DMC Matte Cotton is a soft five-strand cotton thread that DMC has only recently reintroduced to the US. It’s one of my favorite threads and desrves to be more widely used. You may have used this thread in the past and not knowm it. If you used Madras from Needle Necessites or Matte 18 from Rainbow Gallery, you’ve used Matte Cotton. Painter’s Thread as well as some other European dyers have also made matte cotton even when DMC was not selling this thread to the US.
The Pippin canvas pictured above was stitched, except for the smoke, in Matte Cotton.
Matte Cotton comes in 10-meter (11 yards) pull skeins, pictured above. It has five strands that can be separated and used, but not always easily. Unlike cotton floss or pearl cotton, Matte Cotton has a flat soft texture. It has the feel of cotton shirts that have been washed many times. When stitched, it has a look between floss and wool.
As it comes from the skein, it works perfectly for Tent on 13 mesh. I used it this way for the cup and the lettering. On 18 mesh I have had success using three strands for Tent. For couching, on the spirals, a full strand was used for the couched thread and two strands for couching. The open background stitch used two strands. Tis combintion would also work on 18. Two strands would also work for Pattern Dening. Upright stitches are more challenging. The outer border used six strands, three of DMC Matte Cotton and three of Painter’s Thread Cezanna Matte Cotton, to create the distressed border.
Because this thread is soft, you need to handle it with more care. It will not separate into strands easily. I used this method:
You’ll find it easier to thread your needle if you use a needle threader.
Although Matte Cotton can be plied and recombined be careful about using a single strand. This thread can break easily and it has a tendency to pull apart. This problem is more pronounced in older threads, such as the ones I used here. You can overcome this problem with shorter lengths and looser tension.
It’s very hard to find truly matte threads for needlepoint DMC Matte Cotton is a great one to try.