The DMC Light Effects threads had so much promise, but 30 years after their introduction, they still aren’t living up to their potential.
The 90s for the DMC thread company were a wild time. They managed to open a series of factories across the world, and they went full throttle to launch new threads. But these threads… didn’t really work out. The US-only DMC threads are somewhat famous for their failure, but DMC also had a range of linen threads and a super rare 724 thread that most people even now don’t know existed. But there was another brand they also launched in the 90s, one that’s still around today too! The Light Effects range.
The Light Effects Range
Whilst we have called the range ‘new’ in the 90s, this wasn’t fully true. Prior to this, the range was simply called “Metallics”. As DMC wanted to add in more, special threads that weren’t metallics, they rebranded the whole range. And with this rebrand, they launched a series of packs. Most know them as the 6 packs pictured above; Holiday, Classical Blends, Blended Favorites, Fluorescents, Tropical Glow and Pearlescent Collection.
The first three of these (Holiday, Classical Blends & Blended Favorites) were simply a package of existing metallic threads.
The second three were completely new threads (Fluorescents, Tropical Glow & Pearlescent Collection).
However, there was actually, a 7th pack, one that people aren’t wholly aware of; the Gold & Silver Collection. A collection of 2 existing metallic threads, and 4 totally new metallic threads.
So What Went Wrong?
This, sadly, is where the story takes a turn.
Let’s start by talking about that Gold & Silver pack; with 4 new threads. Well; it just didn’t get pushed. The fact that most people think there were 6 packs, just goes to show how little DMC put behind the Gold & Silver range.
This already didn’t help, but the sale of the other packs also failed. The first three; of existing metallics, failed hard, with packs of some (such as holiday) still being able to be found today. What made things considerably worse was that the change in name to “Light Effects” confused consumers, with sales of the other metallic threads dropping too.
The combination of these two factors meant that before a full year had gone, DMC were not only not selling these new metallic packs, but they stopped producing some metallic threads.
But what about the other packs?
Well, these had a little better fairing. All three packs sold enough to keep going, and by the end of the year, they could be found on the official DMC color card. However DMC had hoped for more.
The Second Launch
The lack of strong sales figures clearly didn’t stop DMC from thinking the Light Effects range had legs. In 2020, they released a rebranded pack of Tropical Glow threads. Unlike previous repackages which were using up stock, the evidence we’ve looked at suggests this was an honest relaunch. It just failed to land; again.
Since then, the bright neon colors and extra metallics have not found their way onto color charts, with some neons actually being dropped.
So what does DMC plan to do next?
Well, I don’t think a lot. The Light Effects range would have been a perfect fit for the slightly shiny Etoile range, but these launched under their own title. And this was before the Coloris threads, which suggests that going forward DMC plan to release each set under its own name.
However, I think the real nail in the coffin for Light Effects was the rather quiet launch of Diamant threads, which has slowly been increasing in range since its launch. And in our opinion, are the far superior metallic threads.
List of discontinued Light Effects threads:
– E985 (Lemon Zest Fluorescent)
– E987 (Key Lime Splash Fluorescent)
– E995 (Melon Blast Fluorescent)
– E1010 (Tropical Pink Fluorescent)
– E1020 (Bright Orange Fluorescent)
– E1024 (Tangerine Zing Fluorescent)
– E1026 (Blueberry Blast Fluorescent)
– E1040 (Electric Blue Fluorescent)
– E1050 (Luminous Lavender Fluorescent)
– E1055 (Raspberry Rush Fluorescent)
List of discontinued Light Effects Metallics threads:
– E133 (Midnight Madness Metallic)
– E144 (Majestic Metals Metallic)
– E136 (Emerald Isle Metallic)
– E148 (Purple Essence Metallic)
– E150 (Deep Water Blue Metallic)
– E152 (Pink Shimmer Metallic)
– E140 (Tropical Delight Metallic)
– E146 (Caribbean Ripples Metallic)
– E138 (Opalescent Rays Metallic)
– E154 (All That Jazz Metallic)
– E141 (Holiday Sparkle Metallic)
– E131 (Carnivale Fun Metallic)
– E170 (White Silver Metallic)
– E305 (Titanium Metallic)
– E3821 (Straw Gold Metallic)
– E3868 (Light Silver Metallic)
– E3870 (Bronze Gold Metallic)
Do you think the Light Effects range is a failure, similar to DMC Etoile threads failure or do you think Light Effects have more to offer?
We’ve also heard of people struggling to get their hands on some Light Effects recently. Maybe this spells the end for the range?