You may know that DMC has, over some period of time, changed some of their dye formulas. I believe this has mostly been done to bring them into line with changing regulations on toxic materials in dyes, but they say it can also happen if the availability of raw materials changes. The result is that some of the colors are different than they used to be. A few colors ended up being so close to another color that they “merged” the colors. They don’t say they discontinued any colors; they just print two numbers of the labels of 7 colors of floss. You can read more about that here.
The obvious question is, which colors are different than they were 12 years ago, and how different are they? I couldn’t get an answer. The solution seemed to be to get a brand-new skein of each color. Going to Michael’s and picking out all that floss sounded time-consuming and expensive, plus there’s no way to know how old their stock is. I’m sure our local Michael’s turns over their stock regularly, but how long has it been sitting in the warehouse?
It turns out that DMC has a designer program, in which they will provide designers who use DMC materials all the free floss and fabric they need for models or whatever purposes they may have. So I applied and was accepted and requested one skein of each color, including their 16 newest colors. (These new colors come only in a set currently. DMC says they will be available in open stock “in a couple of years”. We will not be using them in our patterns until you can buy only what you need — imagine if you needed 4 skeins of one of the new colors and had to buy 4 sets!)
They came yesterday.
Now begins the lengthy task of, first, determining which colors have changed; second, working out new RGB values (computer color definitions) for them; and third, modifiying the patterns that are affected. I hope that most of the changes will be minor. In any case, because most colors in our patterns are blends, and not used in large solid areas, the impact on our patterns should be slight. In other words, go ahead and stitch the patterns you have with the floss you have, or new floss, and don’t worry about the outcome.
By the way, there are a number of DMC colors (about 25 I think) that were new several years ago that we have never added. We will be adding those colors, now, as well.