Beyond Anchor and DMC: Exploring Other Thread Manufacturers


Many stitchers start out happily using thread made by two of the best-known manufacturers: Anchor and DMC, and will continue to do throughout their stitching careers. While these two companies produce high quality threads, other notable cross stitch thread manufacturers do exist, and are well worth your consideration.

Below is a list of six alternative cross stitch manufacturers, all of whom produce unusual and versatile threads:

* CARON Collection

CARON Collection produces nylon, silk, wool-silk, and metallic threads. They have several product lines, many of which are hand-dyed. They even make a fuzzy thread that can help you simulate fur or hair in your projects. On their website, you will find a helpful usage chart, along with color charts and a thread weight equivalent chart.

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* The Gentle Art

The Gentle Art company produces hand overdyed threads that have an aged appearance and draw from the colors of nature. Their Sampler Threads are available in over 80 colors. Their Simply Shaker threads are available in over 50 colors. You can order their threads from their website.


* Kreinik

Kreinik is a family-owned business started over 30 years ago. Craft stores around the world carry Kreinik products. Kreinik offers a beautiful selection of silk and metallic threads. They recently introduced a new line, Gourmet Threads, which features colors that emulate nature.


* Madeira

Madeira has been in business for over 80 years and has divisions around the world. Although the Madeira website gives you information about many of their products, some of the threads on the site aren’t intended for cross stitch designs. The best place to buy Madeira thread is at your local craft store or from an online store.

Madeira has become increasingly popular during the past few years, and these days, you can easily find conversion charts online. Although they produce many excellent threads, the company is known for their metallic threads that work exceptionally well in cross stitch. In addition, their Glissengloss line consists of many unique threads that can really add sparkle to your projects.


* Thread Gatherer

Thread Gatherer was founded in 1991 and sells hand-dyed threads. Their threads are made of silk, linen, and silk and wool blends. Their website contains stitching tips, photos of their products, and inventory lists. Like many manufacturers, they do not sell their products online, but they will help you find a store near you that carries their threads.


* Weeks Dye Works

Weeks Dye Works was started as a small family business and now produces 587 combinations of colors and fibers. They make a six-strand, overdyed cotton thread that is perfect for cross stitch. Their website contains catalogs of their products, a list of designers, and a list of retailers where you can find their threads.


OK! That completes the list of an additional six thread manufacturers (and their websites) who, in addition to DMC and Anchor, produce a wide range of threads. Not all their threads, however, are suitable for cross stitch, so do check carefully before making any purchases. Having said that you’ll find many high-quality threads that will help you to personalize and extend your cross stitch projects. Let me leave you with this final thought: there’s a tendency for materials from lesser-known manufacturers to be either cheaper or better quality (because they have to try harder). Happy stitching!

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