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Choosing Color Combinations

Posted by Becky Bechtel on

It’s sometimes hard to choose an accent color for a new basket you are weaving. It’s even more difficult to select multiple colors that complement each other and don’t clash. Plus, did you know that 1 in 12 men (which is why wives have to pick out their husband’s clothes, lol) and 1 in 200 women have some degree of color blindness? People with the most severe forms of color blindness (or color deficiency) can only tell about 20 hues apart from each other. Compare that to the normal color vision which can distinguish more than 100 different hues. So most of us can use a little help from time to time.

Choosing color schemes can be as easy as going to the paint counter at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. Many paint swatches show color combinations that are pleasing to the eye. You can pick up a few of these and start an inspiration library. For me, I have a Pinterest board titled “Color My World”. I’m always pinning color palettes for easy reference later. One of my favorite inspiration websites is  You can see that not only does it give you colors that go well together, but it shows you how they work in nature with real life examples.

Also, check out You can upload (very quickly) one of your own pictures. A color palette will be generated immediately that reflects your photo. You can then click your mouse on any one of the colors in the palette to identify it.

They will then provide a “complementary” color – which is one that is opposite it on the color wheel. Use complementary colors when you want something to stand out.

The “triad” colors will also be provided. Triad colors are evenly spaced (triangle) around the color wheel and can be used to create “harmony”. Using triadic colors are best used when one dominates and the two others are used for accent.

Here’s an example from their website using a photo I took of a recent sunrise in Naples, Florida.

I know … isn’t that just an awesome sunrise! Hypothetically, if that photo was blown up to 16” x 20” and was hanging over my entryway table, I could easily choose colors that would perfectly coordinate in a hand woven basket.

If you are a traditionalist that weaves with natural reed only, take a chance and explore color. There's a rainbow waiting just for you.

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” John Rushkin

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