Updated September 25, 2018
Several years ago DMC discontinued their beloved crewel weight wool, Medici. I probably get more questions about finding Medici so folks can finish projects than on any other topic.Medici had a lovely smooth quality that has kept it popular in stitcher’s eyes for decades. I have mini-socks stitched with Medici 30+ years ago and they still look perfect.
There is a reason why folks love this thread.
If you want to use a crewel weight wool and have not started the project, there are many lovely wools from which to choose. Bella Lusso from Fleur de Paris is my favorite of these, it is closest to Medici in look and feel. Many companies make wool in this size from old established names such as Appleton, to companies now making hand-dyed crewel wool such as The Gentle Art or Weeks Dye Works.
But what do you do if you really need Medici? Threadneedle Street, a needlepoint shop in Issaquah, WA, has a substitute for Medici they say is like old Medici. It is spun in the same mill and uses the same dye formulas as the DMC thread. It uses the same color numbers and comes in skeins the same size. The mail difference is that it is pre-cut lengths instead of continuous-thread skeins.
To see if it really works, I asked Threadneedle to send me samples of colors where I had some DMC Medici to compare the two. The results are pictured here. DMC Medici is on the left, Threadneedle Street’s is on the right.
First I tested the feel, I closed my eyes and could not tell the difference in the two threads. It has the same smoothness and thickness.
Then I stitched with them. I had two colors to test and I stitched a block with both old and new Medici. They both had the same coverage.
Now we come to the real question for many of you: Are they the same color? Remember that dye lots change and so skeins from different dye lots of the exact same thread may not match. You can see that with the lavender the colors are close, but with the violet, they are further apart, but apart in a way that is consistent with different dyelots.
So yes Threadneedle’s Medici is about as close to Medici as you can get and works well as a substitute. However if you are adding this to a project in process, blend in the new thread to get seamless transitions.