I am feeling hopelessly out of step with the world right now. I find that, yet again, a thread I love is being discontinued.
It’s not necessarily that we as needlepointers don’t buy the threads, it’s just that our market is small. That makes our shops and even our thread manufacturers subject to the mills that make the base threads. Those companies can discontinue a thread and we are that much poorer.
Don’t give up if you love great threads! Often they can be found on eBay. Newly discontinued threads can also be found in shops, especially if you don’t want huge amounts or common background colors.
Today here’s a look at some threads I’ve loved and lost and why you should try them.
Strandable Merino Wool
Very smooth and thin as a strand of floss. This lovely thread from Vineyard has just been discontinued. It’s amazing for Bargello, outlining, and textured stitches. I just found this out. You can buy 20 skeins of it at The Enriched Stitch for $60.
If you love it, stock up.
The grandaddy of the discontinued threads, this is another very smooth wool, this time in crewel weight. I still see it often on eBay. Sometimes you can even find it in hanks (great for backgrounds).
This Rainbow Gallery Thread has been discontinued because the mill no longer makes it. It’s very matte and has four strands. Although it works well a a single-strand thread on 18-mesh, I often thin it a bit. This has been my go-to thread for outlines, accents, and bits of color for years.
DMC Matte Cotton
This is a weird one, it’s made and sold in Europe, but not in the US. It’s thick, matte, and sift. it’s designed to be used single-strand, but you can ply it down if you are careful. If you are stitching on 13 mesh, the size is perfect.
I love it because it always reminds me of my favorite old T shirt: very soft, with a faded fuzzy feel to the colors. It plays well with other cotton threads and is a nice texture contrast to pearl cotton. The color numbers do not match DMC colors.
DMC only makes solid colors. Because you can buy it in Europe, the European hand-dyers often have it in their lines. For example, you can buy it from Painter’s Threads. I am seeing the DMC colors in fairly large lots on eBay right now, especially in Fireside’s store.
When these threads came out in the 1990’s they were revolutionary. The idea was to dye the same color, with the same color number in several different threads. The color names were divine and they came packaged looking like knitting yarns in pull skeins. The end was thoughtfully already pulled out for you, so everything stayed very neat.
Trilla was their Persian Wool and Dimin their crewel wool. There were also silks, cotton.and linen. It’s very hard to find, but if you see it, buy it. You wont regret it.
JL Walsh Silk/Wool
The original silk/wool blend and still, after 30+ years, my favorite. A 5-strand thread, the hand-dyed colors were lovely, especially in lighter and neutral shades. It fell victim to the small size of our market.
I love this thread for backgrounds and Bargello.
When you find a thread you love, buy it! After all, that’s why we have a stash.