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One thread, unlimited colours

Caroline Zöller

Published on 05.11.2019

Currently, coloured embroidery is applied to textiles using computerized machinery, normally by single or multi-head embroidery machines. Different embroidery heads loaded with different coloured threads are used to produce colourful logos and lettering at industrial speed on workwear, promotional clothing or sports apparel.

However, a new technology has recently been developed in Sweden which could revolutionise the world of industrial embroidery by taking a totally new approach. Coloreel has developed a process that enables high-quality colouring of textile thread in the embroidery machine. The process involves instantly dying a white base thread to the desired colour during the actual embroidery process. You can create any colour and there is no limit to the number of colour combinations available. The coloured thread requires no further treatment once the embroidery has been completed and can be used or washed immediately.

All the major embroidery machines currently in use can be retrofitted with the new colouring unit. And this is just the beginning, as it is intended in the future to use the same technology for dressmaking, knitting, weaving etc. and not just for industrial embroidery.

The manufacturer of the thread colouring unit sees major benefits in the time savings that can be made in machinery setup time, enabling production times for complicated designs to be reduced by up to 80 percent. This system also eradicates the need for keeping large inventories of different coloured thread. All you need to secure production is white thread and enough coloured inks. Since it is possible to combine almost any colour and there is a virtually infinite colour pallet available, you are able to create a huge range of different embroidery motifs. The technology permits smooth colour transitions and shading – e.g. for creating specialised 3D-effects or visualising 3D-objects.

The following video demonstrates just how the technology works.

Images and video: Coloreel