What is a Thread Conversion Chart?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A thread conversion chart is used to help a person find an appropriate color of embroidery thread for her project. A cross-stitch project, or other project using embroidery thread, comes with a chart to show which colors the creator used in the project. Typically, the chart shows both a color sample of the thread and an identification number that tells the brand and specific ID code for that thread. When the person cannot find the exact thread used in the pattern, she can use a thread conversion chart to find an acceptable replacement.

Available both online and on paper, thread conversion charts work by first entering or locating the brand and ID number for the embroidery thread the person wants to replace. She either skims down a list until she finds the ID number, or uses an online converter and enters the ID number into a box. A corresponding ID number is listed beside each original ID number, or will appear on the computer screen when the user enters the first ID number. This new number tells her the ID code of a specific color that will closely matched the original she entered, but is available through a different company.


To ensure the thread conversion chart provides the best results, the user needs to check that she's using a chart that covers the specific brand she needs to convert. She may also want to convert to a specific brand, or type, of embroidery thread. To do this, she should check that the converter's results are for that specific brand or style.

Often an embroidery thread pattern comes with a color chart, the part which lists the ID code of all the colors used and may provide a small picture of the color. If using a conversion chart doesn't work or is unavailable for the brand the person needs to convert to, she can use the color chart instead of a thread conversion chart. To use the color chart, she holds the embroidery thread she wants to use next to the color sample to see how much it differs from the picture.

People often choose to use a thread conversion chart or a color chart to find cheaper embroidery thread or thread available from a specific company. The thread used on older patterns may be unavailable if the company has gone out of business or stopped producing that color. Using one of the available charts will help the shopper find a replacement from an existing company.


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