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DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss

Reported by Susie Ziegler

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

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This is another installment in my investigations of specialty embroidery flosses by DMC. Last spring I tried DMC Linen Embroidery Floss which I liked quite a bit. I was decidedly less enthusiastic about shiny and slick DMC Satin Embroidery floss. Up here where I live in the cold northern USA, these are the coldest and darkest days of the year, so I was inspired to test DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss. This floss is part of the Light Effects specialty thread series which includes fluorescent shades and pearlescent colors. Although there are many thread colors to choose from in this line of flosses, Glow in the Dark only comes in this white:

This is a polyester thread, not a cotton like their traditional flosses. The first thing I noticed was that the cut ends loosened and frayed, and it was difficult to thread my favorite type of very small eyed needle. I had to dig around my sewing box to find a needle with a larger eye. You might not have this issue, as most people embroider with these needles already. As with all embroidery flosses, Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss separates into 6 strands. I stitched my little project with three strands. I did find the floss difficult to thread through the needle as the polyester fiber didn’t moisten as readily as cotton or linen floss.

Also, the threads really want to stay separated, although they weren’t nearly as wild and unruly as the satin floss I’ve used before.

This is a small tea towel project. Here at my house, we are bracing for another overnight snowstorm, so I thought a wee nighttime snowflake would be appropriate. Stitching on this went pretty smoothly, although I did find that the thread has a bit of a mind of it’s own. Since the threads want to separate from each other, I did have trouble with some knotting and slipping. Also, y’all, I make really perfect french knots. I don’t know what it is, but these sit up strangely and don’t look nearly as cute as I like.

Okay, but here is the real test. Does this stuff sufficiently glow in the dark? I was skeptical. But look! It really does! Even enough for me to get a fairly good photo in the pitch dark!

Pros:

  • Polyester thread is sturdy
  • Glow-in-the-dark products and projects are fun
  • Thread has nice “body” and fullness
  • Really glows!

Cons:

  • Threads separate
  • Not made from a natural fiber, so it has a synthetic feel
  • Only one color: white

I found DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss at my local craft store in the embroidery section. Not all stores carry it. It is, of course, available at Amazon.com as well. It retails for about twice as much as other specialty flosses.

I can think of so many fun things to stitch with little glowing thread details! Are there any other specialty flosses I should test?

DMC Linen Embroidery Floss

Reported by Susie Ziegler

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I’ve been investigating the specialty embroidery flosses that are available. In my last article, I played with the shiny, modern satin embroidery flosses by DMC. This time I went traditional with the lovely linen threads offered by this popular manufacturer.

Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world. It is a sturdy natural fiber from the flax plant, is stronger than cotton, and has a lovely natural luster. Linen is highly absorbent, and gets softer with washing. Linen does not “pill” as do many other fibers. The fibers of linen have a low elasticity. They do not stretch and are resistant to damage. You may have noticed this characteristic when ironing out stubborn wrinkles in your linen garments or table linens.

During my research for this review, I found that the United Nations declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers. I am not quite sure what to do with that information, but as Craft Critique Fabric Crafts Specialist I thought I should share that nugget of trivia with you.

This DMC Linen floss comes in 24 beautiful colors, all coordinated, but limited to muted “natural” tones. I purchased a multipack at Michaels. The full price was $17.99 for 12 skeins. Two multipacks are available. I chose the one with more color variety… and pink. I like pink.

The multipack I purchased came with 10 cross-stitch patterns using their line of linen embroidery threads. I don’t have enough time as a Craft Critique reporter to finish an epic cross-stitch pattern like these, so I’ll keep these pretty patterns in my stash for some time in the future when my urge to cross-stitch returns. Still, it might be fun to try one of those butterflies or a single flower as an embellishment somewhere.

Instead I opted to use a pattern from this lovely book, Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray. The muted tones and simple, whimsical designs in this beginning embroidery book will look lovely on the linen fabric I purchased for this project.

It is simple to trace a pattern onto your fabric. Since you will be covering up your lines, you can use a pencil, but if you make a mistake tracing, you might always be able to see your pencil marks. I prefer to use a disappearing ink marker and trace in a sunny window. The water soluble markers are preferable to the air soluble ones. You don’t want to lay your work down overnight only to find that your pattern lines have disappeared. Don’t ask my how I know this, but sometimes I am a slow learner.

It is not necessary to follow your lines exactly. No one will know that you improvised your stitching a little bit because the lines will disappear with a little spritz of fresh cool water.

My favorite stitch is the chain stitch, but I worked on some other stitches in this design like satin stitch and the long and short stitch. I found that this floss worked these stitches easily.

Sometimes the floss showed little thick slubs. They did not occur often and did not seem to show up in my work. This thread frays a bit as you work, so it is preferable to use short lengths (about 18 inches is what I prefer) when you stitch and not run the needle up and down the thread tail too often. In this photo you can see the little slubby “flaw” in the floss.

Unlike the slick satin floss I stitched with before, I found this floss to be sturdy and reliable. It behaved nicely and laid just where I wanted it to. My satin stitches were lined up nice and flat. I think it was even more cooperative because I was stitching on a natural linen fabric from the fabric store.

It took me two days to stitch this project for you and it looked perfect when I finished it, but I thought it was important to see how this floss stands up to the laundry. Into my regular washer and dryer it went with all my kids socks, kitchen towels, and other household laundry. I am happy to report that my piece laundered beautifully. All the fibers have the luster they started with. In fact, ironing enhanced their subtle shine.

Pros:

  • Natural, premium fiber is perfect for heirloom stitching that will last generations.
  • Beautifully coordinated colors.
  • Sturdy, cooperative threads with a soft natural sheen.
  • Launders like a dream
  • Multipack comes with inspiring, easy to read, large patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to regular floss
  • Limited array of colors
  • Not easily found at all embroidery retailers

I still love my regular cotton embroidery floss collection but these DMC Linen Embroidery Flosses are wonderful. I set aside my slick rayon flosses for some time in the future when hell freezes over. I determined that these linen flosses are lovely for heirloom work, and I might purchase the second set color pack so I have the complete set of colors.

DMC Satin Embroidery Floss

Reported by Susie Ziegler

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

Have you seen the beautiful display of embroidery floss at your craft store? DMC is the brand I always use because it is readily available, and I trust that it won’t run, break or fade in the wash. Recently I’ve noticed some specialty threads from DMC, notably this shimmering rayon floss. I think that DMC has repackaged what they called “Rayon Floss” with a longer see-through plastic sleeve and now it is called “Satin,” but it is still made of rayon.

First a word about embroidery floss. Floss comes in 6 strands. You can stitch with any number of strands at a time depending on how bulky you want your work to look. I am impressed by the thick, funky look of six-stranded work, but I am addicted to my own style of two-stranded chain stitching. Needle’nThread.com has a terrific video library of many of the types of embroidery stitches. I encourage everyone to try some hand embroidery. I see many fantastic projects made entirely of simple back stitching.

If you happen to be a beginner, go ahead and use the regular cotton floss to get the hang of stitching. It comes in a huge rainbow of shades and is predictable and easy to work with. This glossy, slick rayon stuff is probably for intermediate stitchers.

Now, when you get that package of floss, you are going to need to cut off a length to stitch with. You should only use about 12-18 inches of thread at a time. Trust me on that. You’ll have less knotting and twisting if you use shorter lengths.

Pull your length of thread gently, straight out of the package and not at an angle and cut off your 12-18 inches:

Next you need to separate out your threads. Like I said, I prefer using 2 threads. I think this preference goes back to my obsessive cross-stitching days when only 2 or 3 threads is recommended. Gently pull out just one strand at a time from your length of floss. If the strands get tangled, try pulling them out the opposite direction. Only pull one thread at a time. Lay your strands together, thread your preferred needle, and knot one end.

Okay, now for my reaction to using this floss. The word on the street is that it is a bear to work with, but it is better than metallic floss. I haven’t used metallic (because I’m scared and stuck in my ways). The first thing I noticed was that it really is slick. The strands do not hold together the way that cotton floss does. Neither do they hold into your stitching. Notice in this photo how the thread wants to pull up? I am afraid that any threads that are not securely woven in on the back will pull out with use.

It also seems thicker than regular floss. I felt like it showed every flaw in my stitching. The satin stitches I did on this little beak don’t want to lay flat.

On the other hand, in this photo of my cross-stitching, you really can see how glossy and pretty these threads are.

The thing is that DMC thread is a superior product and their cotton floss already has a pretty polished cotton sheen to it. I am not convinced that this stuff, though lovely is worth the extra cost at $1/ skein.

Pros:

  • Shiny, silky, and pretty
  • Threads don’t get stuck and twisted together. Knotting up is not a problem.
  • Can be substituted for regular floss in any application.
  • Did I say that it is gleamy and reflective?

Cons:

  • Limited variety of colors. DMC shows about 36 on their website.
  • The ends fray
  • Has an untamable quality. The threads seem to want to go wildly in their own direction.

I was happy to finally try this DMC Rayon floss. It was probably a good thing that I only did very small projects with it, because I think that a large scale project would have made me a little bit crazy. This is a little bird drawing from my daughter that I stitched up with spring in mind.

I would really like to know what our crafty readers think of the specialty embroidery threads available these days. Leave us a comment and let us know!