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


  • 2

    What is design?

  • 3

    The essential properties of color: Hue, value, saturation

    • Introduction: Hue

    • Hue and the Color Wheel

    • Introduction: Value

    • Value: Light vs. Dark

    • Discussion: Now that you know the importance of a color's value, how do you plan to use value when designing?

    • Introduction: Saturation

    • Saturation: Bright vs. Dull

    • Discussion: What are your favorite palettes? How can you make them more vivid?

    • Discussion: After absorbing the material in this chapter, what thoughts are coming up for you around hue, value, and saturation?

  • 4

    Understanding how colors interact in weaving

    • How colors interact in weaving

    • Optical Mixing: Small dots of color blend together

    • Introduction: Simultaneous Contrast

    • Simultaneous Contrast: Contrasting blocks of color

    • Discussion: What are your favorite drafts? How do they blend colors?

    • Introduction: Color mixing in weaving

    • Color mixing in weaving

    • Discussion: What else would you like to know about color mixing in weaving?

  • 5

    Designing with Color

    • The four traits that give your project its unique look and feel

    • Energy

    • Busy-ness

    • Visual weight

    • Pattern Clarity

    • Discussion: Your tastes in design - how are they evolving? What would you like to explore?

    • Discussion: What else do you think affects the look and feel of a project?

    • Discussion: What other thoughts do you have about energy, busy-ness, visual weight, or pattern clarity?

  • 6

    Designing Your Project

    • Designing your project

    • Project worksheet

    • Evaluating your designs

    • Fixing problems and troubleshooting

    • Discussion: What changes might you consider making to your design process?

    • Discussion: What are your greatest design challenges? How do you plan to approach them now?

  • 7


    • Keep the discussion going! Learn and get support from your fellow alumni at!

    • Wrap-up

    • Acknowledgments

    • More resources on color

  • 8


    • What was your experience in this class? How can I improve this course?

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.