Posts Tagged ‘DMC Embroidery Threads’

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I Heart Silhouettes

Friday, January 30, 2015

January is coming to a close, that can only mean one thing, Valentines Day!  I love the romantic hues and patterns that Valentine’s Day brings.  Over the next 2 weeks we will be embracing the essence of love and romance with creative projects and tutorials that are sure to ignite some romantic fireworks.feeling stitchy photo

Today I’d like share some gorgeous heart silhouette projects that I found to get you in the mood. I just love this fabulous Valentines Day Coffee Cup Cozy by Feeling Stitchy. Who wouldn’t want to add more spice to their coffee or tea cup after seeing this fun project. Love it!feeling stitchy photo 2

What about this Valentine Treat Bag also by Feeling Stitchy? A similar pattern with multiple possibilities.  Make both, place the cozy into the bag with some candy for a great gift.cat on a limb photo

Over at Cat on a Limb, Catherine created this gorgeous piece, Tree Love.  Over on her blog you can follow Catherine with her step by step instructions to make your own Tree Love Embroidery Piece. One word: Fabulous!canvas heart art

Canvas Heart Art over at Eighteen 25 is just so fun.  I love how this project combines stretched art canvas and DMC threads.  I could see a whole wall of these for Valentine’s Day or smaller ones as gifts. Visit Eighteen 25 to make your own.

Next week we will have some great Valentine’s Day tutorials on the blog, so excited!

 





 


Ready, Set, COLOR!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CF_Mercerizing1During the past two weeks I’ve been taking you on a Tuesday Tour of the DMC Factory in Mulhouse, France. We’ve taken a look at the location and its history, and have toured the steps taken to get from raw cotton to thread.

You can click on the links in the paragraph above if you missed the first two sections.

It’s been such an interesting journey, and today we’re going to see what happens next. It involves a spa-like bath and COLOR!

To get you caught-up in a nutshell, we have followed raw cotton through the spinning process through to the gassing, which removes unwanted fuzzies, and on through to twisting plies and making a huge hank of thread.

CF_DyeBathsNext in the process is Mercerizing. This process was invented by John Mercer in 1844 and is very important in the manufacturing process.

Mercerizing increases the yarn’s mechanical strength, improves its dyeing affinity, and gives the yarn brightness.

The large hanks are placed under tension and dipped in a concentrated solution of caustic soda and maintained at cold temperatures. It is then rinsed with hot water and then again in cold water.

If you look closely at the image above left, you can see that the hanks on the left are under tension, while the hank closest to you on the right has not yet been placed under tension and is still loose.

CF_DyedYarnThe yarns are then bleached using oxygenated water (not chlorine) before being placed in the huge dye vats. Vat dyes or naphthol dyes are used for colorfastness.

After dyeing, a special softening process is used that will help ensure easy rewinding of the skein, and gives the thread a slippery finish, allowing it to pass through the needlework fabric without any hangups or tugging.

The hanks are also expressed to make sure they have as little moisture in them as possible before being put through the drying tunnel. It’s a bit like the spin cycle of your home washing machine, only on a much larger scale.

After expressing, the hanks are hung on a rack to prepare them for drying.

CF_DryingDrying is accomplished using a large air drying tunnel. It takes several days to dry a single rack of thread, and is must be completely dry before it can be wound into hanks and skeins and packaged for shipment.

Next week we’ll explore the processes used to create the hanks, skeins and balls of DMC Needlework Thread, packaging and shipping to all corners of the globe!





 


From Cotton to Floss

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DMC_CleanRawCottonHi Stitchers! Today I’m continuing my article about my visit to the DMC Factory in Mulhouse, France.

We’ll continue the tour by following a bale of clean, raw cotton, through the manufacturing process until it is ready for mercerizing and dyeing before being transformed into beautiful, ready to use needlework thread.  You can read Part 1 of this series here.

IMG_1029It’s amazing to think that our favorite threads have such a humble beginning, from a boll on a plant in the field to skein of thread in our hands.

DMC uses the Giza 88 variety of Egyptian cotton, due to its long fibers. The cotton is spun into a plied yarn and loaded onto large cones in Egyptian mills. The cones are then transported to our mill in France.

IMG_1039At this point, the thread is still very rough and a long way from being ready to use in your stitching! The next step in the process is called gassing, which removes all the fine hairs and impurities on the thread, helping to make the thread smooth and eliminate the dreaded fuzzies.

In the image to the left, you can see the thread being passed through a flame, burning off the hairy fuzz. It happens so quickly that the process is nearly invisible to the eye – and so quickly that it does not singe or burn the thread.

IMG_1044If you look closely at the image, you can see the fiber passing through the center of the flame. You can click the image to make it larger and easier to see.

I must admit, watching this process was mesmerizing (as opposed to mercerizing, which we’ll discuss next week, LOL!)

3stepsIn the image shown above right, you can see how different the yarn looks after gassing – the cone on the left is ungassed and is slightly larger.

The the cone on the right has been run through the gassing process, and is slightly smaller – it has lost a bit of it’s bulk because all of the those unwanted hairy, fuzzy fibers have been singed off. This is a very important step in manufacturing fine hand embroidery threads.

After gassing, the cones are loaded into another machine where 6 strands of plied yarn are twisted – usually in the opposite direction of the twist of the plied, gassed yarn.

The yarn is then wound from the large spool into a huge, 1 kg hank. The circumference of these hanks is 2.26 meters or about 7.41 feet in circumference (about 3 feet in length, based on my height and holding one of the hanks).

They’re big hanks, and at this point they are starting to look like thread instead of yarn.

Next week, we’ll explore the mercerizing, dyeing and packaging process for your favorite DMC Embroidery Threads, so stay tuned!





 


Stitching Pretty… on the Go

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

imageTote your current project along with you in style! DMC’s Canvas Floral Tote is the perfect size for the stitcher on the go.

This pretty tote bag is made from durable canvas fabric featuring a colorful floral print with solid tan lining, a zippered closure and attached shoulder straps and measures 19″w X 11″h X 6″d. It’s roomy interior will easily hold all of your needlework threads, embroidery fabrics, hoops and accessories.

imageThis tote bag has a large main compartment with a zip top closure and a lined interior that offers plenty of storage not just for your crafts supplies and accessories, but also for anything else you need to bring along, like books, patterns – or even your lunch.

It’s available exclusively in our online shop!





 


Free Fruit Pattern for Hand Embroidery

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DMC_FruitSaladVerticalAs summer comes to a close and fruit salad is one the menu, I thought I’d feature one today as a free pattern!!!!

Stitch up a bushel of fresh fruits including apples, pears, grapes and citrus. The simple designs featured on the Free PDF Pattern can be transferred to your embroidery fabric using a water-soluble Marking Pen and embroidered in your favorite DMC Embroidery Threads.

DMC_FruitSaladHorizontal

In the examples I’ve shown here, the designs were used to create a vertical and horizontal band of fruit that can be used to embroider tea towels, table cloths, sweet cotton curtains, placemats and more!

DMC_FruitSaladApronYou can also use the design to embroider a band on an apron using DMC Embroidery Floss, or stitch a single fruit on a pillow or pocket.

Embroider the designs in stem, outline stitch or back stitch for the fruit shapes, running stitch for the leaf veins, and detached chain stitch for the seeds. Learn to work these simple stitches here.

Enjoy!





 


Helpful Information from DMC

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Like most stitchers, I like to change things up when I stitch, based on materials I have on-hand. Here are some downloadable PDF’s from DMC Threads featuring helpful information to help you organize your thread collection, or to make product  substitutions when working on a project.

Click on the text link or the image to download and print the material.  You can then 3-hole punch them and keep them in a binder, where they’ll always be handy.

Want to substitute DMC Embroidery Floss for Satin Floss or Light Effects Floss? Consult the DMC Thread Color Conversion Chart. This 11-page chart has been formulated as a guide to assist you in selecting thread substitutions by color from the DMC family of products.

Bear in mind that the colors may not be exact across all products, due to variations in the materials used to produce or dye them. Use your best judgement when selecting substitutions for the threads listed in your project instructions.

If you want to make sure you have all the colors of the DMC Embroidery Threads in our collection, download the Shopper’s Check List.

Check off the items you already have, then bring the checklist with you on your next trip to the needlework store. You’ll always know what you have – and don’t have – and be ready to start your next stitching project.

If you’ve ever wondered what the name of each color of floss is, download the Color Descriptions for DMC Embroidery Floss file. It contains a numerical listing of all of the available colors of DMC’s open-stock embroidery floss. The list does not contain the colors for threads that are not yet available in individual units

If you want to see the names given to our set of 16 brand-new new colors, available as a boxed set, click here.

Color Descriptions for DMC Light Effects Floss including Jewels, Antiques, Pearlescent, Fluorescent and Metallic flosses can be found here, and includes a numerical listing of available colors can be downloaded here.

You can also find these items any time on the DMC web site on the Conversion Charts page.





 


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