In this article I discuss choosing colors of paracord.
Selecting the right colors of paracord is in my experience important. You do not want to buy a cord and have it unused or laying around for years on end (a waste of money and space). Especially when buying large amounts to save on shipping or getting bulk pricing.
Not all colors are created equal- some get used much more than others. The value of some colors of cord is therefore higher than others. Naturally, part of the value is subjective, depending on taste. But a big part of the value of a color is objective.
The objective value of a specific color is connected to the versatility of that color. The more versatile the color, the easier it is to use in projects. Therefore you will use more of it, making it more valuable.
Let me introduce you to the 4 tiers of colors of paracord according to their usefulness.
1st tier- top tier
The cream of the crop, the most useful colors are the ones that can work well standalone- you can use them easily to make an entire project. Secondly, these cords contrast well with pretty much any other color.
These are your go-to colors, your primary and basic colors which you then pair up with others. These are always solid (single color) cords.
The most commonly regarded color in this class is black. I have heard the saying “you might as well buy a spool of black at the start”. Meaning you will be using a lot of it for sure.
In my experience other colors besides black fit in this category. Tan and charcoal are big winners, at least for me.
Stocking up on these colors, your basic ones is never a bad call.
2nd tier- also vital
A notch below the top tier are colors that contrast really well with your basic colors.
These are the basic ones such as green, yellow, red, blue, white. Again, all solid colors.
Pairing any of these colors with your primary (1st tier) ones is usually a success. It has a broad appeal and just works.
Flags, club colors, causes and much more can be represented with these few colors.
Just like with the first tier, these colors will get used and are not a bad investment at all.
3rd tier- optional
The colors in the 3rd tier are again solid colors. They are not as basic like the 2nd tier colors, but more “shades of”.
Teal, Caribbean blue, Goldenrod, Lilac, Baby blue, Burgundy and a host of others fit in this category.
These colors are not as universally useful as the ones in the previous two tiers, but they really spice up some projects.
These colors are also some of my favorite ones. Teal, Burgundy, Caribbean blue- yes please!
But there is a catch. As these are not as universally useful, they do not justify a large purchase. Buy these in limited amounts and you will be a happy camper!
4th tier- avoid to keep sanity
The bottom of the food chain consists of non solid (multi colored) cords. These usually have some sort of a pattern, be it camo, diamonds, zombie or any other themed colors.
These cords are hard to fit into most projects and usually work best with colors that they have on them. So black and white colored cord will work well with…black and white cords (solid ones).
These are the least used cords, but can add the most bling to your projects. Order these in low amounts and with a project in mind!
I have a few spools of these sitting around for years- not a good investment. But hey, at least I can pass on my experience to you.
P.S. I just thought of it! They can work as a door stop. Problem solved.
The most versatile colors are the most valuable ones. They are of a solid, single color. And they work well with other colors.
Those are the rational, best choice. Black, tan, charcoal. Yellow, green, blue, red, white.
The opposite, the least versatile cords are not valuable, but a pain if you buy too much of them. But the lower the tier of cord, the more “bling” or style they bring to a project. Buy these for a specific project or in short lengths and you should be fine.
I hope this article helps you save some money and more importantly, helps you avoid having too many door stops.
Hi Mark, just a short note to let you know how much I enjoy your videos and tutorials. I find myself watching your knot videos even though I’m not interested in knots…
Thanks again for all you do.
That is just awesome!
Where do you by your Paracord. Please and thank you.
I buy it mostly from E.L.Wood braiding.