Retors du Nord is a cotton thread from Sajou. It comes in 20 meter cards in 96 colors. This is Sajou’s embroidery floss. The word “retors” is a synonym in French for mouliné, which is DMC’s French name for floss.
It came onto the market in 2009.
It is made of four strands that can be separated. The strands are slightly finer than those in DMC floss. These are the comments made by the manufacturer on their site.
Testing the Thread
I used this thread for the seams on the baseball in this small ornament from Needlepoint Inc. The background is #5 DMC pearl cotton. The logo is metallic and Water n’Ice. It’s a good combination for the test with one easy thread to use (#5 pearl), one medium thread (metallic), and one more challenging thread (Water n’Ice). Retors was easier to use than Water n’Ice but harder to use than the other two.
I like the slight shine of the Sajou floss, but I found it difficult to use, far more than other flosses. It felt thick and heavy on the canvas and was harder to stitch than other brands of floss.
While it isn’t obvious on the front, on the back of the canvas has extremely thick coverage with this thread. All the green stitches are raised from the surrounding area. If I had had a similar result on the front, I would have stopped using it and cut it out.
I could not confirm the claims made by the manufacturer. I could not easily separate the strands, in fact they were extremely difficult to distinguish. Since the card has sat for a bit, the ends have now become splayed and can be separated, but will that work for the next length?
LoOking at the strands they look very slightly thinner than a strand of DMC FLOSS. Even so, as you can see from the sample, the results when stitching look quite different. It’s just a bit too thick for 18-mesh canvas. I would like the look of the stitches better if three strands had been used instead of four. For me, four strands of DMC work well on 18. Because of that I would have to say Retors du Nord is slightly thicker in practice than DMC floss.
The cards the thread comes on are indeed easy to store, think of them like floss bobbins. But once you have opened the package there is no way to secure cut ends. Unlike Rainbow Gallery’s cards, there is no notch, you’ll have to cut one yourself.
Another concern is colors. Sajou comes in 96 colors. DMC has 489 colors. Anchor floss has over 450. Finca has almost 300. As you can see by this comparison, Sajou does not compare in numbers of colors.
My final concern is the price. The tag on mine reads $4.65. This works out to about 21.5 cents per yard. At my LNS DMC floss is 90 cents (you can often find it for even less). Here the price per yard is under 10.5 cents. Retours is twice as much.
Given all these concerns Retors du Nord is not likely to be a thread I’ll be using often