Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A New Embroidery Thread from DMC!


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In one of my embroidery stash give-aways, I asked readers what their favorite embroidery thread is. The majority said they use DMC because of the good color range and the availability.

DMC makes good quality threads, and they actually produce more than just the 6-stranded floss that’s so widely available.

For example, have you ever tried DMC floche? Floche is a non-divisible, long-staple, 5-ply cotton thread with a beautiful sheen. It’s used for all kinds of applications, especially cutwork and surface work where heavy coverage is desired.

It’s the same thing as coton a broder, except that you can usually special order coton a broder in a variety of sizes, all the way up to 40 (the finest). (Update, 2017: Coton a broder is no longer distributed / available in size 40).

Coton a broder in other sizes than 16 usually comes in white or ecru, with size #25 available in a whole line of some 180 colors.

Floche comes in a good range of colors, too.

flowers worked in buttonhole stitch with floche

These buttonhole flowers were worked with floche. Although floche is technically non-divisible (meaning you use the whole thread, you don’t strip it into separate smaller strands like you do with regular stranded embroidery floss), with care, you can actually divide the plies, then blend them with another divided strand.

Check out the pansies in the photo below. You can see a kind of creamy yellow blended in with the purple if you look closely!

pansies embroidered with divided floche

Floche and regular stranded cotton are standard threads in my stash, and I use DMC stranded cotton pretty regularly. When I teach children’s embroidery in the summers, I use DMC stranded cotton solely, because of its easy availability, its affordability, and the wide range of colors.

With the kids, I also use DMC perle cottons (especially #5) regularly, since the thicker, non-divisible thread is easier for children to work with.

Finally, though, the news: DMC is coming out with a new thread, and I’m looking forward to trying it! It sounds enticing! It’s a new specialty thread called Satin Floss, and it’s supposed to be a nice smooth thread with a nice sheen.

They’re producing a 36-color palette, and the colors are nice! The thread is 100% rayon, but it doesn’t look like the finicky rayon – it looks a bit more substantial. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping to soon – at which time, I’ll review it and give you some comparisons.

DMC is a tried-and-true embroidery company. It seems they’re trying to “come of age” with embroiderers today by offering some more trendy projects and so forth to their repertoire. You can see some of these in local craft stores: the Linea projects that were popular a couple years ago, and other clothing / accessory embellishment projects. I’m rather more keen on the “old country” (France) DMC offerings!

For example, I’d like to see certain threads become more widely available or easier to order here in the US – like the floche, which can only be found through some specialty shops.

But, in the meantime, it’s also fun to see what new threads are coming out on the market, and I will most likely give Satin Floss a try pretty soon! I’ll let you know what I think of it!


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(5) Comments

  1. I love Floche! I have all the colors and it’s a dream to stitch with. Have you tried their new overdye thread? It’s nice to work with too and prettier than the old variegated thread.

    I’d like to see the 6 strand cotton made again with the same quality it had before the 1980’s. They did something to it’s manufacturing when it started getting sold to the discount stores.

  2. Mary, thanks for the plug! 🙂 I haven’t tried separating the plies of floche, but I’ve been told you can do it if you wanted a slightly thinner thread. I hadn’t thought about combining a ply with another thread!

    As you implied, one of the problems with floche is the fact that they generally only come in the 168yd hanks. It’s nice that some shops are breaking them down. Marion Scoular also sells smaller bundles of 1/2 or 1/4 hank through needleartworks.com .

    The other unfortunate problem with floche is that it has a fairly limited color range. There are so many wonderful colors that it doesn’t cover!

    I’m looking forward to trying it in other projects!

  3. Mary, I so enjoy your newsletter. Today’s comments on DMC were “right on”.
    A few years ago I contacted DMC to see if they had any plans to re-release those wonderful pattern booklets of different nationalities’ embroideries. The lady I contacted talked like she had no idea of what I was referring to and that DMC had no plans of EVER republishing. That is a real shame as they are so interesting.
    I am lucky enough to have two. Scandinavian and Yugoslavian I think. I haven’t looked at them in several years. Gonna’ do that today!
    Thank you for reading.
    Again, I enjoy your newsletter. Please keep it going.
    Judyth Lutt
    Cedar Point, KS

  4. Hola Mary, gracias por facilitarnos tantos consejos para las bordadoras fanáticas!!! me puedes decir si la numeración de floche dmc es la misma que moulime dmc???gracias por tu respuesta

    1. Hello, Guadalupe – No, floche is not the same as Mouline – which is the standard 6-strand cotton. Floche is a thread that cannot be divided. It is softly twisted. It is a different thread altogether. I hope this helps! ~MC

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