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Have you ever run across and antique DMC pattern booklet, or a reproduction of a booklet, written by a famous designer named Therese de Dillmont? This talented stitcher wrote many booklets for DMC.
…but who was she?
Therese was born in Austria and was both an accomplished needleworker and writer.Dillmont’s famous Encyclopedia of Needlework (1886) has been translated into 17 languages. You can view the complete English version of the book here.
In the 19th century DMC established strong links with the famous embroiderer. The friendship between this talented woman and Jean Dollfus-Mieg (both are shown above) led her to move to Dornach, a town close to Mulhouse (where the DMC factory is located), where she founded her own embroidery school in close cooperation with DMC.
A complete biography of this talented woman, along with can be seen on the DMC Archives site. The site is in French, but is easy to navigate and full of inspiration, including the images found on the pages featuring her work. You can also view images from the 2012 Exposition of her work here.
To this day her booklets and the Encyclopedia of Needlework are sought after by needleworkers around the world, as the quality of the education and designs are just as relevant today as they were two centuries ago. I’ll be visiting the factory and archives next week, and will be blogging more of the DMC story soon.
It’s been awhile since I shared a bit of vintage DMC love with you – one of our readers, Kristyn, posted some tantalizingly mysterious images in our Facebook group, and she asked for help to determine their origin. I learned from a local expert at DMC that our embroidery leaflets have been published in numerous languages over the years – French (naturally), Italian, Russian, and as you see in Kristyn’s case: Greek!
I asked if Kristyn would be so good as to include a peek inside and she was happy to oblige:
Lovely, huh? I particularly love the sphinx pattern. And that Kristyn has plenty of Caprisun on hand. My guess is these were needlepoint patterns that could also be used for cross-stitch or other counted thread techniques.
Now, my Greek is… not so great, but according to online booksellers, the words on the cover Kenthma Me Mounine Kai Koton Nepne translate to: Graphed Designs For Embroidery Needlepoint Cross Stitch. Is that right? Greek speakers, feel free to correct, as necessary! These pamphlets aren’t dated, but various online booksellers estimate dates of publication in the 1960’s for these numbered Greek pamphlets.
Kristyn also included a charming French color pamphlet of cross-stitched designs:
My French is better than my Greek, so I know “Point de Croix” means quite simply “cross-stitch” and “serie” (you guessed it) indicates it is one in a numbered series. This site estimates a 1970 printing and includes a few sample images from inside – I’m loving the bright colors, and if that snappy yellow fabric inspires you, I’d check out CharlesCraft Bright Ideas Aida in Lemon Twist.
And now I thought I’d turn the sleuthing over to you folks – have you any information on these pamphlets, or have you owned one yourself? How many languages have you found DMC embroidery booklets in? We’d love to hear your story!
In my hurry to pack for my France trip I forgot to tell my favorite people, you guys, where I’m off to this week! I’m in France to sit in on some meetings, talk about new products and visit the amazing DMC Factory where magic is made in the form of luxurious threads and fabrics of all kinds. I will post more later about the incredible thread manufacturing process that DMC has developed centuries ago! I snagged an awesome video of how DMC Threads are made for your viewing pleasure so check back soon. We also have the most exciting announcement to make, but I can not announce it yet – just stay loyal my lovely blog followers, you know I love you guys!
I’m going to post a few photo’s for you to see. Below is how the Mouline (aka DMC Embroidery Floss) is first made. It arrives from Egypt and is first singed by fire to remove any of the fiber hairs to make for a smooth luxurious feel to the thread.
After a few stages the thread is sorted into hanks, see picture below, to get it ready for the 8 hour dying process. The hanks allows for the thread to be fully saturated in the dye and to apply a colorfast dye.
I sort of feel like a celebrity here. Everyone who lives in Mulhouse knows DMC. DMC was first established in the 1700’s and helped to build up the town of Mulhouse. Today the DMC Factory stands high as an important historical figure in the town and employs over 150 workers and manufactures about 1 million skeins of threads of a day – that includes crochet threads, Pearl Cotton you name it, we make it here in France. I’m so proud to work for such an amazing historically rich company.
Stay Tuned for more French highlights!
Part I covers our history from the inception of the company through 1850.
In Part II, you can see the evolution of the logo, which is really interesting for those who collect vintage DMC items and memorabilia. You’ll also find information on the doyen of embroidery, Therese de Dillmont.
Part III features information on DMC’s extensive collection of needlework from around the world, which is housed at the company headquarters in Mulhouse, France.
Penny did a terrific job giving readers a thorough and accurate history of DMC, and we hope you’ll take a look at her articles. You can also learn more about the history of DMC on our web site!
The versatile free charted design can also be worked on placemats and the ends of a runner, or use the individual motifs to embroider napkins for your Valentine’s Day table, or make embroidered paper gift tags and place cards.
Download this free Anchor Me pattern from the Speckless Blog to create a hip, edgy Valentine project that’s sure to get the attention of your sweetheart.
The anchor would look great worked in basic embroidery stitches and framed in a hoop, or stitched to the front of a tote bag.
Over on About.com, the embroidery guide has posted a new SAL (stitch along) featuring a set of three Paisley Redwork Hearts.
The design is being worked in DMC Embroidery Floss in color #115 – a variegated garnet thread that alternates between dark and medium red and garnet tones, and has an antique effect.
The individual heart patterns are destined to be finished as ornaments that would make great gifts for your stitching friends.
…and check out this terrific All You Need is Love design using frayed fabric and plastic-coated wire combined with embroidery from Camilla Fabbri’s Family Chic site.
Oh by gosh, by golly… it’s time for MistleToe and Holly!
…in sampler form, that is!
Today’s Friday Freebie is from the DMC Archives and features a pretty cross stitch chart dripping with mistletoe and framed with an old-fashioned, European-style border.
Click here for the free chart, and enjoy!