BUYER BEWARE: DMC Needlework Threads Color Card

Last week I picked up a DMC Needlework Threads Color Card to get the updated colors and thread samples. Any designer worth their salt needs one and since I hadn’t purchased one in awhile, it was time to upgrade.

Now, the card was wrapped in plastic so you couldn’t look inside, but I had purchased them in the past, so I was good to go.

When I got home I opened the Color Card only to find that DMC had replaced real life embroidery floss samples with low quality “photos” of embroidery floss!

Listen, I ran a couple of magazines and anyone can tell you that getting accurate color in a printed form is next to impossible. Do you think that the quilts, fabric and needlework you see in the magazines don’t match what you see online or in person on purpose?

Now the powers-that-be at The DMC Corporation are charging the consumer $10 for something that is 1) worthless and 2) most likely a 9000% mark-up, if not more! No wonder it’s covered in plastic!

Look, I get that color cards with real floss and thread samples are expensive to produce and to sell but I, as a designer, would rather pay $50 for a card that I can use and is helpful, than to pay $10 for something I cannot use and isn’t accurate! To my mind I can’t think of any reason someone would need or have to buy this? If it’s a checklist you need, you can get that online – for FREE! If it’s a crappy, inaccurate DMC embroidery floss color chart you need, you can get that online – for FREE! What DMC is selling is a blatant rip-off of the consumer and not worth the paper stock it’s printed on.

I have always used DMC products, I have a gazillion skeins of their cotton, rayon, pearl cotton floss, fabulous wools, and all the rest, and have always been happy and have never had a problem. Although the buzz on the street is that the quality of the DMC embroidery floss has begun to decline (as the prices went up), that has not been my experience. However, I do resent this shoddy, price-gauged, DMC Needlework Threads Color Card product and am now wondering if the “cost cutting” hasn’t affected the other products as well?   I’m going to try to return the darn chart thing.

I wonder if Anchor has a real Thread Color Chart?

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42 Comments on “BUYER BEWARE: DMC Needlework Threads Color Card”

  1. Patricia Raygor
    June 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM #

    Right On, Mark. I agree with you completely. One wonders where the thread is being made now? They are only hurting themselves.


  2. Becky
    June 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM #

    Well I’m glad I’ve still got my old one. Companies that were fine quality are going cheaper and to China more and more. I never thought DMC would be one of them. I would be totally mad if I’d paid $10.00 for colored paper. I would sure complain to the headquarters about it.


  3. Cyndi Lott
    June 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM #

    Sad to see such a great company such as DMC fall to that level. I agree with you too. That’s a total rip off. Thanks for the warning.



  4. Denise
    June 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

    Well said Mark!


  5. June 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

    I’ve complained about this very thing to several companies that make quilting thread. I want to know what I’m buying BEFORE I buy it. My customers want to know, too. Like you, I’ll pay the big bucks for a real thread card.


  6. Charlene
    June 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM #

    What are they thinking.I am not a designer but I am a consumer. I want my floss to match the color I see. That will never happen from a printed color swatch. March right back to that store and get your money back. We can’t let these businesses get away with shoddy practices and our hard earned money. Send them a letter straight to the top guy. Mention you also have a million followers, and you will start a reveloution.


  7. Michael
    June 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM #

    I would ask for my money back!


  8. Karen Traweek
    June 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM #

    Yeah, what they said…. paper my patoot…..


  9. Signe
    June 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM #

    I have always felt that DMC was a quality company that produced a quality product. I am disappointed to learn about their color card and would definitely return it for a refund. I had to laugh (a little) at your tirade and wanted to say, “Tell me how you REALLY feel!” LOL Thank you for the heads up. We should all go to the company website to complain.


  10. Diana
    June 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM #

    Hah!! Reminds me of how angry I was to find the tube in the middle of paper towels had a much larger whole than before (less paper towels on the roll), but yet the price had gone up! Hate, hate it when I’m ripped off! Shocked and saddened that DMC is using this method of saving money!


  11. Tina
    June 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

    I believe DMC stopped selling the card with actual thread samples at least 5 years ago (if not more). I think I paid about $17 for mine. While there is still a market for that card, there are others who probably wouldn’t be willing to pay; they’re the ones who squawk about DMC being $0.39 at Michaels.


  12. Mary Anne
    June 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

    You can get that for free – or you could – on their website. I have an old one and am glad I never tried to update it


  13. June 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM #

    I totally agree, the quality is gone, I too like the real samples.of thread and I also would be willing to pay more for it. To DMC,” have both options so those who can’t afford the higher priced one can use the paper version.


  14. Joleen Graham
    June 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM #

    I agree with you Mark. I have also found that it is getting harder to find DMC floss in the stores. Hancock fabrics does not carry it any more.


  15. Sue Cooper
    June 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM #

    Thanks for the warning, Mark! I have used DMC flosses for years, and am really sorry to see how far their standards have fallen. I wonder if JoAnn still carries it. I didn’t check the last time I was there. I really don’t like those cheap flosses that some craft stores sell in “value packs” (you all know the ones). The only thing they’re good for is a camp craft project.


  16. Pat
    June 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM #

    Why not try Cosmos thread?


  17. Lorna
    June 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    I have one of these (paid $5 for it on sale) and I’ve used it to get relative color values — where I’m trying to use floss I already have and just want to use something similar to what a pattern calls for. But if you saw my stitching, you’d know that I’m not aiming for precision. 🙂


  18. Becky (central oregon)
    June 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM #

    I hope you send this to DMC…..
    and let them know its posted on a popular site…


  19. Shelley Gardner
    June 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM #

    Absolutely you need to complain! Write directly to the company, mention your blog and how many people you told- this is beyond disgusting. It’s robbery of their most loyal customers! Thanks for telling me so I don’t waste the money on this piece of garbage.


  20. June 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM #

    When I first saw this several years ago they weren’t shrink wrapping them yet. I opened it up, stared in disbelief at the complete lack of actual floss, put it back on the shelf, and walked away. I agree: ten bucks for a printed card is a total ripoff.


  21. Diane Rincon
    June 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

    Thank you for the warning!


  22. June 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM #

    Hi Mark – Thanks for this, they are not the only ones doing this. Presencia as well, and I don’t know but I bet Anchor too….I’m hanging on to my old one – there can’t be THAT many changes!!!


  23. Machelle
    June 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM #

    Thank you for the alert.How disappointing.I have scads of this thread. I prefer it over some others.I haven’t had any quality issues with the various floss,pearl cottons etc.that I own. I will be on the alert to note the quality of any new DMC I purchase.Have not tried the cosmos thread but have read wonderful reviews of it. Not sure how convenient it is to find on the USA.Does Aurfil make embroidery floss for hand embroidery/stitchery????!


  24. Machelle
    June 15, 2012 at 1:00 AM #

    Thank you for the alert.How disappointing.I have scads of this thread. I prefer it over some others.I haven’t had any quality issues with the various floss,pearl cottons etc.that I own. I will be on the alert to note the quality of any new DMC I purchase.Have not tried the cosmos thread but have read wonderful reviews of it. Not sure how convenient it is to find on the USA.Does Aurfil make embroidery floss for hand embroidery/stitchery????! Thank you for the alert.How disappointing.I have scads of this thread. I prefer it over some others.I haven’t had any quality issues with the various floss,pearl cottons etc.that I own. I will be on the alert to note the quality of any new DMC I purchase.Have not tried the cosmos thread but have read wonderful reviews of it. Not sure how convenient it is to find on the USA.Does Aurfil make embroidery floss for hand embroidery/stitchery????!


  25. frummie
    June 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM #

    Thank you Mark! I did share on FB.


  26. June 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM #

    Erm, you can still get the actual thread sample cards. It’s a bit more pricey than the crappy printed version (which I loathe). It’s about twice the price, which is why the print version was introduced
    Also Aurifil do make a thread suitable for embroidery and Cosmo is becoming widely available through Lecien fabric stockists in the US.

    Hope this helps


  27. June 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    Why not leave a comment on their website about it and see what they say or have a rep come on your show? You don’t have to be confrontational. You can try to get information. Thanks.


  28. June 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM #

    @Rosanne Derrett: I did a quick search and it looks like that’s only available in the UK. In the US, only the printed card is available.


  29. Matilda
    August 30, 2012 at 8:24 AM #

    I made the same mistake. Just bought one today and its just printed colors. Now I’m trying to figure out how to adapt it. Thought of somehow sticking my own floss for each color over there’s or running strands on aida cloth in the order of there’s and gluing strips over top.


  30. Lois
    October 15, 2012 at 6:45 PM #

    That’s what I suspected, looking at this thing while trying to find a floss sampler to purchase. Thanks for confirming! Anyone know if a new FLOSS guide is available?


  31. orange_woman
    December 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM #

    you can get one from the u.k. at URL:


  32. January 30, 2013 at 7:54 AM #

    Back in the olden days when I was designing needlework, I got not only a real floss sample card, but a lovely metal box with a skein of every color. The cross-stitch company I was designing for got it for me from DMC- I don’t think they even had to pay for it since they were ordering all their floss from DMC. At the time I was living near the Susan Bates headquarters in Connecticut and went up there and got cards for Anchor floss and tapestry yarn.


  33. June 28, 2015 at 9:58 PM #

    I’m glad I came across this. I’ve seen a chart at the store with the actual threads and I wanted one too, but all I can find online is this printed one. So disappointed 😦


  34. Laura
    December 7, 2015 at 9:50 PM #

    I know this is an old thread … but there is a color card available that has the actual fiber samples available:

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Mairie
    March 23, 2017 at 4:19 PM #

    I’ve just bought a DMC wool colour card. Thankfully those are still being made with actual samples of their 486 code tapestry wools. Mind you, it did cost almost $50, including postage (noting I am in Austraila & could only get if from the UK). Like you, I want the colours to be spot on. Very disappointed to hear that the floss card is unfantastic plastic – one may as well look at photos of cards on the net, for free, as buy a card of plastic pics 😦


  36. May 21, 2017 at 5:05 PM #

    DMC still offers a color threads card with floss samples, it’s just a little more expensive. You can find it on their site. Next time, pay attention on what you buy. Would be nice of you to check twice before spreading fake “bad news”.


    • June 16, 2017 at 2:07 PM #

      @Ina: Maybe you should check the date of the post before replying and accusing people of spreading “fake ‘bad news'”. At the time this was posted, DMC was not selling the thread cards in the U.S. Judging by the reviews on DMC’s website, the thread cards have only been available since last year, i.e. 4 years after this blog was posted.


  37. Courtney T
    June 15, 2017 at 10:53 PM #

    I’m totally new to cross stitch, but I just came across your blog post warning about the color chart. I know this particular post is old, so it’s very likely you saw this by now, but DMC has the real thread color chart now. 🙂


  38. Jamie Nay
    August 12, 2017 at 11:10 AM #

    I have embroidered my whole life and in my voice only used DMC thread. The current DMC is not good. The colors are flat, the thread dull and shiny, the way it used to be. What happened to this company?
    Jamie Nay, San Diego


  39. Jamie Nay
    August 12, 2017 at 11:11 AM #

    My spellcheck is driving me nuts. My comments are being destroyed by this computer. Grrrr


  40. March 12, 2018 at 5:05 AM #

    The new DMC “Real Thread” Chart is available, but quite pricey, and is coded as W100B (the old chart was W100A) and has a UPC of 077540921393. I know this as we sell them on our website, BUT, there is little change between the W100A and W100B, and in my opinion, it is not worth buying the latest unless you have not got the old one, or it is damaged or dirty etc. We also still sell the W100A, which is slightly cheaper.


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