cross-point stitching – Neutrals

NEUTRAL COLORS for cross-point™ stitching


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Neutral or “natural” colors are the most difficult to use without looking dull yet when combined in just the right tones and hues they can be most attractive in their simplicity and elegance. Nearly every other color goes with black or white and those two colors alone can create dramatic combinations. A neutral background as a starting point can be enlivened with other colors that change throughout the seasons. But neutrals can also offset each other and change continuously during a day depending on the light source, be it natural sunshine or artificial lighting. In our cross-point™ technique, the cross stitch in wool creates slight shadow patterns and the colors do change depending on the light source. Dark colors can become darker, light sand and cream can turn tan and beige, warm white can become cream, cool white can take  on icy blue tones.


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Grains of sand, sheaves of wheat, limestone, bleached wood, white sheets fluttering in the wind, vanilla, cream, buttermilk, milk white, pale gray – these are the colors most people think of as “neutral”. They set off anything placed against them, especially paintings and antiques, flowers and greenery. They combine beautifully with other natural materials like leather, sisal, linen and canvas. In the cross-point™ collection, they are well suited to be companions to other colorways that contain one of these colors.

bal01,cel05 200gasm06,pisa-bp-07 200at left:
Celtic Knot #CEL-05 with
Balouch #BAL-01;
at right:
Pisac #PISA-BP-07 with
Game Board #GASM-06


We can look to our own natural landscape to find the right color combinations that will feel right may they be neutrals of grayed greens, greyed browns, brown greens, greyed sea greens or blues, somber ponds, grey skies, deep ocher red of clay soils, black browns of woodland floors – even green itself is considered a neutral since most of us are surrounded by it. Thinking of neutrals in terms of natural materials brings to mind the colors of those materials. Whether cool or warm, different times of the day, different sources of light – natural or artificial – create and entirely different mood. Think about how weather influences color outdoors – a tree trunk may be bright silvery gray in full sun but turn near black in rain; or sand that is near white in strong sun but turns into near brown when wet. These are just two examples and I could go on and on but you get the picture. Your choices are enormous when it comes to balancing warm and cool tones. The brown and greyed greens from historic tapestries, for example, can be combined with khaki, tan, sea spray (which can be either more green or more blue but has a lot of gray in it), or even deep true red.

NEW brown greens & neutrals 72

Shown above top left: Topkapi #TOP-09; at right: Basilica in 3 sizes #08;
center: Grapes with Leaf Border – Pillow and Runner – 07;
brown greens with possible color combinations of tan, sea green, sea blue, khaki, blood red

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