How to pick thread that matches your fabric

Many of the things that I learned when I started sewing come in handy time and time again. Picking the right shade of thread is one of those things. We all know how to pick an item: simply point and say: ‘I’ll take that one, please.’. But picking the right shade for your project is on a completely different level!

Choose the type of thread according to your fabric

Before you start, examine the fabric that you are using. For most projects, standard polyesther thread works fine for sewing things together. However, silk fabric needs to be sewn with silk thread for the best results, and if you are planning on beading fringe or sewing hooks and eyes in place, heavy duty button thread is a more suitable choice. I am very pleased with the thread from Guttermann, a German sewing company. It is expensive but worth it. With inexpensive thread, the thread break, knots, and the color might fade over time.

Bring the fabric with you when you go out shopping for thread: the best match can be made by day light and with the fabric placed underneath the thread. The trick of picking a shade that matches is by unwinding the thread and putting the thread on top of your fabric. Take a step back and see which thread is ‘dissappearing’ before your eyes. This will give you a good image of what the seam will look like. If the thread is nearly undiscernable when it is on top of the fabric, you have found your match!

As an example, I pulled out some purple chiffon and laid out four possible choices. You might notice that the top two are both suitable matches. In that case, go with your gut feeling. Either one would give great results when used.

Picking a matching thread color
Picking a matching thread color

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