Choosing colors for your embroidery projects is always one of the most satisfying parts of the embroidery process. Lining up coordinating threads together, bringing contrasting colors to find the perfect combination, complementing current trends, all are really good things to consider when creating a new piece for yourself, a gift or for sale at craft shows or online.
But where do you start? Here I will share a few time-tested tips for not only choosing pleasing colors, but also show you where to find some of my favorites.
Seasonal Colors that will show up in the stores will usually be announced a couple of seasons ahead by PANTONE. Who is PANTONE? Well, they are the ones who pick which colors are going to be used by the entire fashion industry - both for apparel and home goods. The create trend reports and really steer the direction that world goes in fashion wise. Their trend reports are always free on their website (linked here to the Fall 2010 US page) (You can choose to see the trend reports for Europe as well by looking at the London link)
Now that you know what the industry is moving toward you can make some good decisions for what colors you will choose for your projects!
One thing to keep in mind, is that any embroidery is considered a durable application - it's not as trendy as Heat Transfer Vinyl or Scrapbooking, even though there are plenty of uber-trendy designers creating up to the minute embroidery designs that reflect things in the pop culture. Machine embroidery, or even had embroidery is meant to last and be enjoyed for many seasons and years, and even passed on as heirlooms when worked on quality materials.
Having said that if you are a seller of embroidered goods at all, it is good to keep up with all of the current style trends. Your work will stand out at the market as relevant and familiar to what people are seeing in the mall or at high end retailers. Embroidery is, after all, a high end application and people expect to pay more for long lasting goods.
I love looking at the trend reports, especially when I am thinking of fall craft shows! Looking at this year's trend forecast, I love to see the rich hues of navy, green, and red included in the Fall Pallette (called Evening Blue, Biking Red, and Guacamole this time!) The Blue and the Green are their foundational core shade colors, so you can expect to see a lot of that in the stores when you are building a fall wardrobe. The other trendy colors are more accents that you will see a lot of in the prints and For embroidery, you can build on this foundation by choosing similar background colors (you don't have to get specifically Pantone numbered shades but something similar will keep you trending in the right direction!) Their other foundation colors, Vanilla Custard and Paloma are timeless cream and grey shades that are perfect foundations for table linens, scarves, evening wear and the basis for heirloom embroidered goods.
How would I use these colors? I start thinking now of materials I have on hand for what I plan to create. Navy and grey vinyl? Got it! Joann's carries this inexpensively in their upholstery department.
Guacamole? Biking Red? In the vinyls that I love to use I will turn to online retailers like My Punkbroidery, the Vinyl Nest, and Blue Pumpkin Vinyls to find the perfect shades! There are so many great places to purchase vinyl from but these are my regulars and I'm never disappointed with their quality!
My Punkbroidery has this gorgeous Crimson Promo Vinyl, or this rich Fine Wine Promo Vinyl . For a green I absolutely love this LIME PATENT VINYL so much. I love all the patent vinyls but this lime is perfect for the Guacamole component of a fall embroidery pallette. Can't you just see awesome navy monograms on the lime patent? ::swoon::
From Blue Pumpkin Vinyl I'd pick some of the cool Cowboy vinyl sheets to use as backgrounds for embroidered in the hoop projects. I love the rich but subtle textures of this rich brown Cowboy Vinyl and any monochromatic embroidery would be gorgeous on it and make beautiful accents for your in the hoop projects of table accessories! I can just see elegant napkin rings and placecards made from this material!
What about the Color of the Year Living Coral? Now that the year is more than half over is this color to fall away? I carried a purse earlier in the year made from this color, but I'm kind of tired of it, but I can see that by exploring the color harmonies further down on the page I can carry this into the fall by adding some coordinating accessories like beautiful tags or bag charms that can carry me into the fall for sure! The contrast of the color harmonies really freshen up a color you may be tiring of! If you haven't played with coral yet, you might pick up some of this Salmon Premium vinyl from The Vinyl Nest for some of your in the hoop embroidery projects!
I hope you have fun playing with gorgeous fall colors in your embroidery work this fall! There are so many directions you can go and I'd love to see how you make them part of your life!