Discontinued Thread Replacement Update – Direct From DMC

Back in 2013 DMC released their 38** range of threads. Commonly referred to as DMC’s US only threads, they quickly became unofficially discontinued due to EU dye laws. For the last 10 years, we’ve been supplied with a list of replacement threads direct from the DMC company.
But now, just before the 10 year anniversary, DMC are giving out a new list of replacement threads! We deep dive into this update, and why they might have taken action.

New Replacements For The DMC 3800 Series Of Threads

How Are The New Replacements?

As our table hopefully shows, most of the threads are better. There are 5 threads with exactly the same replacements, 6 with much better replacements, and 3 with better (but still not perfect) replacements.
As a result, this new selection offers a closer match to not only the original threads themselves, but their color families too.
However, there are two replacements, 801 for 3882 and 970 for 3892 that are worse.

Why The Change?

This is where the meat of the situation is.
The first reason to update is a simple one; the 35 “new” DMC threads are now integrated into this replacement list, with 2 of the new threads (04 and 035) taking their place in the list. We actually thought that DMC might be trying to replace these threads just before the new threads launched, so it’s good to see that DMC is listening to customers’ feedback.

The second reason is simply to sort out an issue with 740. This is the previously chosen replacement for 3892, and in our opinion, is closer in hue than their new replacement of 970. But 740 has an issue. Its already a replacement for a thread.
Whilst many know that DMC rarely discontinues threads, and almost never tell anyone if they do, there are 7 threads that are officially discontinued. These threads are marked with brackets on the DMC color card, and 740 is already a replacement for 971. Having a double replacement creates a bit of a nightmare for DMC.

And the third reason; somewhat of an interest to me, is that I think DMC might be officially retiring the 38** threads.

DMC Threads 3892 970 and 740 side by side

Could DMC Be Ready To Discontinue the 38** Threads?

So, taking this all into account, could DMC be getting ready to officially discontinue the 38** threads? I think so.
Whilst it is true that DMC doesn’t tell people about discontinuation often, the 7 threads already confirmed were all in the public eye for considerably less time than the 38** series. So if they were planning to try to “put a pin” in the confusion once and for all, an official announcement would be a good idea.
But this update in list tells us a few things that support them doing it.

They’re thinking about The 38** series

The first, and arguably biggest hint is that for 10 years DMC were happy to supply a list of replacements, but they’ve suddenly decided to focus on these threads. This will no doubt cause confusion as websites scramble to update lists of replacements, and will highlight the issue DMC has with these threads. So they wouldn’t do it unless there was a very good reason.
We think this reason might be to wrap up some issues before the announcement.

The 740 issue

The second hint is 740. We think this is a worse replacement, and whilst not a great deal different from 970, shows that DMC is actively trying to ensure that 740, which is already replacing a thread, is not considered in this list. If DMC never intended to announce a discontinuation there would be no reason to be concerned by this.

New threads replace old

Looking slightly further back though, DMC might have had this on their mind for some time. The 35 “new” colors have 2 direct replacements for threads in this range. The fact that new threads are being used suggests DMC have actively tried to find replacements when making new threads.

The 38** threads aren’t in the color cards

There never had been a DMC color card with the 38** threads in it. This is likely due to issues with selling those threads to EU countries, but the fact that the threads were sold, but not included in color cards, or even on the DMC website, suggests that DMC are very aware that these threads are already functionally forgotten about.

Could DMC Just Hide The Issue Instead?

But there is one thing that makes I wonder if they will officially discontinue these threads; it could cause more confusion.
As already stated, they aren’t included in the color cards, and DMC often make reference to their “500 threads”. So to announce a discontinuation of 16 threads, would cause confusion to many in the community. It could instead be that DMC are hoping to sweep the issue under the carpet now that all the issue have been fixed.

What do you think? Could DMC be getting ready to announce the discontinuation of these threads once and for all, or are they hoping to hide it and pretend they never happened?

Happy stitching!
Lord Libidan

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