Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Rising Cost of Embroidery Floss (and Everything Else)

I heard last month, from a couple of different sources, that DMC is raising the suggested retail price of their floss to ninety-one cents a skein. OUCH!  Back in 2001, when I first took up cross-stitching, there were still a lot of sales where you could get five or six skeins for a dollar. These days, three for a dollar is the best I ever hear about...although I'm not buying a whole lot of floss because I bought so much when I was a new stitcher and kitting up everything I thought I might ever want to stitch. Do I even need to tell you how glad I am that I overbought back then?

Stitchers keep comparing the cost to hand painted needlepoint canvases and other hobbies that I'm unlikely to ever participate in because the prices are so high and claiming that close to a dollar a skein is still affordable.  For a small project, it's not bad. But when it's time to kit up a full coverage piece that uses a hundred different colors....that's not going to happen at that price.

Suddenly, I'm much more motivated to organize the skeins I already have in my stash. I've already wound a master set onto bobbins. The next step is to put the other skeins into something closer to actual order so I can find the colors I need when I need them. I need a floss inventory and I need a system to keep it current.

What happens when my selection gets too picked over? I'm seriously considering trying one of the other brands of floss. I've been reading the reviews of CXC brand floss, which is supposed to have colors that match up with DMC, and I really think I'm going to wind up giving it a try. There's a facebook group called Cross Stitch Unlimited that has lots of files advising who to order from and how to go about it. There are also some sellers offering it on Amazon, although it looks like if you want to be sure what you're getting you'll have to read the listings carefully. Personally, I think I'm willing to gamble twenty bucks for two hundred and fifty skeins of floss.

It might not be the same quality as DMC, but I've been happily stitching away on old thrift store kits that came packaged with super cheap floss. If the price is right, I'm not too picky.

Have you worked with these off brand flosses? Do they work for you? Most of the blocks in my vintage embroidery quilt were stitched with floss from those multi-packs that the craft stores sell and it's worked just fine for me. I'll let you know if I try the CXC and how it works out.


Dar in Mo said...

I have used several other brands of embroidery floss over the years without any problems. In fact, I felt one brand was better than DMC. It was by Lily Mills Company in Shelby, NC. I was making a gift and wanted a floss with a slight sheen to it and got some Mardi Gras colors. It was a delight to work with. Don't remember how much I paid for it, but was happy. The other floss in my collection is JP Coats. I don't do as much cross-stitching as you nor on such beautiful canvases, but have not had any problems with either of these, when I didn't have the correct DMC color. Good luck on finding those sales. I see them all the time here, but don't buy since I have plenty for my lifetime.

Laura said...

Try Sullivan's. I been using DMC for 35 years and recently tried Sullivans. I was very happy with it. Couldn't tell the difference between it and DMC. Someone told me it was made in America, but I haven't confirmed that. It is about 39 cents in my LQS.

colleen said...

I am a DMC floss only stitcher, my mother told me it was the best and what I should use. So now I have quite a lot. I now only buy 2 or 3 skeins at a time so I don't think a price increase will effect me much, but I wouldn't be able to afford to buy a whole projects worth at once.


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