Archives for the ‘FAQ’s’ Category

Helpful Information from DMC

DMC Thread Conversion Chart

Like most stitchers, I like to change things up when I stitch, based on materials I have on-hand. Here are some downloadable PDF’s from DMC Threads featuring helpful information to help you organize your thread collection, or to make product  substitutions when working on a project.

Click on the text link or the image to download and print the material.  You can then 3-hole punch them and keep them in a binder, where they’ll always be handy.

Want to substitute DMC Embroidery Floss for Satin Floss or Light Effects Floss? Consult the DMC Thread Color Conversion Chart. This 11-page chart has been formulated as a guide to assist you in selecting thread substitutions by color from the DMC family of products.

The DMC Hoppers checklist

Bear in mind that the colors may not be exact across all products, due to variations in the materials used to produce or dye them. Use your best judgement when selecting substitutions for the threads listed in your project instructions.

If you want to make sure you have all the colors of the DMC Embroidery Threads in our collection, download the Shopper’s Check List.

Check off the items you already have, then bring the checklist with you on your next trip to the needlework store. You’ll always know what you have – and don’t have – and be ready to start your next stitching project.

color descriptions

If you’ve ever wondered what the name of each color of floss is, download the Color Descriptions for DMC Embroidery Floss file. It contains a numerical listing of all of the available colors of DMC’s open-stock embroidery floss. The list does not contain the colors for threads that are not yet available in individual units

If you want to see the names given to our set of 16 brand-new new colors, available as a boxed set, click here.

Color Descriptions for DMC Light Effects Floss including Jewels, Antiques, Pearlescent, Fluorescent and Metallic flosses can be found here, and includes a numerical listing of available colors can be downloaded here. You can also find these items any time on the DMC web site on the Conversion Charts page.

 What are Compensation Stitches?

compensation stitches 1

Compensation Stitches, also known as fractional stitches and partial stitches, are stitches made in an area of a needlepoint design that is too small or tight to work a desired stitch in its entirety, when filling in a curved or shaped object in a design, or when the boundaries of the stitch might extend into an unwanted area.

Cross Stitchers also often use partial stitches including the half cross stitch and quarter cross stitch, which are used to fill in small areas of detail or to smooth the edges of a design.

I’ve used Byzantine Stitch, worked here in two colors, as an example of a compensation stitch that would be used for needlepoint.

Working the stitch without any compensation results in ragged edges when attempting to fill in the square canvas area illustrated in the sample. You can see the jagged edges clearly in the upper image.

compensation stitches 2

Adding compensation stitches fills in the ragged edges of each end of a row, and completely fills in the square area in the sample.

The darker green stitches are the compensation stitches used for the green rows of stitches, and the darker blue stitches are compensation stitches for the blue rows of stitches.

Without the compensation stitches used around the edges of this simple square area, the stitcher would have jagged edges and/or unstitched areas remaining in the canvas. These partial stitches fill in the design area completely, giving a neat and tidy look to the stitched square.

If you’d like to learn more about needlepoint, check out DMC’s Needlepoint Pages.

Happy Stitching!

Floss Flowers For Mom

floss flowers

Spring is in full swing and everything is in bloom!  I love seeing all of the wonderful patches of color in the flower garden and along the hillsides.

This week, you can bring some of that gorgeous color indoors using this free pattern for pretty floss flowers from the DMC archives. The blossoms would make a great Mother’s Day gift!

The flowers are easy to make using DMC Embroidery Floss and wire, and you can have an entire bouquet made up in a flash! Just cut, fold and twist.

Click on the photo or the link above to access the pdf pattern.


Emma’s Helpful Hints

Embroidery threads

Hi Everyone!

I’ve had a lot of email and comments lately from folks wanting to know the matching solid Embroidery Floss colors for our popular – and oh-so-pretty – Color Variations Embroidery Floss and Pearl Cotton.

This multi-colored thread has a hand-dyed look with a blending of complimentary solid colors. Three examples in fresh, ready-for-spring colors are shown to the left, along with their matching solid colors.

The information is always available on our web site but can be tricky to find. Here’s how you can locate the information any time you need it.

To access the color matches, simply visit the Color Variations Page and select the “Colors” tab located directly under the large image of the thread. Scroll down this new page, going past the swatch cards and there it is – a table showing the matching DMC floss colors for our Color Variations threads.

table for colors

The table shows the best matches for each of the Color Variations threads, but other lighter and darker solids from the same color families can be used as well, as there are so many variations in a single strand. Experiment with your favorite matches to get just the right look.

You will also notice other tabs you can access under the image in addition to the Colors tab, including Details about the thread, Care and Washing and How to Use this gorgeous, multi-colored embroidery thread.

This type of information is not just available for Color Variations, but for a vairiety of DMC threads. When visiting the sites for our other Needlework Threads, click on the tabs to learn more about the item, access printable color cards, and more.

Our site also features handy Conversion Charts and DMC Color Descriptions to help you select the perfect thread for your projects.


Part 2:FAQ’s from DMC

Thread dyes

Today we’ll talk more about Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding DMC threads and products. Part 1 featured information on thread dyes and availability, while this week the focus is about washing, as well as colorfastness and crocking.

The models featured in today’s blog are all from the CharlesCraft Ready-To-Stitch Baby line. You can read more about each item by clicking on the photos.

Q: What is the best way to wash a project made using DMC Embroidery Floss?

DMC Cotton Floss is 100% colorfast and can be washed on a frequent basis, without causing the color to fade. The Floss can be washed at  temperatures upt to 95° C/203° F.

Particular attention should be paid to the embroidery  fabric on which the project was embroidered. Make sure the fabric is washable before attempting to launder it.

The afghan shown here was embroidered on a CharlesCraft Evenweave 100% Cotton Receiving Blanket, and is fully washable.

Wash your embroidery with one teaspoon of mild soap such as Orvus. After washing, gently press out the water and wrap the embroidery in a towel to remove excess water, then dry flat. Place the embroidery face down on a plush clean towel, preferably while still damp, and iron on the reverse side, using the temperature setting recommended for the fabric.


Q: Is your thread color fast or do I need to set it before cross stitching with it?

All of our needlework threads are color fast and fade resistant. However, there’s always a chance that a tiny bit or residual dye can crock or “bleed” during the first washing.

Because of this, some stitchers pre-wash embroidery floss (especially red) before stitching. If you would like to, follow these instructions:

– Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with 8 oz. of clear water
– Soak entire skein in vinegar and clear water
– If thread has any excess dye in it, the water will show discoloration, (the water will turn the same color as thread)
– After soaking, take the thread out of the water/vinegar mixture and make sure it is completely dry before using.

needlework fabric socks

Q: What do I do if my floss bled onto my fabric?

Thankfully, this is an unusual occurrence. However, expert needlework designers and stitchers use Orvus soap to wash their needlework projects. Orvus is a very gentle soap that is sold at many independent needlework stores or online needlework suppliers.

When needlework projects need to be cleaned, use room temperature water and about one teaspoon of the Orvus in a kitchen sink full of water. Gently move the piece in the water, you can also let it sit if it is necessary. Then gently rinse, pressing out the water as many times as necessary to get the soap out of it (until the water is clear). When you are satisfied that the piece is thoroughly rinsed, roll it in a bath towel (you may have to use a couple of towels) to get most of the water out.

Press it while it is damp, right side (design side) down on another heavy terry cloth towel. Continue to press it on the wrong side (back) until it is dry and looks like you want it to look (the fluffy towels keeps you from flattening out your stitching while pressing).

Do you have a needlework or thread question you’d like to ask?  Feel free to email me anytime at [email protected].

Happy Stitching!

Part 1:FAQ’s from DMC

DMC Threads

Earlier in the week I had an email from a stitcher asking several questions about DMC Embroidery Floss colors. They were such good questions, that I felt it should be shared. Here are the questions and some helpful answers.

Q: Two skeins of the same color, purchased several years apart look different. Why?

A: This is rare, but it can happen when dye formulas are changed due to the availability of raw materials, or changes to the laws and regulations concerning the materials used in the dye. This can affect any thread manufacturer or thread type, and while inconvenient, there are times when it is a change that keeps consumers safe.

Q. Does DMC discontinue colors?

A: No, DMC has never discontinued any solid cotton embroidery floss colors (we have, however, made changes to the variegated colors offered).

floss colors

Q: Why do retail stores only carry limited colors and products in their stores?

A: Space is often the influential factor when determining how many colors of DMC Embroidery Threads or other products are carried by your local store. We do our best to encourage all our retailers to carry the full assortment of DMC products, however due to space limitations sometimes they are unable to do so.

If you cannot find a specific DMC product at your local needlework store you can suggest that the store add it to their current selection of DMC products, as most shop owners are open to suggestions and love to hear what their customers want and need.

Be sure to visit Shop DMC to purchase our products if a retailer does not carry something. You may also visit online needlework stores such as Herrschners to order online or by phone through their catalog.  Herrschners carries most of the DMC product line.

Do you have a needlework or thread question you’d like to ask?  Feel free to email me anytime at [email protected].

Happy Stitching!