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Message Board > Patterns and Notions > Thread Colors.. ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Thread Colors..
Trying to match.. do color numbers MEAN anything?
Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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Date: 3/24/10 8:44 AM

So I'm looking on Atlanta Thread Supply.. When I was last in Joann they didn't have thread on sale, so I didn't get much. I know it's on sale now, but car is having electrical issues.. It's an old car, so the electrical issues should be fairly easily fixable, but it means I can't just run out to Joann now that thread is on sale... and the Joann here isn't very well stocked in Gutterman thread anyway.
So ATS has a thread color chart, but the color chart doesn't represent much of what they actually have. When I was at Joann before I wrote down the C&C color names and numbers for several threads I'd need to get later, figuring I could find them online. It seems that ATS mainly supplies Gutterman, though-- they don't have the C&C colors that I'd written down. So do the thread color numbers have actual meaning? Looking at them, they seem pretty arbitrary. I'm used to color numbers representing HSV or RGB values.. I don't know if anything like that applies here and pigment coloring is different than light anyway, but what I can't tell is whether the thread color numbers mean anything at all? I'd think that if they were going to make color charts that don't encompass all of the colors, at least the colors left out would fall somewhere in between colors shown.. but that would require that they be in some sort of order..
Help!

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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Date: 3/24/10 12:56 PM

And now it gets even more confusing... I have a few (six) spools of Gutterman thread. Mostly the small (110 yard) spools that are the same price at Joann as the 1100 yard spools are at Atlanta Thread Supply. I figured I could compare them to the colors shown in the color chart to get an idea of how the colors show up on my monitor in comparison to the actual thread... and not a single one of the thread colors I have is shown on the chart! HUH?!

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Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 3/24/10 1:52 PM

Each company has their own thread chart and colour numbers.

Plus the numbers for different types of thread within a company may have different numbers for the colours.

If the small spools of Gutterman you have at home, may be a different type of thread from the ones offered by AT.

Gutterman makes poly, cotton, stop stitch, serger, embroidery and other threads, I am sure, but not positive that the smame colour in each stye will have a different number.

All the different embroidery thread companies use different numbering systems too. As do the hand embroidery floss companies.

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Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

Marie_P.
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Marie_P.
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Date: 3/24/10 2:28 PM

There are some different web sites that have thread cross referencing charts. Here is an example.
http://www.artofembroidery.com/threads/threads_browns.htm

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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In reply to Michelle T


Date: 3/24/10 2:42 PM

Would the colors be different between different SIZES of the same thread from the same company?
Not to mention that Atlanta Thread Supply has a bunch of colors listed that aren't on the chart either. But doesn't list the colors that I already have. Even though they're both all-purpose Gutterman thread.
But I don't understand why they don't use color numbers that actually mean something...

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chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
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In reply to Maggiedoll


Date: 3/24/10 4:24 PM

Probably because it would actually be harder to have the numbers mean something, in terms of assigning certain numbers to certain shades, than to assign them randomly. It would mean that every time they add or change a shade, the whole numbering system would have to be shifted. It would make sense for the color numbers for the small spools to be the same as those of the big spools, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they weren't. Companies like Atlanta Thread or Cleaner Supply do wholesale selling, and items intended for wholesale or large suppliers probably differ from what's intended to be sold in retail stores. I've never seen the large Guterman spools in any 'normal' retail stores - the only physical stores I've seen them in were a few NYC garment district stores that appear to also be wholesalers/suppliers.

Do you have a real thread chart? The printed thread chart? Or are you looking online? I got the free printed thread chart from Cleaner Supply and ordered a bunch of thread which, based on the printed pictures, matched my fabrics exactly... and when I got the actual thread, the color was close to, but definitely different from the printed chart. After that I got the real thread chart.

TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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TX USA
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Date: 3/24/10 4:37 PM

The Gutermann thread on the 1100 yd spools from Atlanta Thread doesn't use the same thread card as the Gutermann thread sold locally. I have no idea why, I wish it did!

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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In reply to chicaem29


Date: 3/24/10 5:12 PM

Well if they used bigger numbers and spread them out enough, then they could mean something without shifting if they added something. Like pigment versions of RGB (I guess that'd be RYB?) or HSV color numbering.

I'm looking at the free online version of the Gutermann thread chart. You have to pay for a real one..

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

Sewliz
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Sewliz  Friend of PR
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In reply to Maggiedoll


Date: 3/24/10 9:26 PM

Thread color numbers have always seemed meaningless to me. The companies must have a system but it is beyond me. Color trends come and go in fashion and fabrics and the threads follow so it could be that some of the numbers on the thread you have now are colors that are no longer made.

It doesn't look like the download color chart has all the colors. ?

The real thread chart is a little expensive but it is worth every single penny. You could easily spend that $18 over time in gas trying to hunt down the colors you need. I can match fabric to thread in any kind of light and make my list in my sewing room. Then I order online. I ordered ten spools today. Atlanta Thread is never out of the colors I want, unlike certain brick and mortar stores with their sales, and the price is better anyway. I like the larger spools. They get used up, no problem, plus there is plenty if I want to use some on the serger. If it is an odd color I use it to sew muslins.

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Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

nancy2001
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nancy2001  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/24/10 9:43 PM

Thread color numbers are completely arbitrary and have no more meaning than the numbers on a football player's jersey. If you're buying Gutermann thread online through Atlanta Thread or the even less expensive Cleaner's Supply website, you should buy the Gutermann thread color chart with real thread samples.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

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