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 to Make Your Colors Sing!

    • Start-of-Course Survey

    • No More Fear - A New Approach to Color

    • Before class starts

    • Course calendar

  • 2

    How to navigate the course

    • Navigating the Course Website

    • How to search videos

    • How to use the Discussion Boards

    • Where's the Facebook Group?

  • 3

    How the course works

    • How this course is organized

    • What you can and can't print, copy, etc.

  • 4


    • Course Glossary

    • Course Downloads

    • Frequently Asked Questions

    • Accessing the webinar recordings and transcripts

  • 5

    Using the Color Editor

    • A note about the documentation

    • Color Editor - text instructions

    • Color Editor video instructions

  • 6

    Webinars - How to access + recordings

    • Live Demo Lesson Sundays

    • Live Q&A Wednesdays

    • Week One Live Demo Lesson - January 17, 2021

    • Week One Live Q&A Session - January 20, 2021

    • Week Two Live Demo Lesson - January 24, 2021

    • Week Two Q&A January 27, 2021

    • Week Three Live Demo Lesson - January 31, 2021

    • Week Three Live Q&A Session - February 3, 2021

    • Week Four Live Demo Lesson - February 7, 2021

    • Week Four Live Q&A - February 10, 2021

    • Week Five Live Design Explorations (Critique) Session - February 13. 2021

    • Week Five Live Demo Session - February 14, 2021

    • Week Five Live Q&A - February 17, 2021

    • Week Six Live Design Explorations (Critique) Session - February 20, 2021

    • Week Six Live Demo Session - February 21, 2021

    • Week Six Live Q&A - February 24, 2021

    • Week Seven Design Explorations (Critique) Session - February 28, 2021

    • Week Seven Live Q&A - March 3, 2021

    • Week Eight Design Explorations (Critique) Session - March 7. 2021

    • Week Eight Live Q&A - March 10, 2021

  • 7

    The Projects

    • Materials List

    • Choosing a project

    • Design #1: Curves and Motifs in Overshot (4 shafts)

    • Design #2: Color Blending and Stripes in 4-Shaft Twills

    • Design #3: Blocks of Color on 8 Shafts

    • Download a printable PDF of materials list and project descriptions

    • Project Specs

  • 8

    Chapter One: Designing Beautiful Fabric

    • Welcome to Chapter One: Designing Beautiful Fabric!

    • Overview: The Four Factors of Visual Style

    • Values

    • Getting out of a Rut: Playing with Values

    • Vibrancy

    • Changing the Look and Feel: Playing with Vibrancy

    • Contrast

    • Controlling Drama: Playing with Contrast

    • The Design Game, Round 1

    • Complexity

    • The Design Game, Round 2

    • Project Mission: Design Objectives

    • Chapter One: What Did You Learn?

    • Glossary: Chapter One

    • Downloads

  • 9

    Chapter Two: Palettes with Pizzazz

    • Welcome to Chapter Two: Palettes with Pizzazz!

    • Overview: Choosing a Palette

    • Step One: Choosing Your Colors

    • Play with Your Project: Choosing Colors

    • Step Two: Choosing a Draft

    • Vibrancy and Color Blending

    • Step Three: Testing for Vibrancy

    • Play with Your Project: Checking Vibrancy

    • Step Four: Evaluating Contrast : Will Your Pattern Show?

    • Play with Your Project: Evaluating Contrast

    • Step Five: Test with the Actual Draft

    • Project Mission: Finalize Your Palette, Project 1

    • Project Mission: Finalize Your Palette, Project 2

    • Project Mission: Finalize Your Palette, Project 3

    • Chapter Two Glossary

    • Chapter Two: What Did You Learn?

    • Chapter Two Downloads

  • 10

    Chapter Three: Lay It Out

    • Welcome: Lay It Out

    • Overview: Lay It Out

    • How do you want the eye to move?

    • Rhythm

    • Step One: Brainstorming

    • Play with your project: Brainstorming, Project 1

    • Play with your project: Brainstorming, Project 2

    • Play with your project: Brainstorming, Project 3

    • Step Two: Refining Designs

    • Balance

    • Handling Domineering Colors

    • Troubleshooting Checklist

    • Fix it! Practice with a problem-child draft

    • Project Mission: Design Your Project, Project 1

    • Project Mission: Design Your Project, Project 2

    • Project Mission: Design Your Project, Project 3

    • Project Mission: Warp, Sample and Weave Towel One!

    • Chapter Three: What Did You Learn?

    • Chapter Three Glossary

    • Chapter Three Downloads

  • 11

    Mid-Course Survey

    • Student survey: Help me tailor the last three weeks to your needs!

  • 12

    Chapter Four: Color Mixing

    • Welcome to Week Four: Colors and their Neighbors

    • Overview: Colors and Their Neighbors

    • Optical mixing: The secret behind color in weaving

    • Playing with Optical Mixing

    • Color Mixing: What happens when you mix colors

    • Playing with Color Mixing

    • Play with Color: Color Gradients

    • Simultaneous Contrast

    • Play with Simultaneous Contrast: Shift Your Colors!

    • The Bezold Effect

    • Tools for simulating color mixes

    • Project Mission: Weave your Towels!

    • Chapter Four: What Did You Learn?

    • Chapter Four Glossary

    • Chapter Four Downloads

  • 13

    Chapter Five: Designing with Drafts

    • Welcome to Chapter Five: Designing with Drafts!

    • Overview: Designing with Drafts

    • Drafts and Visual Style

    • Blending drafts

    • Color Play: Creating with Blending Drafts

    • Separating Drafts

    • Color Play: Creating with Separating Drafts

    • Partially Blending Drafts

    • Color Play: Creating with Partially Blending Drafts

    • Cheat Sheet: Choosing drafts and Palettes for Vibrancy

    • Project Mission: Keep Weaving Towel #1!

    • Chapter Five: What Did You Learn?

    • Week Five Glossary

    • Chapter Five Downloads

  • 14

    Chapter Six - Sophisticated Stripes

    • Welcome to Chapter Six: Sophisticated Stripes!

    • Overview: Sophisticated Stripes

    • Textures

    • Lines

    • Play with Color: Textures and Lines

    • Design Your Project: Project Two, Towel 2

    • Curves

    • Motifs

    • Play with Color: Curves and Motifs

    • Design Your Project: Project One, Towel 2

    • Rectangular Grids

    • Play with Color: Rectangular grids

    • Design Your Project: Project Three, Towel 2

    • Chapter Six Glossary

    • Chapter Six: What Did You Learn?

    • Chapter Six Downloads

  • 15

    Chapter Seven

    • Evaluating Complex Drafts and Stripe Patterns

    • Closing thoughts

    • End of Course Survey

    • Resources for further study

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.