Full List of Discontinued DMC Threads

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 the attached list, with replacements (if there is one):

57 (variegated) no replacement
61 (variegated) no replacement
75 (variegated) no replacement
91 (variegated) no replacement
95 (variegated) no replacement
101 (variegated) no replacement
102 (variegated) no replacement
103 (variegated) no replacement
104 (variegated) no replacement
108 (variegated) no replacement
112 (variegated) no replacement
113 (variegated) no replacement
114 (variegated) no replacement
116 (variegated) no replacement
122 (variegated) no replacement
123 (variegated) no replacement
124 (variegated) no replacement
126 (variegated) no replacement
504* replaced with 3813
731* replaced with 732
776* replaced with 3326
781* replaced with 782
806* replaced with 3760
868* replaced with 801
971* replaced with 740
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
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

* DMC officially classes these as “replaced” rather than discontinued, but it’s functionally the same.
** These threads are officially discontinued (confirmed by the DMC company), however, they are still available in the US and Australia, mostly sold in packs. You can still pick these up individually from the DMC US website though.
^ Can still be found as part of large variations packs in Northern America.
Need a DMC thread card with the new colors? We have you covered.
DMC shade color thread card chart with new DMC threads

23 thoughts on “Full List of Discontinued DMC Threads

  1. I’m curious – were the variegated colors 4000 – 4265 really discontinued in the UK? They are very much available in the US (and quite popular, I might add).

    1. It’s not all of the range only some, and they’re discontinued in both Europe and the US. However, it appears that I’ve included 4000 on this list which is incorrect. Thanks for prodding me!

  2. I recently bought some second hand floss (from someone’s grandmother), and I’m at loss to find what colors some of them are! For example, I have two dark blues that look really old – the labels are completely different, thin paper (number stamped on?), but they do say DMC on them – but I can’t find a reference to the numbers (429 and 515) anywhere! Is there anywhere I could find more info? Thanks! 😀

    1. That’s odd.
      DMC has never used the codes 429 or 515. There are embroidery thread brands that have, but 515 is a Trebla yellow/gold.
      DMC did use to have paper wrappers, but the bit that says “DMC” has always been plastic (before they were on spools rather than skeins). So it sounds like someone has added aftermarket labels, or incorrectly coded them.
      Find out what colors these are will take a lot of work though sadly. Until you know the real brand, it will be VERY hard to work out.

      1. Really really old DMC labels were printed on paper. DMC have only started using plastic in the past 15 years.
        I have original DMC threads from the 1980s with paper labels on both the number and the label side.

    2. I also have some very very old Anchor threads and unnamed bits and bobs (bought from charity shops). One of these days I will buy a printer with a scanner, load them a few at a time onto the plate, take a picture and run it through my ancient (2002) cross-stitch software – which only does Anchor threads very well and I don’t have a full set of them, only DMC – well up to the last new issue, which have even weirder numbers! It might be a long job, luckily I retire soon. I have particular difficulty differentiating the very pale ones, also the light flesh tones. Once did a picture where my substitutes worked fine for the face but the hands were so wrong I had to take it all out and redo it

  3. Can you please tell me why there is not a list of DMC numbers along with their names put out by DMC. I used to get lists quite often (free in stores) and they were spot on. No duplicate names etc. I can not find a list any more. The ones they have listed on line have many mistakes, duplicate names, color (989) not made any more, and many more mistakes. One person said she researched the colors and numbers for months. Why didn’t she see the mistakes? Do you know where I can get a list that is correct?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Firstly, there is not an official DMC names list at all. The lists you used to get were probably put out by retailers on behalf of DMC. As the internet started to grow the list of threads became easier to get hold of and many retailers decided to stop creating the lists themselves. However, due to DMCs odd process of changing numbers, discontinuing threads and creating new ones with odd numbers, this got confusing fast. This resulted in lots of random rumors starting.
      The first is the names. As I said before DMC doesn’t have official names, so people came up with their own. As new threads came out, names were sometimes duplicated. In addition some people call “dark brown” one number, and other people think its called “medium brown”. I would choose just one list of thread names and stick with that list.
      The second set of rumors included discontinued threads. For example, color 989 is still produced.

      In order to solve this issue, we decided to make an update a list of all standard DMC 6 strand threads, which you can find here: https://lordlibidan.com/dmc-thread-inventory-spreadsheet/
      We speak directly with DMC and regularly update to make sure its as accurate as possible. I hope it helps!

  4. I am told there is no DMC floss number 868. Was there ever one with this number? Also can you please explain why the DMC numbers are so messed up. I can understand when new numbers are added they can not alway be right next to the old number of the same color family. But why have they skipped so many numbers. Going right from the 900’s to 3000’s. From 3600 to 3700 It seems ridiculous. DMC told me they followed the square and round AB. (I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of them). But they are a little drop of a bead type thing that is used in place of thread for stitching. But that does not make any sense since DMC has been on the market for a lot longer.

    1. DMC thread 868 used to be made, but it was replaced with 801. It’s a dark brown, similar to 898.
      There has never been an explanation for why the numbers are so weird on DMC, but there is a good guess. Initially, DMC designed lots of thread colors, but decided not to sell some of them, meaning there are gaps between 0 and 996.
      In regards to why some have 3XXX as a number system, this is due to the factory they were made in; initially, all threads were made in France, but when a US factory opened, they made new colors, to signify the US colors they were required to be part of the 3000+ series. When the US factory shut and France started producing all the threads, they kept the numbers. No one knows why the numbers jump from 3011 to 3895 so quickly though. I’m still trying to find the answer to that myself!
      The square and round thing is about the manufacturing process. In France they make the ‘hanks’ of thread on a “square-n-round”. You can see a video of the French DMC here. I’ve been told that the US factory made their threads differently, using a “round-n-round”, however I’ve never been able to confirm this. However, maybe that’s why the old US threads have the 3000 names…

  5. I was just gifted some old skeins of embroidery floss from DMC, J&P Coates, Coates and Clarke, and a completely never before heard of Art 21 (Belding Lily Company). Most of the price tags are still on. They range from 5 to 10 cents (US). This has been an interesting read. Still not seeing some of the ones I have such as DMC 3716 (pink) and 741 (bright yellow) and 905 (grassy green).

  6. When and how were these discontinuations announced? I recently bought a copy of the colour chart with real threads, direct from DMC. It has the ‘new’ 35 colours in it, but also some of the variegated threads listed here, including 92 and 94, 99, 48, and 121 – all of which I’ve just ordered from Lakeside Needlecraft in the UK. When can we expect them to disappear – or did they change their mind?

    1. We’re currently in discussions with some DMC staff members to get to the bottom of this.
      Officially no threads have ever been discontinued, DMC just stop making them. It could be that they started making them again, or that production was paused for a while. Could also be that they have large stocks of threads they need to sell.
      I’ve removed them from the list for now.

  7. What are these types of DMC thread?

    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

    1. These threads are the “Light Effects” range. The old numbers used to be broken out into three series; jewels, precious metals and pearlescents.

    2. Hi,
      I live in California USA I buy cross stitch patterns on line a lot. I bought a couple a while back that called for 3885, 3886 & 3887. I have been looking everywhere for them.
      You have fixed my confusion, I believe.
      I can use 312 for 3885, 3685 for 3886 and 208 for 3887 I have all those numbers
      I also have some very old patterns where the other Discontinued number will help
      Thank you for being here

  8. FWIW, I was straightening up my wife’s thread collection and ran into a 811.

    It’s a kind of bright yellow. Price on wrapper? 10 cents.

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