original colors fit you, take out the fabrics that you're planning to use
for your project. If it's more than one fabric - put them one near another, to see if they match.
Everything should match, not only thread colors. Also, make sure that the materials look well together.
Usually fabrics done from natural fibers go well with other natural fiber fabrics and trims, and
synthetic ones go better with synthetic "partners". But of course there are exceptions.
When you're satisfied with your basic fabrics - open Embird software, or any other embroidery
editing program that allows you to pick up your own color as design's background.
Open the embroidery design you want to use, and pick up background color that is as close as possible
to your future background fabric. Then fix design colors to match the original color scheme, using
thread change list, and see how this all looks together.