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Embroidery Options & Trends

 Tone-on-Tone Embroidery
Tone-on-tone embroidery is a fairly basic application. It means applying an embroidery design in the same color as that of the fabric which it is being sewn on. For example, white stitching on a white garment. The result is a very subtle, yet rich look which can be quite striking in appearance.

To date, tone-on-tone embroidery has been closely associated with the fashion-forward segment of the embroidery industry. It became a fast-growing trend several years ago and has remained a popular embroidery technique for those clients interested in an understated, yet classy look.
Though it would seem logical that a tone-on-tone embroidery design would disappear against the background, it actually is quite visible, while remaining somewhat muted. This is because the fabric normally is a flat color, while the embroidery thread has some sheen to it, causing it to show up surprisingly well against the dull background.
Most commonly, tone-on-tone designs appear on shirts and jackets in the left chest, sleeve, or the yoke areas. (The yoke is the fabric panel on the rear of the garment just below the neck.) One popular application is to use a combination of full color and tone-on-tone logos on the same garment. For example, a corporate client may wish to have his logo on the left chest in full color, and his website URL embroidered on the yoke using a tone-on-tone application. Another similar application might be a distributor’s logo on the front in full color and a list of his key products embroidered tone-on-tone on the right sleeve.
With the resurgence in monogramming, tone-on-tone initials are appearing on the cuffs and collars of men’s dress shirts. Interestingly enough, tone-on-tone monogramming is more prevalent on high-end designer shirts than on budget-priced shirts.
Tone-on-tone embroidery is also found in other applications besides logos. Fashionable ladies’ blouses may be decorated with floral patterns done in a tone-on-tone application, such that it provides an elegant texture without the distraction or gaudiness of contrasting colors.

Many home furnishings such as linens, tablecloths, placemats and towels are tastefully decorated with tone-on-tone designs which add an elegant flair, but do not introduce colors that may clash with the colors or motif of the room in which the item will go. For example, an ivory tablecloth with ivory embroidery will blend into a variety of kitchen decors, whereas the same ivory tablecloth with light green embroidery will only blend in to a severely limited number of interior schemes.
Thus, tone-on-tone embroidery enhances the item it embellishes without limiting its versatility to blend in with its surroundings.

By James M. (Jimmy) Lamb

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