Embroidery tip about matching your customers thread colours:  Never show your customer the entire embroidery thread chart from your thread distributor. Create your own colour chart using only the colours that you normally carry in stock.  The average embroidery shop owner carries about 30 colours in stock. Any other colour will be a special order. Some embroiderers, when starting off, have been persuaded by their distributor to order the entire assortment of threads in small cones.  Firstly, one seldom, if ever, uses all the thread colours and often finds that the unused cones will rot long before you can use them.  Secondly, if you decide to use a thread colour from the smaller cones, one often finds that you have to order a larger cone, anyway.  This is a waste of money and totally unnecessary.

First show the customer the chart of your collection of thread colours.  When a customer requests a thread colour that you do not have in stock, then show him a Pantone Colour Chart. When he/ she makes their selection, compare it to the closest colour that you do have in stock and see if he or she will settle for that colour choice. 

Many times, when you show a customer the Pantone Colour Chart first, they are sure that you would not have their colour and insist that their colour thread be ordered.

Some customers want to be treated special and want custom colours no matter what you have in stock. If they are not happy with your selection, offer to order their custom colour but make sure that they understand that there will in fact be an additional charge for this service.  You will need to charge for the thread as well as the shipping. If you only need a small amount of thread, order the small 1100 yard spools instead of the large 5000 yard spools. Don't forget you are going to need enough for each head of your machine. Some embroiderers will order fewer cones and wind the thread on spare cones to create enough cones for each head.  If this is the case, don't forget to add in the extra time that it will take to wind these cones of thread because, when you're in business, time is money.

Unless the customer is wanting to keep the additional thread, you now have another colour to add to your stock inventory.  If the customer wants the thread because he has paid for it, give it to him, but truthfully, very few customers will have the need for it and most embroiderers get to keep the surplus.