Machine Embroidery Thread Color Conversion Charts List

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When creating beautiful projects, you can choose from thousands of different machine embroidery threads. But what if a new design you plan to stitch lists thread colors in a different brand than the ones you own? How do you find the closest color from within your stash?

Two helpful tools for this dilemma are a machine embroidery thread color conversion chart and embroidery software.

While I often visually inspect my embroidery thread stash and pick colors I prefer, some embroidery designs like photo stitches and character designs require particular thread colors. Thus, the need to convert and pick a close substitution. 

To help with future conversions (for myself and you!), I’ve found several major embroidery thread color conversion charts and linked them below. And, if you can’t find the chart you need, I’ve also listed ways to convert thread colors without using charts or online converters. 

embroidery thread color conversion charts

Major Thread Manufacturer Conversion Charts

There are many charts linked below, which may look overwhelming. However, I’ve listed the charts alphabetically, prioritizing by the brand you want to convert to. (You can also Ctrl+F to find relevant charts.)

Don’t forget that if you can’t find, for instance, a Sulky to Gutermann thread conversation chart, you can still use a Gutermann to Sulky chart and reverse engineer a bit. 

Conversion charts aren’t always perfect because matches are the closest possible color, there may not even be a good close match, and thread numbers can change over time. Also, metallic and variegated threads are difficult to convert. 

Lastly, if you are looking simply for charts with numbers and names for threads, check out my master list of machine embroidery thread color charts

ARC Polyester Thread

ARC threads are fading from popularity, but you can still find a chart to convert DMC floss to ARC Polyester thanks to RNK Distributing. 

Brother Embroidery Thread

Brother embroidery threads (and PaceSetter, Brother Country, etc.) can be converted using Brother’s color thread conversion chart. It converts from Brother to Madeira Polyneon, Madeira Rayon, Sulky Rayon, and Robison-Anton Polyester.  

If you own a Brother embroidery machine, these thread charts are also likely available within your machine for easy conversion. Brother lists the machines covered by their built-in thread conversion charts for you to check. 

Dakota Embroidery Thread

Embroidery Online has a helpful conversion chart from Madeira to Dakota. 

Exquisite Thread (Poly-X40)

DIME’s Exquisite thread is one of my favorite machine embroidery threads. Formerly named PolyX-40, Exquisite threads are easy to convert using DIME’s helpful conversion chart to convert Floriani, Isacord, Robison-Anton, and Madeira to Exquisite threads.

Sewing Machines Plus also has helpful printable charts to convert between Exquisite and each of the three options: 

Floriani Thread

Glide (Fil-Tec) Thread

Fil-Tec’s website hab+dash provides the following charts if you use Glide threads. (I love their bobbin threads!)

Gunold Thread

The Gunold website also has several helpful charts:

  1. Convert Pantone to Gunold
  2. Convert Madeira to Gunold
  3. Convert Robison-Anton to Gunold
  4. Convert Isacord to Gunold 

Gutermann Thread

WAWAK has a helpful chart to convert between retail and industrial shades of Gutermann threads. PatternReview.com also has another Gutermann conversion chart with the colors listed to match the retail and wholesale thread number equivalencies. 

Isacord Thread

Isacord’s website has the following thread conversion charts:

Other helpful websites provide additional charts:

Madeira Thread

Converting to Madeira:

Converting from Madeira:

Embroidery Library has its helpful Madeira calculator

If you know the Madeira thread number and want to convert to ARC, BFC, Brother, Coats and Clark, Exquisite, Fufu, Floriani, Hemingworth, Isacord/Mettler, Isafil, Marathon, Metro, Robison-Anton, Sulky, Thread Art or ThreadDelight, this calculator finds the equivalent shade in these brands. 

Marathon Thread

Marathon’s website has conversion charts for converting Brother to Marathon, Isacord to Marathon, Janome to Marathon, Kingstar to Marathon, Madeira to Marathon, Robison-Anton to Marathon, Royal to Marathon, and Sulky to Marathon. 

Mettler Thread

To convert Isacord to Mettler, Embroidery Online has a chart that lists converting Isacord thread colors to Sulky, Madeira, and Mettler

New Brothread Thread

brothread color conversion chart

Brothread from Amazon (not associated with Brother) uses the Brother embroidery thread coloring scheme. Thus, you can use any Brother embroidery conversion charts to convert to and from Brothread. 

Above, I pictured a chart that came with my machine embroidery thread that converts Brothread to Madeira Rayon or Poly numbers. 

Polystar Thread

Polystar thread uses Brother’s (and Baby Lock’s) color numbering scheme, so you can refer to those conversion charts when converting to and from Polystar thread. 

Robison-Anton Threads

All Threads hosts the most impressive Robison-Anton color conversion calculator.

You can convert to RA threads from the following brands: ABC, ADmelody, A&E Signature, Anchor, Angel, Aurifil, Brildor, Brother, Coats & Clark, Colorful, DMC, Designs by Sick, Echidna, Embroidex, Fat Kat, Floriani, Fu-fu, Gamut, Gunold, Gutermann, Haskins, Hemingworth, Hilo/Iris, Isacord, Isafil, Isalon, Janome, JPCoats, KingStar, Kolors, Madeira, Marathon, Megasheen, Metro, Mettler, Outback, Pantone, Peacock, PolyX, Premium Select, Princess, Radiant, Rapos, Roly Poly, Royal/Tajima, Salus, Spectrum, Sulky, Swist, Threadart, Threadelight, TriStar, Ultima Poly, Valdani, Vyapar, and Wonderfil.

One downfall above is you have to enter thread numbers. If you prefer actual printable conversion charts, you can find the following Robison-Anton color conversion charts from the Thread Exchange.

You can also convert DMC to Robison-Anton Polyester (RNK Distributing).

Simthread Threads

Simthread Embroidery Thread 80 Janome Colors 500M (550Y) Polyester Embroidery Machine Thread Compatible with Janome and Robison-Anton Colors ( 80 Janome Colors in Regular Box)

Simthread, one of Amazon’s more popular thread manufacturers, uses all sorts of numbering schemes for their threads. 

For the pack I own, they used the Brother numbering scheme. (You’ll know it’s likely Brother if the threads have 001 as white, 800 as red, and 900 as black.)

However, if the color numbers on your threads aren’t only numbers but also have an S or a J before them, Simthread has its color charts and color conversion charts for these sets below:

Sulky Thread

Use Sulky’s thread conversion reference to convert DMC embroidery floss to Sulky, Floriani to Sulky, Gutermann to Sulky, Hemingworth to Sulky, Isacord to Sulky, Janome to Sulky, Madeira to Sulky, Mettler to Sulky, and Robison-Anton to Sulky. 

EmbroideryOnline also has one more chart that converts Isacord to Maderia, Sulky, and Mettler.  

Lastly, you can also convert Floriani to Sulky (and also Janome) with this RNK Distributing chart. 

ThreadArt Threads

Thanks to the ThreadArt website, you can access the following conversion charts:

ThreadNanny Embroidery Thread

My ThreadNanny threads use Brother embroidery thread numbering.

Thus, as with Brothread and Simthread, you can use Brother embroidery thread conversion charts to convert to and from ThreadNanny. (If 001 is white, 800 is red, and 900 is black, then that’s the Brother numbering scheme.)

However, if you search in the pictures on the ThreadNanny website, you can find a ThreadNanny to Robison-Anton thread chart

Timeless Machine Embroidery Thread

If you need to convert Isacord to Timeless, Embroidery Online’s chart will help. 

How to Convert Embroidery Thread Colors If You Can’t Find a Chart

If you download an embroidery design that gives colors in one thread brand (Floriani, for example), and you want to convert to another brand (like Isacord), there are several ways to go about this. 

1. Use Embroidery Software to Manage Thread Charts

If you own embroidery software, you can add different thread charts into the software and customize them based on threads you own, for instance. 

The digitizing software I’m most comfortable with is Hatch 3, but it’s pricy. For those not interested in design creation but thread conversion, one of my favorite FREE embroidery programs is dime’s Embroidery ToolShed (it even has its own Mac translator). 

To convert a design to your thread brand, first, open Embroidery Tool Shed. Then, click “Tools” and “General Options.” 

click tools then general options

Under the “Environment” tab, choose your default thread palette. (This is the brand you have in your stash and want to convert to.)

choose default thread color palette

Click “OK.” Every design you now load will default to the closest color match in the default palette.

click ok after selecting color palette

To load an embroidery design, click “File” and “Open.” 

If you want to save a design with the new thread colors, “Save As” in the file format type for your design. You can also access the complete list of colors under the “Design Analysis” section under “File.” 

How to access list of new thread colors

Because thread manufacturers sometimes modify the colors and numbers in their thread lines, the charts in your software may not be perfect. If your program allows you to customize charts, you can fix them. If not, just spot-check design colors before exporting.

2. Use an App

converting with threadbook

While not free, the helpful app ThreadBook features thread palettes from hundreds of manufacturers, and it can be a great resource for converting from one obscure brand of thread to another and creating your own chart. 

It’s only in the Apple App Store for now, though. 

3. Use Embroidery Thread Color Conversion Charts

Printable or PDF embroidery thread color conversion charts are helpful if you frequently convert between different brands. As are online conversion tools. After this section, I’ve curated the charts from the most popular manufacturers so you can print them and keep them with your embroidery machine. 

4. Use Your Embroidery Machine

thread brands I can use on my brother luminaire

Many newer embroidery machines also have built-in thread charts.

My Brother Luminaire, for example, allows me to default to Brother, Isacord, Sulky, Robison-Anton, and several other brands of embroidery thread. Check your machine’s manual or manufacturer’s website to see if you have built-in help for thread conversion. 

9 Comments

  1. I’m just an average cross-stitcher and need to convert Coats & Clark color numbers to DMC as no one sells Coats & Clark and my kit is out of print/stock. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Aly,

    Thank you so much for the above links , especially with regard to downloading the software to a Mac. An observation, driven by my personal need hehe – There is a gap in the information readily available – very few conversion charts for Hemingworth Threads. Maybe you can work your magic ….. I hope so. thanks again….

  3. I would like a printable chart of Robinson-Anton Rayon embroidery thread. Do you know of any place I can get this? You were my last hope. I do not want a conversion but an actual cart of this company.

  4. Please tell me how I can purchase a color chart for Floriani embroidery thread . Both my sister and I would like to purchase one.

  5. I have searched and searched and cannot find a printable madeira rayon to polyneon list anywhere! You would think Madeira would have one, but they don’t even have a conversion chart or anything on their website.

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