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.
Most people that cross stitch are likely familiar with the DMC brand of floss. DMC is a highly successful and established manufacturer that has pretty much cornered the market for embroidery floss over the years but there are lots of other options which are worth looking at.
This is becoming increasingly important as prices go up, so a lot of people are looking for more affordable options. Here I am going to review and compare 5 brands of floss, DMC, Anchor, CXC, Sullivans & J&P Coats and show some stitched examples of each using their color equivalents of each brand side by side.
Although the image of cross-stitching may be one of “home needlework” and thrift, it can quickly become an expensive hobby (especially for us “serial starters”) so it is always good to discover another way to make your crafting budget go a little further. DMC is an established company that has quality product and it has also over time become standard in the market with regards to chart designers and kits - pretty much every pattern uses the codes and colors that they define. However it is becoming more and more pricey kitting up a large full-coverage chart, especially if you are in Europe or Australia and many people are not aware that there are other options out there. One increasingly popular option is CXC branded floss that is made in China.
There seems to be a lot of curiosity along with no small amount of scaremongering and misinformation on Facebook groups regarding CXC and other cheaper brands, coincidentally though this often seems to originate from groups associated with stores that sell DMC based kits ! hmmm. However, the people who actually just stitch really seem to love CXC and highly recommend it, so when you hear someone claiming it is not a quality thread, not color-fast or any other “reason” make sure you are aware of their possible motivations. This is a common tactic within the IT industry to spread “FUD” about competitors to put people off using them - fear, uncertainty and doubt, stick with what you know … keep paying us.
But let me be clear, this article is in no way meant to discourage people from using DMC, at the end of the day it is all personal choice and many people will prefer to stick with a tried trusted company such as DMC or Anchor and they are very accessible with distribution channels through many large-name and local stores but it is always good to consider your options and have the extra information especially when on a budget or kitting up a large project. After all, few of us can really ignore what could be a difference of $20 vs $220 to purchase the floss alone for a single project!
Here I am going to do a comparison of a few brands and a review of my first experience stitching with CXC compared to DMC and I will also document washing a sample show that they are indeed also color-fast
In our Tips for Tackling Large Scale Projects - Part 1 article we discussed setting the correct expectations for beginning a large project along with purchasing your supplies. Here we will look at how to prepare your supplies and getting organised along with planning where to begin stitching.
Like many people I began cross-stitching by purchasing pre-packaged kits with relatively simple, smaller designs with only a few colors. It can seem daunting to go from stitching small projects that were purchased as a kit to a large scale project that you have to kit up yourself.
I’ve seen many people comment on Facebook groups that there is no way they could ever tackle a large scale project such as a Heaven and Earth Designs as they would not know where to start. Here we will offer some suggestions to hopefully make your first large project more manageable and slightly less overwhelming…
DMC don’t often release new colors but the last batch that they released in 2013 still seems to be difficult to find in stores. I have only managed to find them as a pack online at 123 stitch and also directly from DMC via their website, and they are not available at all in Europe/UK I think possibly due to EU regulations because of the dyes used.
Specialty threads such as variegated and metallic floss can add a fun and interesting dimension to your projects but there are some things to keep in mind when using these types of floss to ensure success and avoid frustration!…..
Let’s review the basic supplies needed to begin cross stitching …