I mentioned last week, when announcing this give-away for Trish Burr’s new book, Miniature Needle Painting Embroidery, that there is a discrepancy between the color numbers for Gütermann’s threads available in the US and those available in other countries.
I don’t know why that is. But alas, it is! And so, armed with a list of DMC thread numbers that correspond with the Gütermann threads Trish uses in her projects, I went on a little hunt to try to match up thread colors and put together a workable list of Gütermann thread numbers for US stitchers working on Trish’s projects.
My search took me not too far afield – I just needed a store that stocked all of Gütermann’s Sew-All polyester threads and the full line of DMC.
Oh, I suppose I could have taken the DMC colors with me, or purchased them elsewhere and then found the Gütermann’s, but I figured it would be easier to have all the threads under one roof. And I found them, at JoAnn Fabrics. Indeed, I am told that they have the full line of Gütermann Sew-All thread colors that are available in the States.
Here are some hints on color matching and the results of my search.
The photo above is actually taken in my workroom, because I bought the threads I color matched. I didn’t want to fiddle around with the DMC skeins (pulling out lengths of them) and put them back! And I wanted to take the Gütermann threads home, too, and see what they’re all about.
They are, incidentally, polyester sewing threads. Trish splits them and uses them for tiny details, because they are strong even when split and they are more widely and affordably available than other threads.
If you’d rather use a natural fiber – silk, for example – I’m guessing you could probably color match threads like Soie de Paris (though the color palette is limited) or floss from The Silk Mill (very similar to the now-defunct Eterna silk floss, though of much better overall quality than Eterna ever was). Because they’re both filament silk, they can be broken down further into tiny strands, if you had to. Just a thought…
Anyway, back to color matching!
One of the advantages of going to a JoAnn’s, which is a sewing and craft store that’s stocked with fabrics, threads, needle craft supplies, and other stuff, is that they do have a large range of Other Stuff. Among that Other Stuff are lights for crafting. They sell them, and in the larger stores, they often have them on display and working, so you can test them.
This comes in very handy when color matching. If you’re hesitating between two shades that look similar but aren’t quite It, take them to the lighting department and check under the craft lights. You may get a better reading on the colors.
And don’t feel awkward toting threads around, matching them, putting some back, carrying some to the lighting department, replacing those, getting new ones, and all that. Sure, people might look at you like you’re growing three heads, but the reality is, no one really cares! As long as you’re not making a mess in the store or upsetting customers and getting in people’s way, do what you must do!
For the most part, I had pretty good success matching up the ten DMC colors to corresponding colors of Gütermann’s. There are a couple colors that are not absolutely perfect matches, but I believe they are close enough.
And there was one color of Gütermann’s that isn’t available in the smaller spools, but is available in the larger spools. That was rather irksome. So if you don’t find small spools of the color you’re looking for, check the large spools – it might be there!
Thread List – Printable
Here’s the thread list as a PDF, so you can print it and take it with you. If you are unsure of the colors or don’t like the shades, check the DMC colors – maybe you’ll find a shade you prefer to the one I picked. I chose the closest possible match among the shades, when the match wasn’t perfectly obvious. But there were a few that I hesitated on, so you might find a shade you like better. I made notes on the printable, so you can see the threads that are not perfect matches.
DMC / Gütermann USA Color Equivalents for Miniature Needle Painting Embroidery (PDF)
I’ve sent the list along to Trish, so I’m sure she’ll make it available, too, and probably in a better format! But for those who are eager to get the list, now you have it!
Tomorrow, a little seasonal pattern for you, and Thursday, I make a confession!
You’re welcome to leave any questions, comments, suggestions and so forth below, if you have any.
See you on the morrow!
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