on DMC conversions

**another re-post, I know. The information is still good, though :)

Ever wonder why a popular line of hand dyed thread doesn’t have a blanket conversion to DMC colors? It can be virtually impossible to give accurate conversions when colors vary from one dye lot to the next! What works well for one design may not (and probably won’t) work well for another.

Picture “designer A” and “designer B” both using the same hand-dyed color (Blueberry) in their designs. They are the same color, but from different dye lots and look fairly different– one is bright blue and one is much lighter blue. If the designers do not provide DMC conversions and the stitcher is left to refer to a blanket conversion for the thread line, one of the blues will obviously not match. Or worse, if the conversion was done by someone holding yet another dye lot (a medium blue this time) neither stitcher will get an accurate conversion.

It’s always best for the designer to provide the conversions on their charts. When I do my conversions, I lay out all of the DMC on the fabric (do a floss toss) to make sure that the DMC version looks cohesive. That way, the stitchers who prefer to use DMC will always get a nice finish even if one of the DMCs does not exactly match the skein of hand-dyed thread. I would think that most conscientious designers do it this way.

Sometimes there is just no DMC equivalent available. Some of the hand-dyed threads can be so wildly variegated, there’s just no substitute. In that case, it’s probably best just to buy the called for color if you want the look to be the same. Of course, it may be more fun just to do your own thing, too!

***Today’s doorprize winner is Katrina H. from TX***


7 thoughts on “on DMC conversions

  1. Good point! I always appreciate a conversion done by the designer, because they are better able to gauge their intended “look”. With variegated thread I always try to use the called for thread, but in the case of a solid, it’s nice to have the DMC conversion.

  2. I love having a DMC conversion done by the designer, however I am no longer afraid to do my own if there isn’t one provided:)If I have the hand dyed thread in my stash I will use it:)

  3. I agree, it helps so much when it is the designer doing the conversion. I will do it when I have to because I only own DMC right now. Until I started blogging, I hadn’t stitched very much over the years. I didn’t know about other brands of thread. I have been introduced to new designers including you. I love the direction stitching is going.

    Thanks so much

  4. Like Teresa, until I started blogging, I wasn’t really aware of all the different threads (and fabrics!) out there and stitched only with DMC. I’ve since been venturing out into the hand-dyed world of threads, but to be honest, I just can’t afford to stitch everything in silks or hand-dyed, so it’s nice to have the DMC conversions done by the designer. I love your menthod of making sure the DMC colors you choose give the piece a similar, cohesive look.

  5. I could not do that in one life time. I would have to take it to the Other Side. Do you think St. Peter would let me in with my sewing basket?


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