Nervous about color? Take heart.

This course will turn you into a confident designer.

Color in weaving can be complicated. Downright capricious, in fact. Sometimes a beautiful palette of yarns will weave into a gorgeous project, and sometimes they’ll weave into mud. The exact same colors!

Mistakes would waste precious time and materials. 

So you might feel nervous about choosing colors.

You might limit yourself to familiar palettes or to project recipes, for fear of messing up. Or you might feel so frustrated that you call yourself a  “color idiot".

But you don’t need artistic talent to design beautiful work.

You just need to understand how color works.

Color Courage for Weavers will help you understand color, so you can confidently design gorgeous cloth in the hues you love.

What's in the course?

  • 1


    • Welcome!

    • Getting Started

    • Navigating the course and doing the exercises

    • Downloadable references

  • 2

    Hue: Warm and Cool Colors

    • Welcome to the Hue chapter!

    • Understanding Hue...and Choosing Colors that Stay Bright

    • Time to play: Colors That Stay Bright

    • Color mixing: What did you find?

    • Discussion points: What's surprised you about color mixing?

    • Color is Like a Cocktail Party...Hue Contrast and How to Use It

    • Time to Play: Hue Contrast

    • Hue contrast: What did you find?

    • Discussion points: What would you do now?

    • It's All About Temperature...Warm and Cool Colors

    • Time to Play: Warm vs. cool hues in weaving

    • Discussion points: Your exploration into warm & cool color combinations

    • Handwoven Gallery: Hue

    • Finding your voice: What hues do you use? Do you want to expand your palette?

    • Reflection: What have you learned about hue?

    • Additional resources

  • 3

    Value: The Key to a Bold or Subtle Pattern

    • Welcome to Chapter 2: Value!

    • What is Value?

    • Value: Light vs. Dark

    • Learning to See Values: Organize Your Stash

    • Creating a Clear Pattern: Value Contrast

    • Time to Play: Value and Pattern Clarity

    • Value and Pattern Clarity: What did you find?

    • Design your own project: Bold and Subtle Patterns

    • Creating Contrast to Get Clear Patterns: Weave Structure

    • Time to Play: Weave Structure and Pattern Clarity

    • What did you find? Weave Structure and Pattern Clarity

    • Applying What You've Learned: Weave Structure and Pattern Clarity

    • Creating Pattern Clarity: Pattern Size

    • Time to Play: Yarn Size and Viewing Distance

    • What did you find? Yarn Size and Viewing Distance

    • Handwoven Gallery: Value

    • Finding your voice - value

    • Reflection: What have you learned about value?

    • Additional Resources

  • 4

    Saturation: Drawing Attention

    • Welcome to Chapter 3: Saturation!

    • Saturation: What it is and why it attracts attention

    • Time to Play: Saturation Draws Attention

    • What did you find? Saturation and Attention

    • Using Saturation to Create Focus

    • Time to Play: Using Saturation to Create Focus

    • What did you find? Using Saturation to Create Focus

    • Design Your Own Project: Saturation and Balancing Proportions

    • Handwoven Gallery: Designing With Saturation

    • Finding Your Voice: Saturation

    • Deeper Thought: Using Hue, Value, and Saturation to Create Focus

    • Reflection: What have you learned about saturation?

    • Additional Resources

  • 5

    Controlling Color Mixing in Weaving: The Role of the Draft

    • Welcome to Chapter 4: Color Mixing!

    • How colors mix in weaving: Optical Mixing

    • Treasure Hunt: Seeing Optical Mixing

    • Color Mixing and Weave Structure

    • Time to Play: How do your yarn colors mix?

    • What did you learn? Drafts and color mixing

    • Color Mixing Tools for Weavers

    • Design Your Own Project, Part 1: Instructions

    • Design Your Own Project, Part 2a: Blended Colors

    • Design Your Own Project, Part 2b: Partially Mixed Colors

    • Design Your Own Project, Part 2c: Separated Colors

    • Handwoven Gallery - Color Mixing

    • Finding Your Voice: Your Design Process

    • Reflection: What have you learned about color mixing?

    • Additional Resources

  • 6

    How Colors Relate to Their Neighbors

    • Welcome to Chapter 5: How Colors Relate to Their Neighbors!

    • How Colors Affect Their Neighbors

    • Time to Play: How Colors Affect Each Other

    • What Did You Learn? How Colors Affect Each Other

    • Applying What You've Learned: How Colors Affect Each Other

    • How Colors Relate to Their Neighbors: Shading and Depth

    • Time to Play: Depth and Shading

    • What Did You Learn? Depth and Shading

    • Playing with Yarn: Creating Color Gradients

    • What Did You Learn? Creating Color Gradients

    • Handwoven Gallery - How Colors Relate To Their Neighbors

    • Design Your Own Project: Depth and Shading

    • Finding Your Voice: Playing, Creativity, and Mistakes

    • Reflection: What did you learn about how colors relate to their neighbors?

    • Additional Resources

  • 7

    Designing with Color: Mood

    • Welcome to Chapter 6: Mood!

    • Mood: An overview

    • Ambiance

    • Time to Play: Ambiance

    • What did you learn? Ambiance

    • Drama

    • Time to Play: Drama

    • What did you learn? Drama

    • Intrigue

    • Time to Play: Intrigue

    • What did you learn? Intrigue

    • Applying What You've Learned: Mood

    • Finding Your Voice: Mood

    • Design Your Own Project: Mood

    • Reflection: What did you learn about mood?

    • Additional resources

  • 8


    • Congratulations!

    • Additional color resources

  • 9

    Q&A sessions

    • Q & A Session 1 - September 28, 2019

    • Q&A Session 2 - October 5, 2019

    • Q&A Session 3 - October 12, 2019

    • Q&A Session 4 - October 19, 2019

    • Q&A Session #5 - November 2, 2019

    • Q&A Session 6 - November 9, 2019

    • Q&A Session 7 - November 16, 2019

    • Q&A Session 8 - November 24, 2019

    • Q&A Session - December 14, 2019

    • Q&A Session - January 11, 2020

    • Q&A Session - January 18, 2020

    • Q&A Session - January 25, 2020

    • Q&A Session - February 8, 2020

    • Q&A Session - February 22, 2020

Learn from your fellow students!

Join a lively discussion forum.

Discussion prompts within the course will spark conversation with your fellow students. You'll fill in any knowledge gaps, reflect on what you've learned, and get help and camaraderie as you embark on new color challenges!

With the course, you'll have "forever" access to the discussion forum. We hope you'll hang around and enjoy the company and collective wisdom of your fellow alumni for a good long time!

Enroll now!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this course self-paced?

    Absolutely! You can read the lessons, view the videos, and download the handouts/transcripts at your leisure. You can also choose whether and when you want to participate in the discussion forums. It's entirely up to you!

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    Forever! You can log in any time to access the course materials.

    (And if the teaching platform ever goes away, you'll be able to download the full course materials - videos, everything - before it does. When I say "forever", I mean "forever"!)

  • What if I have trouble accessing part of the course?

    Just drop me a line! Email and I'll help you solve your problem.

  • What if I have difficulty hearing?

    No problem! All the videos in the course feature closed captioning. Downloadable transcripts are available for each video, and text/image summaries are included in each lesson.

    People have very different learning styles, and I have tried to accommodate multiple learning styles as much as possible.

  • What if I'm not satisfied with the course?

    I want you to be happy! If you're not satisfied, just drop me a line at within 30 days, and I'll refund your money. Your satisfaction matters to me!

Meet the Teacher

Hi! I’m Tien Chiu, 

  • award-winning weaver,
  • writer for Handwoven and other weaving magazines, 
  • teacher at Convergence and at many regional conferences.
  • juror for fiber arts shows,
  • author of a book about the creative process in craft,
  • Vice President of the Board at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

My specialty is color in weaving. 

I've spent years studying color theory. I've woven hundreds of swatches and dyed thousands of yarn samples to understand how color theory applies to weaving.

I've distilled what I've learned into a few simple principles anyone can learn.

I'll help you confidently design gorgeous cloth in the hues you love!

What people are saying about Color Courage for Weavers:

“Weavers face very specific color challenges that are not addressed in more general fiber arts classes. Tien breaks down color theory into the areas weavers really need to know. She offers solid advice for how to improve upon color choices and create pieces that make your heart sing.”

Liz Gipson - former Managing Editor of Handwoven, Yarnworker School of Weaving

“Tien’s class explores the way colours work in a way that makes sense. Her approach combines not just the science of colour but also how colour choice can set a mood, how the distance at which a textile is being viewed is important, how to scale up a design and how the impact of value will affect the cloth. She discusses how weave structures can influence how colours work together and the ratio of each colour matters.

This class is the class I wish I’d been able to take when I first started weaving. I’ve learned a lot by viewing it now. ”

Laura Fry - GCW Master Weaver, author of The Intentional Weaver and Magic in the Water

“Tien Chiu’s Color Courage for Weavers provides an excellent review of color theory. Tien then takes these concepts and applies them to weaving patterned cloth.

Her explanations of how concepts such as simultaneous contrast apply to a woven piece of cloth are clear and helpful. She also discusses traits that contribute to the feel of a design and applies color concepts to help you figure out why a design may or may not convey your intended feeling.

Mastering color theory while choosing colors for woven designs is a challenging proposition, and Tien makes the subject clear and approachable.

I think the workshop version of this course is a great way to work through the concepts with help from Tien herself.”

Rebecca Mezoff, master tapestry artist, online teacher at

“Concrete and inspirational color theory that will help all levels of weavers translate their ideas into creative designs. This class will entice students to try new color combinations and explore with confidence.”

Katzy Luhring, Lunatic Fringe Yarns

Student Reviews


Diane Braun

The course is extremely useful. I've been weaving for many years, yet I learned a lot from "Color Courage for Weavers."

The course is extremely useful. I've been weaving for many years, yet I learned a lot from "Color Courage for Weavers."

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Sign up for Color Courage for Weavers - Basic!

Confidently design gorgeous cloth in the hues you love.