Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. Textile Society of America's 15th Biennial Symposium. Savannah. GA. October 19-23. 2016.


Copyright 2016 by Katherine Diuguid


Unexpected things happen when you mix colored threads with metal threads in embroidery--the metals cast their reflections onto the threads, changing the perception of the colors to the viewer. The expectation is for the metal to reflect the light. The excitement lies in the unpredictable nature of how the reflections affect the perception of the surrounding colors and how these perceived colors change as the metals age. Color theory principles are seen in their extremes when mixed with the metal threads. The natural reaction when approaching gold is to assume it is a yellow, making purple its complement according to traditional color theory principles. However, purples appear black against the gold quickly, as they get darker. The lighter the purple, the more it begins to take on a golden appearance. The metal threads create a glow that both captivates and entices viewers with its rich appeal. Through this research, optical mixing was analyzed and explored with stitched samples to discover how to maximize a limited color palette and the luster of the metals in composition.