Embroidery That’s Greek To Me!

Friday, September 21, 2012

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.

Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6 in this series are available on the wonderful Antique Pattern Library site, and check out number 6 for a real treat – my fave are the adorable townsfolk on p.13 – sweet!

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!


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Categories: Cross Stitch, Embroidery, Vintage DMC Tags:

5 Responses to “Embroidery That’s Greek To Me!Comment RSS feed

  • Susan Johnson
    September 21st, 2012 12:21 pm

    I have well over 100 vintage and antique DMC publications; they are the combined result of my grandmother’s, mother’s and my own love of both needlework and collecting. Most are French or German, with a few Czech, Russian and others and date mostly from the the late 1800s to the first half of the 20th century. If you’d like pictures, just let me know!

    • admin
      September 24th, 2012 6:50 am
      Author's Reply

      That would be wonderful, Susan! Feel free to email me at Emma@dmcus.com because we would LOVE to see them!

  • Dora Cheatham
    January 5th, 2013 9:44 pm

    I love these designs and have several of them myself. They were printed in the 1970s and 1980s. The Greek actually translates to “Embroidery with DMC threads (mouline) and coton perle” and the back usually lists the DMC thread/floss colors for each design.


  • Kate
    October 7th, 2015 6:19 am

    I have just been given my mother in law’s patterns from when she was growing up in Greece. They are beautiful, designed for tablecloths and runners etc. That’s how I found this site, I was trying to get a translation.

    • Dora Cheatham
      June 4th, 2016 9:11 pm

      Kate, I’ll be more than happy to translate if you can scan and send! Best, Dora

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