Sewing-Room-11 Whether you use a thread rack, a special storage case or a drawer, our color coded spools and color numbering system make it easy to organize your thread into color families.   We’ve made it easy– if you simply line up the threads with the color numbers in order, the spools will automatically be grouped by color families.

The color number is located on the bottom spool label just above the right hand corner of the bar code.

bottom tickey

The new system is sequential and logical. Here’s the breakdown for the color families:
0001 to 999 White / Black / Greys (Neutrals)
1000 to 1999 Pinks
2000 to 2999 Reds
3000 to 3999 Purples
4000 to 4999 Blues
5000 to 5999 Aqua / Jades
6000 to 6999 Greens
7000 to 7999 Yellows / Golds / Oranges
8000 to 8999 Browns (Including Natural, Cream and beige)
9000 to 9999 Special Effects (Multi-colors, Twists, Metallics, Fluorescents, Tints, etc.)

We used 4 digits so that there was plenty of room to add colors between the shades without disrupting the logic. The first digit signifies a color family, the second digit signifies light, medium, or dark and the last two digits reference the unique color. Within the color family, colors are further grouped by shade so a low number like 4010 is a very light Crystal Blue, 4470 is a mid-range Yale Blue, and 4900 is Navy which is a dark color.

We have also made it easy for you to group your threads by type by color coding the spools.  Each thread type has its own spool color. Here are some examples:

White Spool- All Purpose thread

White Spool- All Purpose thread

Lavender spool- Fine Thread


Taupe spool- Heavy thread


Turquoise Spool- Button & Craft thread


Green Spool- Hand Quilting Thread


Yellow Spool- Cotton All-Purpose thread


Spa Blue Spool- Cotton Covered thread


Mahogany Spool- Upholstery Thread

If you have older spools of Coats & Clark thread or spools that are not on the new snap spools, the numbers will be from our previous system. Our conversion chart can be used to convert these numbers to new numbers. Color Conversion Chart

About the Author

Lynn is Director of Consumer Services with Coats & Clark.

10 Responses to Organizing your Thread by Color
  1. I store my thread in a 3 drawer storage unit with cardboard dividers in color waves.

  2. I am trying to organize my threads and see what colors I may want or have extra of when I try to compare to your chart , I have several that are not listed. I am talking about machine embroidery threads. I printed the new COLOR CROSS REFERENCE list does this mean you will no long make colors like # 345 ? which is a grey ? or one of my favorites # 358 which I call a salmon orange .

  3. At the end of your blog on Organizing your Thread by Color it had a link to a ‘color conversion chart’. When I click on the link, I get the ‘Whoops! must have dropped a stitch page’. Is this color conversion chart still available?

  4. What does ‘H2’, ‘L5’, ‘D5’, ‘J5’, etc mean between the Art/S numbers & the color numbers? Also, what does Art 230A or S930 represent?

    • Hi Eunice,
      Just above the bar code is a series of information. The article number for example Art.230 or S910, represents each different thread and size spool that we have. The center letter and number for example H2 or D5 is a production code. The last number is the color number.

  5. What do you mean by Product Code? There are a lot of codes. I work parttime at Joann Fabric and had a customer bring in a picture with a spool of thread. We found the article and color and could not match what you say is the product code..does it roll?

  6. I’m beginning to HATE your website. I can’t find a color chart for your metallic threads and that’s all I need. Putting color chart in your search bar gives me nothing but articles and not the color chart.


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