DMC Embroidery Floss Colors

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Greetings Stitchers!  I received an awesome question after posting Monday’s blog.

A reader asked about DMC discontinuing colors, and I thought it could use some clarification to help avoid any confusion.

DMC Embroidery Floss is available in 454 solid colors, 18 variegated colors and additional 36 soft, overdyed colors in the Color Variations line.

Solid colors of DMC Embroidery Floss here in the United States have never been discontinued, but some variated shades have been.  See our FAQ Page on the main web site for additional information.

If you are looking for a color of DMC Embroidery Floss and are unable to locate it in your area, it could be because the local retail shops or chains only carry a partial line.

For example, a shop in my local area carries an assortment of 144 popular colors of DMC Embroidery Floss due to space limitations (it’s a small but cozy store).

If you’re having difficulty locating a color, look for a retailer or online supplier that carries the entire DMC Floss collection – they will be able to help you locate those elusive colors.

Herrschner’s carries the entire line of embroidery floss, a Complete DMC Floss set (the set does not include the Color Variations floss colors), as well as other popular DMC Embroidery Threads.

You can also email me any time with questions. I’m always happy to help!



Be Sociable, Share!

Categories: Embroidery, Helpful Hints, Industry News, Resources Tags:

68 Responses to “DMC Embroidery Floss ColorsComment RSS feed

  • Carmen
    December 7th, 2011 12:21 pm

    Thanks, Emma. That explains why I can’t find one of the colors I need. Herrschner’s does have it, so I’m going to order it and get my project finished.

    December 7th, 2011 1:52 pm

    My mother is still in England and she has not been able to purchase it anywhere. My husband buys it for her in Texas and then we mail it to her and her friends. Thank you for the information. Now they have a soource they can order from. Love your site and all the info I get to share – Jewels

  • Tracy
    December 7th, 2011 3:20 pm

    731, 776, 781, 806, 971 and 3773 are actually discontinued in Australia and in a number of European countries I believe. I think it depends on where the DMC in each country is sourced from as to whether these numbers are still available or not.

    • admin
      December 7th, 2011 8:11 pm
      Author's Reply

      This may be the case in Australia, Tracy – and possibly elsewhere. However, here in the US, all solid colors are still intact. I would definitely recommend checking with your local distributor to see if colors (or color numbers) have changed in your area. ~Emma

  • Mosaic Magpie
    December 7th, 2011 4:14 pm

    That explains why I can’t find some colors. How often are new colors added? What inspires new colors
    Thank you,

  • Patricia Stroud
    December 7th, 2011 9:47 pm

    discontinuing varigated colors is the opposite of what I want. I want to see MORE varigated colors.

    • admin
      December 8th, 2011 11:34 am
      Author's Reply

      I like using the variegated colors too. I’ll make the suggestion! ~Emma

  • Mary
    December 7th, 2011 11:00 pm

    Hi, Mary again. :-) I just read your new blog and then your comment to Tracy about discontinued colors and had another question. If color numbers have changed over the years (which likely explains my “missing” colors) does DMC have a record of such changes available for buyers? I could certainly purchase (online or otherwise) the elusive colors I have been trying to find, but since they are now likely a different number, I would have no idea which numbers they have become. Since computer monitors often do not offer accurate representations of colors, I have been hesitant to purchase online, especially for ones I am unsure of, and standing in the floss aisle of my local craft stores with my color blind father (I only have transportation to two craft stores) comparing old and new skeins seems rather tedious, especially since one (the easier of the two to get to) of the stores has a rather poor history of restocking thier floss section. I am frequently looking for a color (whose number I know) for 3-4 months (913 at the moment) at a time, because it appears they only restock when they have a specific (large) amount to replace, and I have been shopping for floss there since I began crafting in the 90’s. Anyhow, thanks.

  • Christina
    December 8th, 2011 8:56 am

    I wish DMC made the scented floss available in the US. No one here carries that product line. It also took at least a year, and perhaps longer, to get the soluble waste canvass.

  • Ren
    April 8th, 2012 7:08 am

    Dear Emma,
    I’ve been looking for some colors without any success here. Did DMC not selling Art 117 no 731, 807, 3773, 504, 781, 971, 970, Ecru, and 776 in Indonesia?

  • Julie Roach
    May 14th, 2012 7:19 pm

    Just purchased an old wooden DMC floss cabinet with a round logo with a very stylized horse head. Unfortunately the logo is partially missing. I would like to fix it up as original, but cannot find a similar logo. Do you know where I can find pictures of older logos? I would say this is from the 60’s or70’s maybe, its wood with three wooden drawers with clear plastic fronts and buff colored plastic dividers. Very cool.

  • Mary
    July 28th, 2012 1:39 pm

    i just started a new project and one of the threads requested is ‘DMC splendor’. I have never heard of it and the DMC website does not list it. Any suggestions?

  • MaryJane
    August 29th, 2012 4:42 pm

    Hi, I have come across a huge amount of embroidery floss in Anchor and JP Coats brands (over 2,500 skeins), It is going to take me a huge amount of time to colour match them with the DMC skeins. Do you know of a trustworthy conversion chart I can download? I am finding there are many out there on the internet but there are differences in numbering from one chart to another. Maybe one day when I retire I will have time to personally convert the colours to a list of my own.

    • admin
      September 4th, 2012 7:36 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi MaryJane, Your best – and always most up-to-date – resource for DMC color cards, conversion cards and color names or numbers is on our web site. Each thread’s section includes this helpful info, and is always there when you need it most. For example, go to the embroidery floss page, and select the “colors” tab located under the photo of the thread. You’ll find a downloadable pdf of the colors. Or, visit the conversion cards page to find additional information, as well as the color descriptions/color names info.

  • Leslie
    November 27th, 2012 6:50 am

    Have the colors changed since the 90s? I have a pattern that calls for 640 and calls it “tan” – Well, the 640 I just bought looks nothing like the color in the sample ( current one is much more grey). Any suggestions on what to do?

    • admin
      November 27th, 2012 10:58 am
      Author's Reply

      The actual name for color #640 is Very Dark Beige Gray, and it has not changed. I wonder if the designer used generic names?

  • Joyce
    January 25th, 2013 9:16 am

    I did embroidery in Holland in the 80s. I’m trying to repeat the same but the colours I used I can not find.
    The colours were in the 7000s numbers. Can you advise?

    Thanks Joyce in Canada

    • admin
      January 28th, 2013 8:49 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi Joyce, DMC makes a variety of threads, and not all of them are available in all countries. I do not know of a thread here in the USA that has color numbers in this range. Perhaps DMC France can help? They cover the European market. ~Emma

  • Polly
    March 19th, 2013 7:18 pm

    I have a small remnant of floss from probably the 1970s that is a slightly reddish dark gray–it’s a little darker than the 413 gray. My computer monitor tends to distort colors a bit toward blue, so I can’t tell from the online charts if any DMC floss is this color. There certainly isn’t anything this color at my local shop. Can you tell me what this might be?

    • admin
      March 20th, 2013 7:22 am
      Author's Reply

      It’s nearly impossible to offer a color number without seeing it. And, with everyone’s screens being different, it might be best to take the floss to a local retailer that carries DMC’s entire line for comparison. Some retailers only carry a partial line, so make sure they do indeed carry the full spectrum of colors. Also, be aware that color formulas change over the years due to rules and regulations concerning their ingredients, so the color may have changed slightly.

  • Polly
    March 20th, 2013 9:17 am

    I realize that finding a color based only on a description is at best a guessing game, but as I said, I already tried my local shop–at least, the largest and most likely candidate. I have no way of finding a local retailer who carries the full line–other than going through the phone book and calling every possible craft store individually. The DMC “find a store” page doesn’t even find the stores in my area that carry a partial selection!

  • Sarah Suits
    April 13th, 2013 1:36 pm

    I purchased a Coca Cola Christmea project several years ago that calls for DMC 3044. I cannot find this color on any of the color charts or in any store. Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

    • admin
      April 15th, 2013 6:50 am
      Author's Reply

      Color #3044 does not exist. It could be a typo in the pattern. Who published the pattern? It may be best to contact them directly.

  • riza
    June 21st, 2013 4:10 am

    just want to ask if there is a dmc code 30676,30976,30301,30300,30898,30820,309797,30798,30799,30800,30310 because i could finished my cross stitch due to i can find that dmc color

    • admin
      June 22nd, 2013 7:22 am
      Author's Reply

      This is a discontinued DMC product, but you can substitute regular floss by using the numbers after the “30”.

  • Denise :)
    June 26th, 2013 9:56 am

    This is so odd and timely — for some reason I’m subscribed to ‘comments’ on this blog (instead of the blog itself) and so I got notification that you’d just made a response to an earlier comment. The subject of discontinued DMC floss colors had *just* come up in another group. In the redwork course I’m taking, we’re taught that the historically favored blue for redwork is DMC 979, which was discontinued. So what I’m wondering is, is that not correct?! I didn’t see it on the Herrschner’s website. Hmmmm. Thanks for any info you can offer!! Denise :)

  • Lindsey
    August 7th, 2013 8:12 pm

    I have a pattern that calls for color 032. I can’t seem to find this anywhere. Do you have any suggestions where I can get it or at least find what color it is? Thanks!

  • Crystal
    August 13th, 2013 4:38 pm

    You guys do discontinue colors, I currently own 2 skeins of 904, which is not on any list. I went back to my mother’s stitcher’s guide and voila, it was there.

    • admin
      August 19th, 2013 9:15 am
      Author's Reply

      904 Vy Dk Parrot Green is still a current DMC color. It may not be one of the colors carried in your local store due to space restrictions, but you can find it online at several retail sites including YarnTree. Click here for the page.

  • Cindy
    September 19th, 2013 12:41 pm

    I ordered a pattern that calls for a lot of green colors. I would like to change the greens to blues. Is there some sort of chart that will show me which colors of blues I need to replace the greens with?

    • admin
      September 23rd, 2013 7:55 am
      Author's Reply

      Sorry, but we do not. There are so many different greens and blues, that it’s really a matter of preference. Sounds like a fun challenge though!

  • Tracy Chow
    September 22nd, 2013 9:37 am

    Hi, I have a kit of Lanarte, but have lost a few pieces of threads of colors I still need. Do you know of a list of Lanarte color converted to DMC?

    Your response is very much appreciated. Thanks.

    • admin
      September 23rd, 2013 7:53 am
      Author's Reply

      Sorry, but we do not have a conversion chart for kit threads, as they tend to change constantly.

  • Shauna
    October 7th, 2013 9:31 am

    Cindy – wish I’d seen this earlier for you – but I had a particular pattern for a dragon that I changed to different set of colours. It was originally in green and I reproduced it in blues, yellows and even reds. The easiest way was to sit down with my box of threads, pull out all the original colours and then lay them next to whatever set of colours I wanted to use. You can match the darkness and tone of your green to the same darkness and tone of a blue. That should convert your colours just fine.

    If you’re still working on this project and want some help converting colours, send me the list it originally calls for and I’ll see if I can help you develop an alternate list.

  • Susan
    October 11th, 2013 8:59 am

    I am working a pattern that calls for DMC 325 and 386 – neither of which show up on the current chart here or with Herrschner’s. 325 looks like a robin’s egg blue and 386 is something in the taupe-ish range. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help you can provide!

  • Marj
    October 12th, 2013 10:57 pm

    A friend gave me a DMC Christmas wreath pattern (one with a red candle in the middle) which has Art 285 listed on the threads, has no color description but looks like orange-yellow on the picture. I really like this pattern but for the life of me, I can’t find this particular thread. Any advise?

  • sue conner
    October 14th, 2013 5:14 pm

    Do you know the names of the new colors coming out this Fall? If there is a link or anything of the sort let me know…thanks

  • Desiree Hill
    October 27th, 2013 8:07 pm

    I was recently told to throw away any of the DMC floss that has the old number sleeves on them. Is this accurate? I’ve also noticed a difference in some of the old versus new color but that may be to age and maybe faded? Thank for your advice.

    • admin
      October 28th, 2013 8:00 am
      Author's Reply

      Thread colors were consolidated several years ago, and because dye formulations change due to changes in laws/rules/regulations regarding the compounds used to produce the colors, some colors may also be slightly different than before the laws went into effect. It’s always a good idea to purchase enough floss to complete a project, and use the single skeins in projects where multiple skeins on one color are not necessary, just to be safe in case there are slight variations.

  • Marianne
    November 22nd, 2013 3:10 am

    I hate to call anyone out on a lie, but maybe you should have researched your facts before stating that no colors have been discontinued. I have just downloaded the dmc floss color card and it clearly shows the replacements for discontinued colors. 504 has been replaced with 3813, 731 with 732, 776 with 3326, 781 with 782, 971 with 740 and 3773 with 407. It frustrates me that some patterns have both a discontinued color and the color it has been replaced by in them, and when you use the one color for what should have been two colors the finished project has lost it’s appeal. The colors that have replaced other colors are sometimes very different in how dark or light the shade is.

    • admin
      November 22nd, 2013 7:26 am
      Author's Reply

      The colors still exist – the only thing that changed was the color number during a consolidation of the numbers.

  • Chris
    December 16th, 2013 9:20 am

    There have definitely been changes in some of the colours over the years. I understand that, as Emma says, this is likely due to the methods of dyeing and laws/rules/regulations regarding chemicals. Everyone should however be aware that “old” colours are not necessarily what you’ll get when you buy new floss. I’ve got a collection of DMC that dates back 30 years. It’s been carefully stored, so there is no discolouration. The biggest changes I’ve found are in the grays (415 springs to mind). It’s going to make discrete blending difficult, and old charts will look “off”.

    Frustrating to say the least!

    That said, it’s worth taking the time to lay out your floss and spend a day or two getting a “feel” of the shades before stitching a large project with discrete blending. Don’t trust that the current DMC shades are what the artist intended 20-30+ years ago. Laying out your threads also helps to discover any typos in the chart before destroying a masterpiece and/or frogging hours of stitching as a result!

    DMC should not claim that “colors have not changed”. Some certainly have. And some more than I think was necessary. We understand that minor changes due to chemical changes are inevitable, but it would be nice if it was admitted (as you’ve done in your blog here) so that everyone can be aware and take suitable precautions.

    • admin
      December 16th, 2013 12:22 pm
      Author's Reply

      The changes due to dye formula changes has been explained many times here in the blog, as well as on our facebook pages.

  • Lauretta
    December 17th, 2013 10:56 pm

    I am working on a stocking that uses DMC 646 and 647. The kit calls them shades of charcoal and one skein of 646 that I have does look charcoal. The other seems to have much more of a greenish hue to it. The photo of the stocking seems to look like more of a charcoal color. Am I imagining this or are these different colors? They could be many years different in age since I have floss from many different projects. Thank you.

    • admin
      December 18th, 2013 8:29 am
      Author's Reply

      Changing laws and regulations have caused changes in dye formulations, resulting in slightly different hues for some colors. This is unfortunate, and has happened to all thread companies. The changes are meant to keep factory workers and stitchers safe, but has also caused frustration for many stitchers. However, with the thread being in a kit form, the color included may be the color intended by the designer.

  • John
    December 19th, 2013 8:30 am

    Several color questions:
    1. Does DMC match its colors to the Pantone system (or similar)? If not, are there any plans to do so? With newer digital monitors there are inexpensive methods available (and most often free because the method is part of the Windows 7 and newer operating system) to accurately adjust a monitor to display color. If so, is this information available on the web?
    2. Any chance DMC will ever produce a set of true grays (5200 with a fixed percentage of 310, say 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%)? I would find these very useful.

  • Robin
    January 7th, 2014 11:52 pm

    I have two brief questions:

    Is #1 Blanc, and is #3 Ecru?
    I have a pattern that calls for #1 and #3, and the example color chart shows a white and off-white, respectively.
    I’m going to contact the distributor and ask, but I figured someone else might be having the same problem.

    Thank you!

  • Marti
    January 15th, 2014 5:18 pm

    I need to convert a few old Dimension colors to DMC or newer Dimension colors. The old numbers are 6037, 6047, 6201, 6213, 6073, 6223, 6230, 6239. They are in a kit which is now oop. Thanks

  • Elizabeth
    March 26th, 2014 3:05 pm

    I need some help! I have not done any stitching for a few (OK more than a few years), but want to do a project. I went to 2 stores and could not find the following threads: 147, 749, 843, & 187. The store did not even have those numbers in the display case. Are these discontinued, if so which numbers do they convert to??? Thanks in advance for any help!


    • admin
      March 27th, 2014 8:39 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi Elizabeth. I’m so happy you’re back to stitching once again! Regarding the threads, some stores only carry a limited amount due to display space. The good news is that there are many online resources that carry the full DMC color range, including Herrschners and Yarn Tree, as well as other safe, respectable online sources. Your local needlework store may also be able to order the colors they don’t stock.

  • Grace
    March 31st, 2014 1:55 pm

    I am looking for two discontinued colors #514 and #0290. The pattern is from the early 1970’s. Can you suggest comparable colors?

    • admin
      April 8th, 2014 7:14 am
      Author's Reply

      Dye formulations may have changed since that time due to regulations and law changes, so be sure to check the colors carefully. However, these numbers do not appear to be DMC embroidery floss numbers from the US – Can you email me a photo of the floss to

  • Lisa
    April 10th, 2014 5:59 pm

    I stopped stitching over 15 years ago. I have lots and lots of floss from that time. I am going to start stitching again. I would like to know if the floss numbers remain the same after all of these years. Thank you

    • admin
      April 14th, 2014 7:25 am
      Author's Reply

      The color numbers are the same, but there’s a chance that some of the colors have changed slightly over the years due to changes in law that required changes to dye formulations. You’ll want to be sure you have enough of your floss to complete the project.

  • Katie
    May 23rd, 2014 10:39 am


    I could use some help. I am trying to organize my thread and I have the regular colors all done. I have some Variations Floss and Variegated Floss colors. I have the cart for Variations floss and I can’t seem to find any information for the variegated floss. Are they the same thing? they are packaged differently. The numbers for the variegated floss are #51 #52 #69 #92 and #111. I have the DMC sticker pack and it lists’ the Variegated colors but not the Variations. The numbers for the Variations are #4040 #4060 #4070 #4140 #4180 #4210 #4240. Can you help me find a chart or how to organize these threads?

    Thank you,
    Katie M.

    • admin
      May 27th, 2014 6:37 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi Katie, This information can be found on the thread’s page on our web site. Directly under the image you’ll see a tab labeled “Colors” – click there and you’ll be able to download a PDF. Enjoy!

  • Katie
    June 3rd, 2014 9:29 pm

    Are variegated and variation floss the same floss?

    • admin
      June 6th, 2014 8:59 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi Katie – Thanks for the question! No, they are different. The Variegated is a floss with different shades of the same color family (for example, Color #115 features different intensities and shades of the color red), while variations has the look of an over-dyed floss and contains colors from multiple families (for example, color 4030 features blue, green purple and teal).

  • Brenda
    July 14th, 2014 11:29 am

    Hello I recently can across some floss from my grandmothers collection and the tags on the bottom look much different from the ones today. These old ones of course do not have the UPC code on them. As I look through her stitching kit I see about three different variations on the number tag. Do you have any information about the generations of these tag numbers and what years they might have changed. The ones I mostly have are large gold numbers on black, but I also have some smaller ones with black numbers on gold. Please help.

  • Tami
    August 16th, 2014 6:20 am

    I have a lot of DMC floss that is 25-30 years old. Is it still ok to use it?

  • Rowwie
    October 22nd, 2014 11:27 am

    I have been searching for a skein of variegated DMC thread for a few months with no luck. I used to have it in my stash and I’ve used it previously but now I’m worried it may have been discontinued! I’m just getting around to organizing my stash of thread and this one seems to have wandered away during my recent cross country move. Can anyone point me in the direction of a variegated skein with a lovely mix of blue through purple? I have a photo of the last project I used the thread in (though the Instagram filter makes it a bit hard to tell). All of the writing in the middle of the piece is the variegated skein I’m desperate to find!

    Any help is appreciated! Cheers!

  • Irene Gilbert
    December 7th, 2014 5:46 pm

    I have been looking for color #394 . Please help me if you can. Thanking you in advance. Irene

  • Nicky figgins
    January 28th, 2015 6:34 am

    Good afternoon. I have got a cross stitch from a friend. Some of the colours have got muddled. It’s a lanarte kit called A Mothers Love. I was wondering if there’s anyway to find out the symbols to dmc skeins. Eg square to dmc skein number

    • admin
      January 28th, 2015 9:30 am
      Author's Reply

      Hi Nicky,

      The best way to find out the actual colors/symbols that were used in this kit is to contact the manufacturer at:

      DMC Team

  • Donna
    June 5th, 2015 7:49 pm

    I would like to duplicate a blue hydrangea counted cross to a pink or purple hydrangea. Is there a guide to help me equal the tone? or intensity of one color to another?

    Thanks Donna

  • Lorelei McKay
    June 15th, 2015 5:41 am

    what is the new number/equivalent for DMC Art 273 Antique Gold?

  • Debbie Ryall
    August 18th, 2015 2:24 pm

    I am looking for a colorized chart of all DMC embroidery Floss.

Leave a Reply

Copyright DMC Corporation 2012
Please do not copy my original artwork nor take images or content from this site without my explicit permission.
Thank you.