Neutral vs Non-neutral Colors

Neutral Colors of Bottom Line Polyester Thread by Superior Threads Brytes Polyester Thread by Superior Threads

Choosing thread colors is a complicated process. As a man, I would choose a red, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and white and be satisfied. Doesn't that sufficiently cover the entire spectrum? A few years ago, we were working on color combinations for a new thread. Heather created a variegated beige combination which, upon seeing it, I commented, "That's nothing great. Who would want those colors?" She occasionally reminds me of my comment because that particular color has always been one of the best-sellers. That's why we refer to her around the office as "Mother Superior." 

Neutral colors are subtle, blend well, and do not compete. They often have a chameleon-like quality which allows them to change or blend with surrounding colors. Neutral colors put the focus on other colors. Although neutral colors are often described as blacks, whites, grays, and browns, this list is not complete. Neutral colors can exist in every color group including reds, yellows, greens, blues, and purples.

The Bottom Line thread contains excellent examples of neutral colors. This thread is an extra fine thread and is suitable for quilting, applique, binding, bobbin thread, top thread, and detail embroidery. In many of these applications, a blending or neutral color is preferred. If the bobbin thread pulls through and is slightly visible on the top, a neutral color bobbin thread will blend and it will not be seen. If the desired quilting effect is to blend the thread in order to accent the stitching, a neutral color will do this. The original 25 colors of The Bottom Line were chosen for their neutral properties. For example, the red color appears rather dark by itself; however, when a single strand is put against other medium to dark red colors, the thread almost disappears. Color #623 (Silver) looks almost semi-transparent and blends beautifully when it is held up to almost any color of fabric. Color #617 is a wonderful blending color for medium-tone fabrics.
For darker blending shades, chose a color of Bottom Line in the color family of the fabrics. All of the original 25 colors of The Bottom Line are neutral shades and blend beautifully within their respective color groups.

The first 25 colors were only the beginning. Libby Lehman, who helped us design The Bottom Line, requested many more colors of this thread. The next addition of 25 colors fill in the color families by providing lighter, brighter, and darker shades. These colors will be more visible than the original neutral shades. Choose these colors when you want the thread to show. Choose the neutral shades when you want the colors to blend. We have added 5 new Neutral tones to our collection and have a total of 55 colors to choose from.

Back to all Education

By: Bob Purcell