How to keep track of your DMC threads

DMC thread spreadsheet free download by Lord Libidan

With over 500 basic threads, and 50 varigated, variations, coloris and etoile threads its hard to keep track of which threads you have, and which you don’t (and don’t get us started on the discontinued threads). Even those who have a full set of DMC threads, still have spares we need to track (no one wants hordes of one color). So how exactly can you go about tracking which threads you have, and how many?

In short, there are two distinct ways; a spreadsheet, and a tracker. We’re going over both here, and we’ll give you multiple options.

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are great for tracking things, so its no wonder you can find frankly hundreds online for DMC threads. You need to be carefull that you’re picking up a recent one, especially with the 35 new DMC threads that came out in 2017; most don’t have these on! The spreadsheet used to be PC only, and for many, that’s still how they’re mostly used, you you can set one up with a gmail account, and you can access the spreadsheet on the go with googledocs. It might not be as user friendly when you’re out and about, but its a great visual representation of what you do, and do not have.
We’d suggest our new one, which includes nice colors to go with everything too.

DMC thread spreadsheet free download by Lord Libidan
DMC thread inventory sheet free download by Lord Libidan

Direct download link

Trackers

When it comes to trackers, you’ll be using a phone, or ipad/tablet. Once you’ve located a device of choice, you can pick your app. Now, some do more than just track threads, which is what makes these great, but the big plus is that they’re avaliable on the go. You can simply pull out your phone when you’re at the store and you can make sure you’re not getting duplicates.

iPhone

thread tracker 117 app icon

Thread Tracker 117 ($1) – 7/10

Based on 14 reviews
For a dollar, it’s hard to say anything bad about this app, however in reality, it’s just a spreadsheet to track which DMC threads you have. The advantage, and the thing that makes this app so successful is you can import list of colors needed for your next project, and the app works out which ones you need. Next time you’re in a store, pull the app out and the list is there straight away. Of all the apps on the list, this is the one I personally use the most.

iPad

x-stitch app icon

X-Stitch ($3) – 9/10

Based on 27 reviews
Similar to Thread Tracker 117 this app not only tracks threads, but aida, needles, charts and other tools. It’s “need to buy” feature not only works well, but it reads your charts and patterns to give you lists of threads needed for each project too!

Android

Cross Stitch Thread Organizer app icon

Cross Stitch Thread Organizer ($1) – 8/10

Based on 30 reviews
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Cross Stitch Thread Organizer orders your threads with to-buy lists, current stock, and warns you if you’re running low on a thread and a future project needs it. There are a lot of other apps doing exactly this, however what makes this app fantastic is the constant upgrades, and a really devoted developer who can be found on reddit daily.

PC

Stitchingly icon (Source: Stitchingly.com)

Stitchingly (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 12 reviews
Basically a fancy version of a spreadsheet, Stitchingly combines a few cross stitch tools into one dashboard, including a thread tracker. In addition to the simple act of tracking threads, it also allows you to upload patterns and track which threads you need to buy for that pattern, based on what you already have. Very clever.

Full List of Discontinued DMC Threads

Discontinued US only DMC threads (source: 123stitch.com)

With the DMC company being in operation for well over 270 years, its no wonder that they’ve had to discontinue a few threads. And whilst we’ve looked into the reasons DMC threads have been discontinued I couldn’t find a full list anywhere. So, please find attached list, with replacements (if there is one):

57 (variegated) no replacement
103 (variegated) no replacement
 
504 replaced with 3813
731 replaced with 732
776 replaced with 3326
781 replaced with 782
971 replaced with 740
806 replaced with 3760
868 replaced with 801
 
3773* replaced with 407
3880* replaced with 223
3881* replaced with 164
3882* replaced with 839
3883* replaced with 722
3884* replaced with 535
3885* replaced with 312
3886* replaced with 3685
3887* replaced with 208
3888* replaced with 3740
3889* replaced with 445
3890* replaced with 3766
3891* replaced with 995
3892* replaced with 740
3893* replaced with 543
3894* replaced with 907
3895* replaced with 646
 
4000 (variegated) no replacement
4017 (variegated) no replacement
4022 (variegated) no replacement
4042 (variegated) no replacement
4047 (variegated) no replacement
4066 (variegated) no replacement
4068 (variegated) no replacement
4069 (variegated) no replacement
4072 (variegated) no replacement
4073 (variegated) no replacement
4095 (variegated) no replacement
4122 (variegated) no replacement
4129 (variegated) no replacement
4135 (variegated) no replacement
4205 (variegated) no replacement
4211 (variegated) no replacement
4212 (variegated) no replacement
4214 (variegated) no replacement
4237 (variegated) no replacement
4245 (variegated) no replacement
4250 (variegated) no replacement
4255 (variegated) no replacement
4260 (variegated) no replacement
4265 (variegated) no replacement
 
5269 replaced with E699
5270 replaced with E815
5272 replaced with E5200
5279 replaced with E301
5282 replaced with E3821
5283 replaced with E168
5284 replaced with E3852
5287 replaced with E317
5288 replaced with E316
5289 replaced with E3837
5290 replaced with E3843

 
* These threads aren’t officially discontinued, however they are only avaliable in the US and Australia, and mostly sold in packs. You can still pick these up individually from the DMC US website though.
 
Need a DMC thread card with the new colors? We have you covered.
DMC shade color thread card chart with new DMC threads

DMC Variegated Threads and their Corresponding Colors in Solids

DMC Threads Variegated Breakout by Lord Libidan

Using threads from the DMC variegated range can really make a project, but what happens if you’re a little short, or you want to make use of one color in particular? Well, we have you covered.
 
Below you’ll find each of the DMC variegated threads, with their corresponding solid colors broken out.

DMC Threads Variegated Breakout by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Variegated Breakout by Lord Libidan

 
Looking for the DMC variations range broken out or the DMC coloris range broken out?

DMC Coloris Threads and their Corresponding Colors in Solids

DMC Threads Coloris Breakout by Lord Libidan

The new coloris range of DMC threads are some of the most exciting things to come out of DMC for years (other than the 35 new DMC threads), however using them can be a bit daunting. So we’ve broken out all the coloris threads, with each of the solid colors that make up the design.

DMC Threads Coloris Breakout by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Coloris Breakout by Lord Libidan

 
Looking for the DMC variegated range broken out or possibly the DMC variation threads broken out. We got you covered.

DMC Variation Threads and their Corresponding Colors in Solids

DMC Threads Variations Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan

The DMC variation range of threads are some of the most exciting threads DMC have produced to date, but sometimes having the colors change on their own really gets in the way. So we’ve broken out the current range with their corresponding solid colors, so you can keep stitching with the color you want, without breaking the over all look.

DMC Threads Variations Breakout 1of2 by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Variations Breakout 1of2 by Lord Libidan

DMC Threads Variations Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Variations Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan

 
If you’re thinking “but the number I want isn’t on the list!”, don’t worry! You’ve probably got one of the discontinued variation threads, which we’ve also broken out for you!
 
Looking for the DMC variegated range broken out or possibly the DMC Coloris threads broken out. We got you covered.

Discontinued DMC Variations Threads and their Corresponding Colors in Solids

DMC Threads Variations Discontinued Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan

Sometimes, the discontined DMC ranges really hold some great threads, and the DMC variations range, which was partially disconinuted in 2013, held some great threads. Ever wanted to bring them back? Well as with all of the variations range, they’re made up of seperate block colors. So we’ve broken out each discontinued variations thread with their solid colors, so you can recreate some of the best threads DMC ever made.

DMC Threads Variations Discontinued Breakout 1of2 by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Variations Discontinued Breakout 1of2 by Lord Libidan

DMC Threads Variations Discontinued Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan
DMC Threads Variations Discontinued Breakout 2of2 by Lord Libidan

 
If you’re thinking “but the number I want isn’t on the list!”, don’t worry! You’ve probably got one of the current range variation threads, which we’ve also broken out for you!

Why You Need a DMC Color Card

DMC Embroidery Floss Color Card (Source: stitchedmodern.com)

When it comes to threads, we all want that elusive full set of DMC threads, but for those us who aren’t so lucky, there is another thing you might want; a DMC color card. In fact, those who have all the threads often have one anyway, and they’re so useful! But why exactly?

What Type Of Color Card?

First off, lets talk about what type of color card we mean. There are basically, three types; online, printed and threaded. We want the threaded one. The online and printed ones are great, but each computer screen shows off the colors slightly differently. In fact, scanners and cameras take slightly different photos too, meaning they are never perfect. We put hours and hours into making the best online DMC thread color chart we could, however we started with a threaded version. Its the best. You can pick one up on Etsy however if you can’t pick one up right now, an online one like ours will still help you!

DMC Embroidery Floss Color Card (Source: stitchedmodern.com)
DMC Embroidery Floss Color Card (Source: stitchedmodern.com)

When To Use One

Unless you’ve used one before, it might seem like a little costly extra that really isn’t needed for most cross stitchers, however a thread color card is frankly, one of the most useful objects in cross stitch.
We’ve made a little list, but frankly, there would be LOADS of other reasons too (I pick mine up almost daily):

Designing your own pattern

When designing your own pattern, even if you put an image through an online pattern creator, the colors never, and I really mean never, come out correct. Normally they are pretty good, but hand picking colors ALWAYS makes the pattern better. The shade card not only has every color, but blocks them out in color families, meaning you can compare the slight differences in each color with ease.

When you change a color in your cross stitch pattern

We recently posted a blog on changing a colors on a cross stitch pattern and the first thing we say, is get a thread card. If you plan to change a color in your pattern you need to pick the exact color from the right family. For example, if your pattern has loads of deep colors, you want to make sure you pick a new color that is also dark, instead of something too bright that will stand out…

Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out and replacement greens picked
Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out and replacement greens picked

When you don’t have the right color and you need to make a substitution

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had to make a substitution in the past. You don’t have all the threads, or the store is closed and you want to finish, well, what are you going to do? Pick a color and hope? A color card allows you to pick the perfect replacement to one you own.

Changing hair/skin tones

We have two tools on the site a find a perfect skin tone thread guide and a find a perfect hair color thread guide however both of these use online representations of color. If you plan to pick hair/skin tones based on real world examples, a color chart can allow you to compare the real hair/skin with the threads, so you get the PERFECT color, every time.

Skin Tone Cross Stitch Thread Table by Lord Libidan
Skin Tone Cross Stitch Thread Table by Lord Libidan

When you want to match a DMC color to a different brand

There are loads of online guides on converting one brand from another, in fact, we have a massive 9 brand thread conversion chart on the site, however picking your color isn’t always as simple as the table suggests. In reality, each brand has slightly different colors, and whilst tables like ours makes the job much easier to compare, your pattern might call for slightly different shades.

Buying threads online

Most people buy threads online now, and whilst that is great if you have a nice list of numbers to buy, it isn’t so great if you need a whole string of shades and you don’t know the numbers. Online representations are never correct, and as we’ve said up above, there are close images, the only way to see it, is a color card.

Matching embroidery threads to embelishments

I personally stick with just cross stitch and backstitch, but I know a lot of people who add beads and other things to their cross stitch. However no one wants a bead in a weird color taking the focus away from your work. You want something that compliments. Take your shade card to the store and pick the perfect color beads and embelishments.

Matching the threads to something else

This is a slightly vague title, but lets say you want a specific color aida so you don’t have to stitch massive background areas in, or you want to stitch on top of a painted object, or want the threads to be inkeeping with the theme of the room. How are you going to match them up? Sadly, the names for threads aren’t the names for aida or paint. Picking the right shade of aida might make your job a lot easier, but only if you get the right shade, otherwise its pointless.

Large Cross Stitch Art in a study (Source: CBC.ca)
Large Cross Stitch Art in a study (Source: CBC.ca)

Care instructions

I know, this one seems a little odd, right? Well sadly, this is something a lot of people miss out on. You see, not all threads are the same. Many have different care instructions. Whilst DMC have a uniform care instructions across their brand, others don’t. This is often why you get rumors of running colors on cheaper embroidery threads. Don’t want your threads to run? Check the care instructions.

Cross Stitch Recognition

National Needlecraft Awards 2019 won by Lord Libidan

Recognition in cross stitch is a hard topic to talk about. For many, recognition is something that rarely comes, for others it seems like they’re drowning in compliments, and for others its still seen as a little bit taboo.
When I first started my cross stitch journey, cross stitch for men simply wasn’t a thing, it was taboo. Whilst I tried to open up the world too men in cross stitch it took a long time to get accepted in the mainstream. Even now, I regularly see posts on cross stitch facebook groups asking do men really cross stitch?. Thankfully, men stitching is now not only fully accepted, but people seek out male stitchers as they bring something new to the craft. But for many men, young people, and even those who aren’t aware of cross stitch communities online, don’t get as much recognition as they should.
So if this is you, or someone you know, how about looking in some of these places?

Online Communities

The first place to look for recognition is an online community. To some extent, on the internet, you’re faceless, and so you can proudly show off your work without anyone knowing its you. Aternatively, if you’re happy to be named, you can join the literal hundreds of thousands of cross stitchers who call the internet their home.
We devoted a whole blog post to the best online cross stitch forums however that isn’t the only place. In fact, Instagram’s #crossstitchersofinstagram is one of the largest communities out there. Get sharing, and you will see just how open people are to you.

Fairs

I recently moved from the city, to the country, and without a doubt, the country loves fairs. In ever one, there is ALWAYS a craft section, with cross stitch normally having its own category. The great thing about this is you also get to hide your face. I personally like camping out by my cross stitch to hear people’s comments as they walk by. But for a more official reason, they also give out awards!

Washington State Fair 2018 (Source: thefair.com)
Washington State Fair 2018 (Source: thefair.com)

Awards & Galleries

I know what you’re going to say; awards and galleries seem like they’re an impossible dream? Well, the answer will probably suprise you; you can enter a dozen awards right now, and there is no reason not to.
This isn’t about me, but I’m a good example of an award winner; I’ve won about 20 awards now, and I’ve even got a couple of glass awards on my mantlepiece, however I won most of these in the first 3 years I was stitching. In fact, most of them were won for stitching that wasn’t my own design; I used a pattern.

Sample of awards won by Lord Libidan
Sample of awards won by Lord Libidan

You see, most people thing that awards are only for the best of the best, and that access is blocked off for the mere mortals of the cross stitch world. That simply isn’t the case. The most recent award I won (the National Needlecraft Awards) is open to anyone, of any level. I was up against massive companies, but at the same time, simple hobby stitchers. I won one, I lost 2, but there was a trend that emerged; hobbyist were winning just as much as the big players in cross stitch.
But that doesn’t mean you have to go massive either. Try starting with online competitions like the DeviantART group StitchingPirates who have one every month!
 
I’ll wrap up by saying that the cross stitch community all over the world is an accepting place; we’ve all been a new stitcher, we’ve all kept our hobby secret at some point; and I’ve never seen someone be nasty about someone else’s cross stitch; ever.

Changing Colors On a Cross Stitch Pattern

DMC Thread shade card with new colors with logo by Lord Libidan

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have a whole pile of cross stitch patterns that I’ve never started. In fact, some of them are over a decade old. The thing is, whilst these patterns are great, there’s something slightly off with all of them.
Now, I don’t mean they’ve got something wrong on them, I mean they have something that doesn’t work for ME. I won’t name and shame any patterns here, but taking the one of the top, I have an issue with the color of the boat. It’s a green boat, with loads of greenery around it. It looks like it could do with a splash of color. And that’s what I’m going to talk about today. How to change a colors on a cross stitch pattern.
 
Changing details on cross stitch patterns can make sure that what you’re stitching is suited to you, it can make it truly unique, and it can make it something you suddenly REALLY want to stitch.

So how to you start?

We’ll start with a word of warning; don’t go over the top. When you start out, its best to pick one element and change the color, rather than the whole thing. You might be called upon to do a few colors to make your new one match (we’ll get to that) but try to keep it managable to start.
 
First off, you’re going to need a pattern, with the above advise, we should pick a small element to start. You then need to work out which colors are in that element based off the pattern. I’ve picked a bonsai tree with red leaves; and we’ll change them to green.
NOTE: The colors you are looking at might be used elsewhere in the pattern, so you may stitch need them to finish your cross stitch.

Red Bonsai Tree Pixel Art by Pixel Art Maker (Source: pixelartmaker.com)
Red Bonsai Tree Pixel Art by Pixel Art Maker (Source: pixelartmaker.com)

The Color Card

The next step is to pull up your color card. Ideally you should have one of thread example color cards, however you can use printed ones if you must. We have both the new DMC color card and the Anchor color card as a free download to look at. If you plan to do this a lot, we would STRONGLY suggest you get a thread example one, and we’ll be going over why why you need a color card in a few weeks.

DMC Thread shade card with new colors with logo by Lord Libidan
DMC Thread shade card with new colors with logo by Lord Libidan

Identify your shades

The next step is to pick your specific shades. In our red bonsai tree, we’ve picked out the 5 shades of red, and we’ve arranged the up in order. This means we can see they are a simple run of dark red to light red.

Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out
Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out

Pick the new shades

This, is where we finally get to pick the shades we’ll be using, but the hard work has already been done. As we know its a run of 5 reds, we’ll need a run of 5 greens. On the DMC color card the best options are on lines 10 and 11. Honestly, you could pick any 5 greens, however each run looks slightly different. Those on line 10 look darker, so might be best for oily leaves. We picked the first run of greens on like 11 as we have those in our collection.

Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out and replacement greens picked
Red Bonsai Tree with shades broken out and replacement greens picked

We’ve helped you out with some great free charts for replacement skin tones and replacement hair colors in cross stitch if you’re doing those in your pattern, so you might be able make this step easier.

Swap the colors

Swap them. Its that simple. You could color in the pattern with pens or pencils, you could just change the number on the list, or just stitching with your new colors.

Green Bonsai Tree Pixel Art by Lord Libidan
Green Bonsai Tree Pixel Art by Lord Libidan

Glass or No Glass; Whats Best When Framing Cross Stitch?

Parts of a artwork frame (Source: agora-gallery.com)

When it comes to finishing your cross stitch, there aren’t many things that go through your head other than “I need to show this to everyone!”, however many people feel unsure or confused about framing. However, that really doesn’t need to be the case. We’ve got a detailed guide on how to frame cross stitch on the blog already, but there is one big question that keeps coming up; should I add glass or not?
 
Sadly, this is one of those questions that doesn’t have an absolute answer. Sometimes you should, and sometimes you shouldn’t.

When You Should

In most cases, when you frame cross stitch, you should use glass. There are loads of benefits, such as keeping it clean, stopping strong sunlight and making it look more professional. However all of those things can only be achieved if you frame your cross stith correctly. Let’s look at the parts of a frame to get a better look at this:

Parts of a artwork frame (Source: agora-gallery.com)
Parts of a artwork frame (Source: agora-gallery.com)

When you want to protect it

As you can see from above, there are loads of parts to a standard frame, and each of these has their own purpose. The big two we’ll look at though, are the glass (obviously) and the window mat. This window mat is often the thing people forget, however its purpose is to keep the work away from the glass. In most cases this isn’t too important, but when it comes to cross stitch, where the stitches extend beyond the aida, its super important. Without it, the stitches get squashed against the frame.

When its required for the pattern

Sometimes however, you might need to get rid of the matting. And that’s fine! Take my Star Trek Voyager LCARS cross stitch for example. I wanted to make it look like it was a computer screen on a wall, and as a result putting in matting would ruin the look. But I still used glass. How did I get away with that? I used spacers. There are loads of different types, but they all work the same way; small bits of plastic that push the glass away from the cross stitch.

Star Trek Voyager LCARS Blueprint cross stitch by Lord Libidan
Star Trek Voyager LCARS Blueprint cross stitch by Lord Libidan

You don’t like the look of framed work

But what if you don’t like the idea of framed work? Well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t frame it. Take a look at the example below I found on Reddit. It’s a pacman screenshot cross stitch, fairly average (although well stitched) and when framing it, they added a bold yellow matting. The framing technique here has allowed the whole piece to stand out like a classic arcade cabinet. Now, bright yellow might not work for the cross stitch you’re doing, but by using clever framing, you can not only add to the cross stitch, but elevate it.

Pacman screenshot cross stitch in frame by gmatom (Source: reddit)
Pacman screenshot cross stitch in frame by gmatom (Source: reddit)

When You Should Not

Now, that said, there are times when you should ditch the glass. By doing this, you’ll loose the benefits of having glass, so you need to be more careful (see our tips at the bottom of the page) but sometimes glass just won’t work.

When you don’t like the glass

Yes, you can have a glass preference. 😛
When it comes to glass, some people don’t like the shine it creates, and if your artwork is somewhere glare is a problem, then you might know what I mean. So glass companies came up with solutions. Two specifically. The first is a slightly bumpy textured glass, which in my opinion makes the artwork harder to see. If you had a small count, this wouldn’t work. Equally, there is another type with a green coating on it (like eye glasses) which ruins the look if you’ve stitching with anything other than green.
The only solution? Ditch the glass.

Glasses with anti-glare coating (Source: youtube)
Glasses with anti-glare coating (Source: youtube)

When its required for the pattern

The other instance when you might not include glass is when its required for the pattern. Now, there really aren’t many patterns like this, so I’ve had to use another example of mine. In the below Pokemon 3D cave cross stitch you can see the cross stitch extends out of the frame, by nearly 30cm. There was no way I could frame this with glass, so I had to ditch it.

3D Pokemon Cave Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan, bottom view
3D Pokemon Cave Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan, bottom view

Tips for framing without glass

As seen above, sometimes there is a valid reason for not framing with glass, and honestly, that’s not a problem. However there are impacts of not framing with glass. With these tips, you should be able to keep those to a minimum!

  • Make sure its washed and ironed before you frame it; it’ll last longer
  • Keep it away from direct sunlight; the threads will keep their color longer
  • Use a special acid-free backing paper for framing to stop dust leeching into the artwork