10 Feb 2012
February 10, 2012

Colors, Colors and more Colors!

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When you have over 300 colors, do you really need more? Yes! Color trends shift over time, so periodically we review our color range to make sure we have the latest colors! The sad part is-some colors have to be retired to make room for the new colors. There are only so many spaces in the thread display at your local store. We look at which colors are not selling well and which are trending down. It’s sort of the thread version of not getting the rose!


First we review each color family, starting with the pinks, then the reds, then purples, then blues and so on.

We compare our colors to forecasted colors from organizations like Color Association of the US, Color Marketing Group, Pantone, Stylesight and others. These palettes are usually forecasted for several seasons ahead. This helps to determine what direction a color is moving. For example are purples going to be more blue or more red? Are colors going to be intense and bright or dusty and grayed?

We also look at new fabric lines to be sure we will have the colors to match the fabrics you will be seeing in your fabric and quilt shops.

The new colors are then determined and the real fun starts!! That’s when we get to name the new colors. This usually happens at the end of the day and by that time we can get a little silly–like the time we tried to make our names into colors in the line!
Dye formulas must be developed in our ‘color kitchen’ for the new colors. There is a lot of back-and-forth in the approval process to make sure the color is just right.
Once the thread is produced and wound on the spool, the new labels for the spools and shelves in the thread display must be printed and the stores must rearrange the thread display to accommodate the new colors. Whew! It’s a lot of work, but worth it. Coats & Clark has always had the widest and best color range of any brand of thread.

And oh- the Pantone color of the year, Tangerine Tango? It’s our thread color 7650 Tango and it has been in our color range for 50 years!

About the Author


Lynn is Director of Consumer Services with Coats & Clark.

One Response to Colors, Colors and more Colors!
  1. I really enjoyed this and would like to know which colors are out — and which ones were popular in different decades. Don’t forget, those of us who use Red Heart yarns also use Coats zippers and thread to finish and embellish our knit and crochet projects! I made a clutch purse out of Stitch Nation Alpaca Love in Lotus, and the Coats zipper in Dark Rose, with a bright pink Coats Rayon thread were a perfect match! Thanks!


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