June 2 2016 Tatting Newsletter
Kathleen Minniti, from the Online Tatting Class recently contacted me about some discoveries she made and some of the challenges she has experienced in working with DMC's Special Dentelles thread in size 100. I think her insights are worth sharing.
DMC thread has a very long history. The "D" stand for "Dollfus", the surname of the 2 brothers whose fabric painting business began in 1746. Their nephew, Daniel Dollfus married Anne-Marie Mieg in 1800 and combined both their names into one surname, Dollfus-Mieg. The "M" stands for Mieg. And the "C" represents the French word for company, Cie, thus Dollfus-Mieg & Cie or DMC. For more details please read: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art35090.asp
The advertising literature from the company says that "The Colonial Needle Company is the exclusive U.S. supplier of Presencia Hilaturas cotton and metallic threads and floss, as well as perlé and crochet cotton. Presencia cotton threads and floss are made of 100% extra-long staple Egyptian cotton grown in the Giza Valley, home of the highest grade of cotton available. Presencia metallic threads and floss are made with a polyester core for strength and 100% metal-fiber wrapping."
"Is it me, or is it my thread?" DMC Special Dentelles vs Fincrochet Presencia in Size 100
For quite some time I have been unhappy with the appearance of the lace I have worked in DMC's size 100 Special Dentelles thread. The little ball of thread looks bright white, but it always seems to get dingy or dirty while working. At first, I thought it was just that I was using really old (20 years!) thread from my stash, so I bought a new ball. That wasn't any better, so I started being really aggressive about washing and drying my hands every time before I picked up my tatting. Still dingy. Rats.
After decades of struggling with this issue, I decided that maybe - just maybe - it was the thread rather than anything I was or was not doing. I had observed that I didn't seem to have this problem with the larger sizes of the DMC tatting threads, while every ball of the size 100 I bought as I moved around the country and over the past 40 years has shown a dingy appearance once worked up. So I stuck with the DMC size 80 as my go-to for the really fine stuff and gave up on the size 100. If I really needed truly tiny thread in white, I bought "bridal white" machine sewing thread and tatted with that. That stuff gathers twist like there's no tomorrow and breaks way too easily for happy tatting, but I've done it!
Well, I finally bought some Fincrochet Presencia in size 100 because it was on sale, and guess what? It's the thread! Here is a Photo of the same pattern (Jon Yusoff's "Aladdin" from her book Tatted Snowflakes Collection) in both threads. The DMC snowflake on the left looks yellow/brown, while the Fincrochet flake on the right is a nice bright white. Both are from brand-new, never-been-used, fresh from the manufacturer's box balls of thread bought within a month of each other earlier this year.
So, if you think your lace is a little grey or yellow, it might well be the thread! What a relief to find out that I'm neither crazy nor incapable of handling the truly fine thread properly! I also noticed that while the Fincrochet is a little larger in diameter, it is also more consistent in thickness and has a firmer finish than the Special Dentelles.
Going forward, I'll be using the Fincrochet Presencia for all my fine heirloom laces. I'll use the DMC for design samples and for when I want that "old, antique" look. And I might even try dyeing it!??"
Kathleen J Minniti, Spokane Shuttlebirds
Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.
Tradition of Free Tatting Patterns It was a common practice among the early manufacturers of thread, flax, cotton wool or silk to also publish patterns which called for the use of their products.
Please visit tatting.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Tatting. To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Tatting located here -
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback! Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!
Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor http://tatting.bellaonline.com One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com
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