I’ve been making trousers in a very special wool fabric. The colour is difficult to describe; the best I can do is “warm grey”. There are both brown and grey threads in the weave but from a distance it looks like a solid colour. Finding matching notions for fabric isn’t always possible but I wasn’t expecting this one to be so difficult to match. In the picture above are four YKK trouser zips in colours (left to right) named “stone”, “light grey”, “dark grey”, and “charcoal grey”. They’re sitting on top of my fabric. I took the photo in natural light. Stone is far too light. Light grey looks green, dark grey looks blue, and charcoal grey is too dark. Those are all the greys available, and the YKK brown shades are all far too brown. I’m going with the charcoal grey (far right) on the “always go darker” principle. No doubt I’ll find uses for the other three.
22 thoughts on “Colour matching woes”
With the exception of the leftmost one, they all look to be a shade of blue to me. +1 to going dark.
Did you look into some browny shades.. it look grey/brown to me. Either way you won’t see it so it doesn’t matter. I’ve used really random colours sometimes.
I did, and all the browns available looked far too dark or warm. You’re right though, it doesn’t show so the dark grey one is fine.
I agree, often the zip shows so little that I only try to get general color family the same, without worrying too much about an exact match. Or go for whatever I have on hand! As long as I insert the zip decently I’m usually happy with any color zipper.
Although it is darker in tone, the charcoal is a better match to the overall colour of the fabric. The others are, from left, too pink, too green, and too blue.
I agree with your choice. It’s the most difficult thing about making your own clothes imo. Finding the ideal fabric is hard enough, only sewing in black or white guarantees a perfectly matching zip.
I guess in industry they can have things dyed to order which is why we’re used to clothes where everything matches beautifully.
I’ve often wondered about that, especially when it comes to serger thread. There are only a handful of colors available in the store, but shop-bought clothes *always* match the serger thread (and the zipper, or the zipper is in a complementary color). This makes sense.
interestingly when I can’t match a zipper color I look in a different color – like green, as sometimes the color depth seems to coordinate even when the color is not the same.
This is a great idea, I will try that next time thanks!
I hate when it’s so hard to match something! If you ever have a chance, come to NY — there’s a store called Botani that makes custom zippers in every color of the rainbow while you wait. It’s amazing.
One day I hope!
I’d also have thought there would be some sort of taupe brown that would match… sad that there isn’t. Of these I agree with going dark though.
I would go with the 3rd one from the left. The far right is too dark
I’m always surprised by how difficult it is to match zips considering how many colours they come in. But yes I agree with your choice darker is always best
Matching zips is always a pain. You could dye your own, but sure it worth it though. Apparently a procion dye is what you need.
Good choice. But a dilemma still. Sometimes I can’t even find the right colour of thread!!
Looking forward to seeing the finished garment though.
how did a maroon look? sorry to come at it left field but its a colour I would have gone for first before grey. zips can be rather difficult, I live in a small town so the choice of zip colours and threads often feels so limited…..luckily as I have been remaking clothes, I tend to have a stash of zips taken out for reuse….
Ooh I never thought of that! I’ve sewed in the charcoal one now but I’ll remember that for next time.
Yes try value rather than color hue. But if the zip will be covered by a fabric fly, darker better.
Nothing to add apart from thanks for this thread of which I have made a mental note and, more generally, your fab blog. Such great pattern choices and a unique look.
I often think about going for outrageous. Lime green or hot pink or amber for example. Why not? Most of the zip is hidden and a little sliver of colour looks like a deliberate design choice. Odd though that there isn’t a taupe kind of a colour that would have come closer to your fabric colour.
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