DMC Matte Cotton is the best thread you have never heard of. Think about your favorite old T shirt, you know how wonderfully soft it gets after repeated washings and years of use. Remember that’s why you won’t throw it away, because of that wonderful softness?
Put that in a thread and you have Matte Cotton.It’s thick, like string,and unlike floss or pearl cotton, it’s matte. Easy to stitch, it has a unique texture.
Did I mention it’s one of my all-time favorite threads?
The received wisdom about Matte Cotton was that it could not be plied. You were stuck using it as it came off the skein, below, as thick, soft but inelastic threads (Cotton as a fiber does not stretch, compress, or spring back into shape.
It has five strands and comes in 10-meter pull skeins. Each strand is a single-ply. That means its too soft to use as single-ply threads. I find I use two or three strands on 18 mesh. You can see the separated strands in the photo below. This thread is very soft and the strands tend to stick together. When separating, go carefully.
To separate strands hold one end of your stitching length, which should be 12-15 inches. Roll an end in your fingers to start to untwist the length. You will know this is working if the twist becomes looser. Once its started to untwist, use your fingernails or a needle gently to separate the strands.
Once that is done, grab a single strand and pull straight up. This causes the other strands to bunch up and allows you to remove the strand you pulled easily, below. Repeat this process until you get the number of strands you need.
For years it was not imported into the US. Folks who loved it bought it from European companies and from folks selling their stashes. I suspect its sales were low because folks though you could not strand it and larger mesh sizes were not popular. With the increasing availability of 13-mesh canvases, the market for this thread has been revived.
Since 2017 DMC has re-introduced this thread to the US, with an initial group of 100 shades.