DMC Frequently Asked Questions

DMC thread has exceptional quality, which has been proven by the generations of women who have chosen DMC thread for its remarkable colorfastness and resistance over time. Handed down from mother to daughter, and sought out by collectors, the precious stitched pieces and delicate samplers have defied time and beautifully written each family's personal history and heritage.

What fibers are used for DMC Mouliné Stranded Cotton and DMC Pearl Cotton thread?

DMC cotton thread is made from the most beautiful cotton fiber: long Egyptian cotton fibers, which make it particularly resistant and even.

What gives this cotton thread its shiny and silky appearance?

DMC cotton thread is as shiny as silk, thanks to mercerization, a manufacturing process that embellishes the thread.

Why is the thread so beautiful?

Contrary to down-market cotton thread, which tends to be extremely fuzzy (tiny fibers that are not aligned in the direction of the thread), the manufacturing process for DMC thread gives it a meticulous finish, for optimal stitching results.

Can a stitched piece withstand time and light?

DMC thread is created to resist light for a very long time, as it is intended for indoor display. All DMC threads are controlled in a laboratory, using highly rigorous tests that simulate several months of exposure to day light.

Will I damage my stitched piece if I wash it?

The cotton thread is colorfast, i.e. it may be washed on a frequent basis, without causing the color to fade.

It may also be washed at very high temperatures. Today, DMC is the only company that guarantees the resistance of the majority of its thread to washing with chlorine bleach. This is particularly useful in the case of stitched household linen.

Is the color consistent from one skein to another, for the same thread reference?

DMC Mouliné Stranded Cotton has been manufactured for over 100 years, at the same factory in France (Alsace region). The DMC color specialists are dedicated to providing consistent color quality, in order to offer stitchers perfect continuity in their needlework projects, even when changing skeins. The famous "Christmas Red", DMC's flagship color since the 19th century, has had reference number 321 since it was created.

Why has DMC launched a linen thread?

DMC Linen Mouliné gives your stitched creation an authentic and natural aspect. It is also the ideal thread to use on linen fabrics. For further information, see the "DMC Products" section of this website.

Is Linen Mouliné as resistant to light and washing as cotton thread?

It is made from the finest linen fibers in Europe. It is dyed under the same rigorous conditions as DMC cotton thread, which provides it with exceptional colorfastness and resistance to washing.

Will the metallic thread lose its sheen over time?

The majority of Metallic Pearl and Mouliné Stranded Cotton from the Light Effects line are plated, i.e. comprised of a small metallic thread that is wrapped around the core piece. This gives the thread maximum shine, yet allows it to remain soft and supple.

The materials used are carefully selected and specially processed to ensure long-lasting shine and prevent the thread from becoming tarnished.

What makes Aida fabric hold up so well?

DMC Aida fabric is specially created to facilitate stitching. A finish is applied to the fabric, which gives its optimal hold and helps retain its shape.

This fabric is ideal for cross-stitch. It may also be used with or without a hoop.

What length of thread should I use in my needle?

The ideal maximum length is 60cm / 23.6 inches. Thread that is longer may become damaged, due to friction against the fabric.

Is there a specific threading method to prevent certain thread from slipping?

For thread that is more slippery than cotton, such as rayon, Light Effects and metallic thread, we recommend a specific threading method. See the "Creative World" section of the website for further information.

Should I wash my skeins before using them?

No, contrary to certain thread that has been hand-dyed, DMC thread is pre-washed during the manufacturing process and thus ready for immediate use.

How should I wash a stitched piece?

  • Refer to the care and washing symbols on the thread and fabric. Hand or machine wash.
  • Wash using a special detergent for colors. Do not use detergent with an optical brightener. Rinse thoroughly.

What do the laundry symbols stand for?

These international symbols specify the various washing instructions.

  • DMC Mouliné Stranded Cotton has the following symbols:

This means that the thread may be washed at very high temperatures, with diluted chlorine bleach. It may also be machine dried and ironed at a high temperature. Dry cleaning is allowed. This is also the case for DMC Pearl Cotton.

  • Mouliné Light Effects, Metallic Pearl and all metallic thread in general have the following symbols:

This means that the thread may be washed at a low temperature. It may also be ironed at a low temperature. Dry cleaning is allowed.

  • DMC Mouliné Linen thread has the following symbols:

This means that the thread may be washed at medium temperatures and may be ironed at a high temperature. Dry cleaning is allowed.

For more information on these symbols, please visit:

What temperatures do the following symbols correspond to: 40°C, 60°C, and 95°C?

  • 40° C = 104°F: cold to slightly warm
  • 60° C = 140°F: warm
  • 95° C = 200°F: hotÿ

When the symbols are different for the fabric and thread, which one should I choose?

Choose the lowest temperature. For a stitched piece with Mouliné Stranded Cotton that may be washed at 95°C (200°F)on DMC Aida fabric that can be washed at 60°C (140°F), wash your piece at 60°C (140°F). Please remember that canvas must not be washed!

Can I use chlorine bleach when washing my stitched pieces? What amount?

Bleach is only recommended in the case of natural stains (wine, coffee?). Wet the stitched piece before soaking it in water, diluted with bleach (1 tea spoon of bleach for 1 liter of water).

How should I dry my stitched pieces?

  • By machine, set the spin-drying cycle on Delicate. Never leave your stitched work in the washing machine, after the cycle has finished.
  • By hand, place your piece between 2 towels and gently squeeze, without wringing. Place flat on a towel to dry.

How should I iron my stitched pieces?

Iron your stitched piece face down on a towel, in order to preserve the raised design.

What can I do if my thread bleeds?

Bleeding may happen when an excess amount of dye runs onto the fabric or thread. DMC thread is used by millions of stitchers around the world, who have never had the slightest problem with bleeding. Nonetheless, in rare cases, some of the darkest colors may slightly bleed when washed. This is caused by the dying procedure, in which the thread is saturated in a dye in order to give it an exceptionally deep color. In the case of bleeding, the thread color remains the same and only a touch of excess dye bleeds onto the surrounding fibers. In most cases, bleeding can be removed.

In the case of bleeding:


  • Soak your stitched piece in vinegar
  • Wash in high temperatures


  • If you respect the washing instructions, bleeding onto cotton or linen may be recovered using the same conditions.
  • Wash with a detergent for colored fabric, without an optical brightener.

What can I do if my white thread turns yellow?

A yellowish tone may appear if the thread comes into contact with nitrogen oxide and other substances that are found in the air and certain plastic packaging. Direct exposure to light may also cause the optical brighteners in the White and B5200 thread to turn yellow. This yellowish tone will disappear if you wash your stitched piece with a classic detergent for "whites".

What is the difference between the White and B5200 thread?

Both have been brightened, a process that reinforces the optical effect of white. B5200 thread is brightened 15 times more than white thread. It is thus extremely white, whereas the White thread is softer and more natural looking.

What is a dye bath number (crochet, knitting, tapestry)?

This means one or several products from the same dye bath. There may be very slight differences, even for the same color, from one dye bath to another.

Why should I use the same dye bath number for my needlework project?

It is best to purchase the amount of thread you need from the same dye bath, in order to avoid slight differences in color. This is often the case for knitting, crochet and tapestry thread. If in doubt, ask your retailer for more information.

Are the dyes used by DMC safe (non carcinogenic, non allergenic)?

Yes, all of our dyes are OEKO-TEX certified, an internationally recognized textile standard, given to products that are environment-friendly and safe to use, which have been controlled for harmful substances (dangerous and irritable). For further information:

How are the DMC thread numbers classified?

DMC thread is generally arranged in numerical order at the point of sale, making it easier to find the colors you are looking for. For historical reasons (the line is over 100 years old), the color numbers do not correspond to a chromatic order.

Why should I use the DMC color card?

  • To find a specific color by its number
  • To choose a shade of color in a chromatic family

How can I find a thread by color family?

  • The DMC color card allows you to view the line of threads that are classified by chromatic order, and thus to choose the color of thread you need.
  • It is available on our website. However, it is ideal to have the actual color card so that you see the real thread. Color cards are available at your local point of sale.

How can I find a thread color, using its number?

  • On the Internet: Go to the Color Card page of the product (DMC Products / Color Cards). On the bottom of the page, enter the number and the color will appear.
  • On the color card: a chart is found on the back. Each number corresponds to a column on the color card. Then, find the thread number on the color card.

What do the letters in front of the thread numbers correspond to?

  • The letter allows you to identify the type of thread: L for linen, E for the Light Effects line.
  • The color number corresponds to the Mouliné line. It thus allows you to easily substitute colors or a mixture of sheen in the same color.