Friday, March 30, 2007

Not Your Grannie's DMC 

A designers' group has been discussing names of DMC floss colors. DMC now does not name colors but does give space on their site to what they have determined are "common use" color names. Design software uses color names and it seems they do not always agree.

I never pay attention to color names. When I choose DMC for a design I go to the floss box and color pick, then I stitch a bit and usually change my mind. When I'm finished, I put the color numbers into a chart, but I don't publish names of colors.

Now in the early days, DMC did name colors. The early Therese de Dillmont Encyclopedia offers numbers and names. And some of those names were rather romantic. One is not PC by our standards today.

In those days, they produced three versions of black which is an interesting thought. At that time DMC listed amongst its colors Black fastdye #310; Greenish black #473 and Jet black #681. Some of the moreromantic color names were Campanula blue, Tender blue, Brown of deadleaves, Havana brown, Beetle green, Green of duck's plumage, Hay grey,Mourning grey, Dawn red, Bishop's violet, Wine-lees violet, etc.

Today's DMC USA site offers all sorts of stuff. They include free charts if you sign up for their club. These are attractive designs that would fill the bill for gifts, household items, etc. They range from the complex to the simple. Worthwhile checking out.

They have instructions for all sorts of needlearts and an interesting Mentor Program. If you sign up for their Mentor Program, they will mail you four small kits and instructional materials to teach embroidery to a beginner. This would be a good incentive to bring a friend, a child, a co-worker into the wonderful world of needlecraft. I think we would do more of this sort of thing if we had everything prepared for us. DMC seems to have done this.

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