Etoile, meaning ‘star’ in French, seems like a fitting name given to the new range of colors by DMC. They have taken 35 of their bestselling colors and given them a sparkly makeover. These threads make a fun addition to the DMC range.
But what are they like to work with and are they worth using? I’m going to stitch up some samples with a few of the colors and compare them to their regular color equivalents.
About the floss
Unlike regular DMC floss these are a blended thread consisting of 73% cotton & 27% Lurex polyamide. They are sold in 8 meter skeins with 6 strands of floss so need to be separated before use just like with regular thread. Each shade has the same numbering as it’s regular thread equivalent but with a ‘C’ added before the numeric code. So sparkly ‘820’ would be ‘C 820’.
One thing I wondered is whether the ‘sparkles’ would survive being threaded on a needle and pushed through the fabric because I was picturing specs of glitter on the thread but I was surprised to see that the sparkle seems to actually be a very fine length of thread or filament woven into each strand. This seems to be most obvious when looking at the Blanc color.
They are not like regular metallic thread they just add a slight shimmer to parts of the stitches. It’s more of a twinkle and is very subtle.
How do they handle
Anyone that has used metallic thread before will probably tell you how much of a pain it is: you are constantly fighting against knotting, tangling and bunching up. Getting your stitches to lie flat can be a nightmare.
These on the other hand are very nice to handle and are not much different to using regular floss, I didn’t experience any more knotting and tangling than usual. The strands separated very easily and didn’t bunch up.
They feel very soft and almost fluffy when handling them but once stitched the stitches lie nice and flat.
I stitched in blocks of 10 x 10 on 18 count fabric, the top 5 rows of each square is the regular floss and the bottom 5 rows of each square is the Mouliné Étoile sample:
As you can see the colors are very similar (apart from the white) and the sparkle of the Mouliné Étoile patches is very subtle. You really need some movement to really notice them.
Comparison to solid equivalent
They are mostly very similar to their regular equivalent with the exception of Blanc - the Étoile version of Blanc has a definite greyish tone to it.
The Mouliné Étoile versions seems to be less saturated in color than regular DMC, maybe this is to highlight the sparkle
I did wash the sample of stitched squares to test the colorfastness and also to see how the sparkle held up to washing.
As you can see from the photo they are both colorfast and the sparkle seems to survive the washing process perfectly well.
Are they worth it?
They are quite expensive in comparison to the regular DMC floss, sold individually $2.60 CAD & $1.68 USD.
Whether you’d see the sparkle on a regular full-coverage piece may be questionable and depend a lot on the picture and where it was viewed. It could certainly add a little shimmer to water in a scene or to what should be a sparkly dress in a picture for instance but don’t expect anything really dramatic. In some ways they look like the threads didn’t quite cover enough and left specks of white showing through.
The sparkles appear more when there is lighting and movement so could make a nice addition if you were stitching something small, like a Christmas ornament that was going to be on a tree which would bring out the sparkle. But then the sparkle would be competing with other flashier decorations and lights so could still be too subtle to be worth it.
But generally I don’t see that much difference between these and regular DMC to justify the expense of using them in a large scale project. They are a fun addition to the DMC range and are definitely nicer to use than metallics if you are wanting to add a little bit of bling to your smaller projects. Just don’t expect a dramatic change, it’s subtle at best and you almost have to be looking for it to see it.
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