A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Choose Multiple Thread Colors for Shading

There’s a saying in design that goes like this: “Value Does the Work and Color Gets The Credit”

That is to say when you want to create a beautifully colored piece of work, “Think Value, not Color”
The more variety of values you have in your colors the greater your chances of creating a beautiful design.

This week, we’re going to move from using one thread color to several thread colors..  As I’ve stated above, when you’re working with multiple colors, if at all possible, limit the number of colors and rather increase their value variations.

What do I mean when I say that.

Choosing Thread Colors
For example if you choose to work with these three colors of thread - Red, Yellow and Green. Choose variations of the same color to work with.  That is you should choose:
  • value variations of red threads (light red threads, medium value red threads and dark value red threads)
  • value variations of yellow threads (light yellow threads, medium value yellow threads and dark value yellow threads)
  • value variations of green threads (light green threads, medium value green threads and dark value green threads)

Use a limited color palette when you’re starting. (Start with 3 colors, experiment and then increase if you decide to)
Choosing a large number of colors will not necessarily make your work look interesting its the large value variations that will.

Watch this video to see how to use multiple thread colors.

Try the teacup example again.  This time use  different thread colors for the cup, the plate and spoon.

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
Let's go draw.

Warmest Regards,


  1. Great series of posts Clara! It's mesmerizing to watch you stitch!

    1. Fascinating. Tru;y enjoying this series. Ruth

    2. Great, Ruth!!. I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the series.


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