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Color Matching Machine Embroidery Thread

21st November 2007

Color Matching Machine Embroidery Thread

Color matching thread can be a tedious and time consuming business and is one of the biggest reasons that many people resist switching thread suppliers.  Converting your designs from one thread manufacturer to another requires figuring out what threads from the new manufacturer coorespond to the threads you currently use.  It can be a lot of work and require a lot of trial and error.

One way to convert between two manufacturers is to get thread charts, with swatches of thread, from both manufacturers and do the conversion by hand.  This is time consuming, but is one of the best ways to ensure that your matches are as exact as possible.  If you do choose to do your conversions yourself, remember that one of the most important things to do is to make sure that you view your thread comparisons under three different light sources.   One source should be outdoor light, on should be room light and one should be ambient light.  Viewing your threads under all three sources will help you to find the most accurate match.

Another method of matching thread colors is to use Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors.  Many thread manufacturers, including Hilos Iris, use PMS numbers so that thread can be matched easily.  There may still be slight variations in shades among the different threads, but you can usually be reasonably certain that a thread ordered by PMS number will be a fairly close match.

There are also companies that offer software that will help you match thread.   MyThreadBox is one.  Easythreads is another.  The advantage to these programs is that the work has been done for you.   The thread matches are already calculated and all you need to do is enter the thread you wish to match and options from other manufacturers will be presented to you.   The thread matching for these programs is done using different methods, so make sure you know how the thread matches were made before you purchase the program.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies, Thread | Comments Off

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