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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Thread Talk: DMC Diamant


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These days, we have wide access to all kinds of embroidery threads – an “embarrassment of riches” in that regard – as long as we’re willing to shop online.

Because local needlework shops with specialty threads are few and far between, we often have to purchase threads unseen. So, in order to take out some of the guesswork, now and then I like to write about hand embroidery threads, especially those that are a little more obscure. Hopefully, this will give you a greater knowledge of what’s available to the stitcher, and maybe give you a better idea of what you’re going to get and how it can be used when you order embroidery thread.

Today, I’d like to show you a thread by DMC. Here in the States, it’s not a well-known thread, and it’s not available (to my knowledge) through the regular DMC-USA channels. It’s fairly widely available in the UK, though, and probably throughout Europe. It’s also available in Australia, according to a quick Google search. In the US, I only know of one shop that carries it.

The thread is called DMC Diamant.

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

DMC Diamant is a metallic thread. Unlike the 6-stranded DMC metallic thread sold in the floss section of stores, Diamant is softer and it holds up to stitching very well. It is smooth, compared to other metallics. And it works quite well for surface embroidery.

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

Diamant is made in Japan out of viscose wrapped with metallic polyester coating and treated with silicone. This is why it is such a smooth thread to stitch with. It really passes through the fabric easily, unlike oh-so-many metallic threads that can be a super-duper big headache to work with!

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

Diamant (French for “diamond”) comes in six shades: soft silver, bright silver, black wrapped with gold, bright gold, copper, and soft gold.

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

Most of the colors of Diamant come as 3-ply, non-divisible threads, except for the black-gold, which is a 2-ply, non-divisible thread (I guess you could divide it if you really wanted to, but it isn’t meant to be divided).

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

Here, you can see it side by side with one strand (from six) of regular DMC floss. When stitched up, Diamant is equal in thickness to about two strands of DMC floss. For cross stitch, on higher count linens like 34-36 count, Diamant works well over 2 threads of fabric.

DMC Diamant Metallic Thread

Just for the fun of it, a few little squiggles with the black-gold Diamant. It really does work incredibly well with surface embroidery stitches. Stem stitch (the tightly curved line) was a breeze with it. Cross stitch (especially over two threads on this 26 count linen) was simple with it, too. And regular stitches like chain stitch work great!

So, if you’re aching to add some metallic sparkle to your cross stitch or surface embroidery projects, but you’ve despaired when working with more frustrating metallic threads, you might want to give DMC Diamant a try.

As far as care goes, it can be hand washed.

In the States, you can find DMC Diamant through Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, California. It runs $3 / 35 meter spool.

In the UK, you can find it through various retailers. A quick online search brought up Sew and So, which also, incidentally, carries other good DMC threads, like coton a broder for whitework. (Joy! Bliss!)

In Australia, I found online at Victoria House Needlecraft and The Quilter’s Store.


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(39) Comments

  1. Very useful information, as usual, Mary. Thanks! Was this thread made originally for use on the sewing machine?

    Have you read Trish Burr’s post of today about the Gutterman thread? I’d like to know your opinion about.

    1. Hi, Debbie – it’s definitely a hand embroidery thread, not a machine thread. I use some Gutterman threads now and then, sometimes for couching goldwork, sewing on appliqué and the like. -MC

  2. Dear Mary

    Oh I do like thread talk, thanks for the article on Diamant thread it looks an interesting thread although I don’t metallic thread but it looks quite thick I wonder if it’s thick enough to be used an outline on surface embroidery. Sew and So is a really good online needlework shop here in the UK, as well as a good selection of DMC and other thread they have a good selection on Soie thread which I love. Thanks for the information on this new thread.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Mary, Thanks for sharing information about this thread. I have actually reviewed the thread on Sew and So (www.sewandso.co.uk) website. I initially purchased the black/gold thread and found it works well using chain stitch, and can be used in one, or split into two (but I have only used it as one thread). The thread does exhibit slight wear after sewing with it, so recommend using shorter lengths (30-40cm), but it does not fray, stretch or disintegrate like other similar metal threads. It also doesn’t knot up or twist like I have experienced with similar threads. So I brought the gold and copper colours too. Its different to the Gold/Black as it has a slightly wirey feel to it. It works up pretty well but its needs a little persuasion, as it tends to kink and bunch up (rather than knot up). I recommend again using shorter lengths (30-40cm). I feel this thread might be better suited for couching (sewing onto the material), but does look effective when using chain stitch. Its slightly finer than Imitation Jap Thread #3 when used as one. Best wishes, Nina

  4. Znam te nici, używam ich od dawna. Można nimi haftować, robić frywolitkę i koronki klockowe. Są w ładnych kolorach i ładnie błyszczą.

  5. I did one little project using the 6-strand DMC metallic and didn’t like it at all. This thread sounds much nicer and I intend to order some and try it out. Thanks, Mary!

  6. Hi Mary! Thanks for reviewing yet another sparkling thread! Is this similar to Bijoux but heavier? And how does Diamant differ from DMC Fil or chine noir? The description seems similar & the DMC Fil is/was available in black/silver. Finding metallics that create the desired effect & are easy to use is a full time job so thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you soooo much for this post! I love the look of metallic threads, but they have always been such a nightmare to work with ( and I absolutely refuse to use materials that suck the joy out of needlework) that I completely discounted their use. I have a black work pattern that I’ve been trying to work out in my mind for awhile now and this may be just the thing, off to order some new thread!

  8. Oh thanks so much for this one Marymentor ! You had to be reading my mind ! There’s not much of a “metallic” selection at JoAnn Fabrics and I won’t even go into the disaster I had with kreinik metallics, which to me, are a big joke ! You’re right about getting the feeling of buying a “pig in a poke” when buying online, so all of these elucidating offerings of yours are so much appreciated. Thanks again, Judy in Pittsburgh

  9. Wow, this thread looks lovely! Definitely something I’ll now be on the lookout for 🙂 I use the DMC Metallic Embroidery Threads wherever I can and I really love them – they are smoother than the Light Effects range too and seem very similar to the Diamant in thickness. But the colour range in that line is very limited, so I’m really excited to learn about these! Thanks 😉

  10. This article about DMCs Diament certainly brightened up my day. I have long battled with other brands of metallics. I cannot wait to get my hands on this product and give it a try. I hope you know you are my go-to encyclopedia of all stitching knowledge and are for thousands of others. Thank you, Mary!

  11. I actually have some of this thread, thrown into a small bag with metallic threads ready for some unplanned future project. Thanks for the review.

    1. Good morning:
      Thanks you very much for this valuable information. My experiencie whith metallic threads is very short, only use at Christmas, its also true that l´ve only worked with gold. The work is really “rich”, elegant; the only problem I see with them is the one to use threads short to avoid becoming bare, this is my trick use short strands.
      Thank you again.
      A hug…

  12. I have always receive emails with beautiful pattern from you! Thank you and continue to a blessing … Take care

  13. Hello Mary,
    I also carry the full line of DMC Diamant thread (as well as many other brands and types). I have a bricks-and-mortar shop but regularly ship around the world as well..

  14. Thank you for the mention Mary, I couldn’t quite figure out why our sales and enquiries for this product have suddenly gone beserk in the last couple of days. Chris Bennett kindly enlightened me while placing her order today.

    Another customer last week, who happens to be an embroidery teacher, also commented that the black/gold (VD140) colour is very like the Au Papillion threads that are now so hard to find.
    It has always been a popular product since we first started stocking it last year.

    After your endorsement it looks like I may need to increase our stock levels.


  15. I have just read through all the comments here about other metallic threads and a few of the suggestions to manage the slippery little suckers.
    While Diamant is great it has only the 6 colours at this point in time.
    If you need a metallic in another colour, try running your metallic thread through bees wax. It weights it and stabilises it to make it more manageable. There is a product called Thread Heaven in a little blue cube with gold writing on it and Birch do one in a disc shape with a protective plastic cover.

  16. Can I just repeat what you said above – the black/gold Diamant is a different type of thread to the other colours in the range. That is made of two quite sturdy plies. The others in the range are 3-ply twists and the individual plies are rather fragile to use singly, although you can do it with care.

  17. I am glad you published the thread description and a store in the US to purchase it. I already had a project that called for it and could not locate a source. Thanks for all the helpful information. Suaan

  18. It’s a new one on me! I’ve never seen it, but then, decent LNS are so few and far between these days, that I don’t really get chance to keep up with new threads and so on…

    However: I have SO much thread – including spool upon spool upon spool of metallics – that I’ll leave my giveaway ‘ticket’ for someone who hasn’t and comment on this posting instead.=)

  19. You try to let know to your customers/readers where they can find some products. For your information I have a large range of embroidery supply, DMC Diamant is the new one. Not all products are on line….. but in store.
    L’atelier de Pénélope
    1368B, rue St-Jacques,
    L’Ancienne-Lorette, QC
    G2E 2X1 CANADA
    Good Day

  20. Mary,
    I appreciate all the knowledge you share. I look forward to trying this thread. Nordic Needle now has Diamant available!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. I recently finished a cross-stitch sampler with highlights of gold metallic DMC Art 284 as an outline in back-stitch. I rarely use metallics on woven fabrics because they tend to overly twist as you pull the thread in and out of the material. Using bees wax to lubricate the thread helps, but still I find small kinks in the stitches. If the Diamant threads are softer, maybe I won’t have this problem.

    1. You won’t have the problem, it forms stitches like a floss – I have used it on stitches from colonial knots to Cretan leaf without issue.

      The only other metallic I’ll use is a blending filament, all the others are just not worth the headache and take away the joy bit of embroidery – when you have the perfect thread for an effortless beautiful stitch.

  22. It is probably sold in the states under its original manufacturer name – Butterfly Thread. It was manufactured by a Russian company who’s name I never knew the translation of. I’ve noticed even now in 2018 many shops still list it under this name/still have old stock. DMC took it over in about 2013 but kept the butterfly on the label because it is so well established as THE metallic thread, I know it’s been around at least as long as I’ve been alive because I remember my grandmother and aunts using it.

    1. Actually I have an old vintage spool of “Fil Or DMC a Broder”, 72% viscose 28% polyester, Made in Japan just as the Diamant are. My spool is the same shape, but held 40m. So other than the size of the spool shrinking, I really think this is just a rebranding of an old thread DMC previously produced (or previously got from whatever Japanese source). A google search for “fil d’or dmc a broder” brings up a couple of photos of boxes of these spools – Art. 279
      I was wondering how these differed from the other metallic gold/silver DMC had been selling between the era of this old fil d’or (279) and the current Diamant (380) – the ones on classic sewing thread type spools, Art. 284. They seem identical to me, aside from the addition of more colors. The Butterfly Thread may indeed be the same thread as well, but since DMC produced this fil d’or before 2013, so the Russian company is certainly not the manufacturer, but another reseller/distributor if that’s the case.

    2. I did a little more digging, and found a vintage box of “fil d’or special pour broderies au papillon” Art. 910, 35m spools, produced by DMC, with the Butterfly label and information in Greek!
      So it seems the Russian “Butterfly Thread” is indeed identical to at least one incarnation of fil d’or, and now Diamant. Given DMC’s propensity for selling certain lines only in certain areas of the world, either the Butterfly Thread (papillon is butterfly in French) was a DMC product only available in the intervening years via that Russian distributor, or DMC sold off the manufacture of the thread only to purchase it back later. It makes sense (to me anyway) given it’s ecclesiastical uses, that this would continue to be produced.
      As far as I can tell, fil d’or was available as gold, silver, and “antique gold” that looks remarkably similar to the Diamant black-gold. My spool is likely from the ’70’s, possibly ’60’s, and these vintage boxes all look to be at least that old or older.

  23. Hi Mary! Thanks so much for this informative post. I got an email from DMC about Diamant and wanted to find out whether it’s good for surface embroidery before I ordered any.

  24. Hi, I would like to know if there are different thickness, like in the Cotton a Broder: 16, 25, 30. I am looking for alternatives to perle cotton, for smocking baby and girls dresses and love the subtle shine of this type of cotton thread. When I do monograms it is the best thread I have found, but never paid much attention to the thickness.
    I think I share with you the love of floche. Do you carry it for retail?

    Thank you too for the eye opening information on Diamant threads.


  25. I’m have trouble converting colours because the instructions are in Russia but I don’t know to find out what colour it is into English. Can you help me converting them into Dmc threads for cross stich I would really appreciate it. Sandra

    1. Hi, Sandra – Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry you’re having these frustrations! I think your best bet is to contact the designer who created the design that you’re working. I don’t have access to it. I also don’t really have time to cross reference color charts from other designers to find substitutions. This usually takes a lot of time! You might try Google translate, if you’re having problems with the color names. The difficulty with Russian is going to be the alphabet, of course. I’d probably just start by reaching out the original designer and asking for an English translation of the color names, if one is available.

  26. Great so how we open it to get the thread started. Mine has seems to be glued down somehow and I can’t find where the thread starts even with the wrapper off.

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