I’ve gotten some requests recently to review embroidery thread other than DMC thread. Let’s face it, there’s a ton of different brands of thread, but here in the US the most prevalent brand is DMC. I personally use this brand because it’s sold in most craft stores and it has about 500 different colors, plenty for my pet portraits! It comes in a ton of different kinds of threads, but it is somewhat pricey. I picked up some of the most common embroidery threads you can find at stores like Michaels, Joann Fabrics, and Walmart and put them to the test!
This post is one of several about hand embroidery supplies.
Disclaimer: This post has some affiliate links in it. I receive a small commission from purchases at no additional cost to the buyer. I only recommend products I would use and love and that are of good quality. All opinions are my own!
Embroidery Floss Brands
Here is a run down of the 4 brands of thread I’ll be reviewing. I chose these brands because they are ones that are available at large chain stores in the U.S. (Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Michaels, and Joann Fabrics)
This is Hobby Lobby’s brand of embroidery floss. It comes in different variety packs and seems to have a good variety of colors. Here are a couple different packs with prices included.
Loops and Threads
This brand is Michael’s brand of craft supplies. There aren’t as many color options in this color, but it’s an affordable option.
This brand can be found at Walmart. The only kind of this thread I could find was 6 strand floss and variegated floss. There is a wide variety of color options and it is extremely affordable compared to the other brands.
DMC is the thread I currently use and it comes in many different types of thread. You can read all about some of the most common embroidery threads they carry here. This thread is the most expensive out of all of the threads I will be reviewing.
Comparing Different Embroidery Threads
I made a little sampler hoop where I made some back stitches and satin stitches to test out each of the embroidery thread brands. I chose some of the most saturated colors to do this and tried to match the colors as best I could. I wanted to see if the colors would bleed or fade after the fabric was rinsed with water. (NOTE: I unfortunately didn’t have any colors in the loops and threads floss).
On fabric, these flosses are very hard to tell the difference between. DMC holds a bit more of a shine than the other three, but all three of the other colors were basically impossible to tell apart if I hadn’t labeled them. The Loops and Threads floss and the Artiste Floss were comparable to one another when it came to texture, shininess, and durability. The friendship thread was the most dull out of all of the colors and was very easy to break. I even broke it while I was trying to separate the threads.
I rinsed the thread I had stitched and let it dry overnight. To my surprise, NONE of the thread bled or faded! (I unfortunately didn’t get a picture after, but I have footage in the video of the sampler after I washed it if you’re curious.) The Friendship Thread had a bit of a fuzzy texture to it the next day, whereas the other three brands looked the exact same.
In conclusion, I would say the poorest quality floss was the Friendship Thread floss. It was brittle and the texture wasn’t as nice. The second best quality floss was a tie between the Artiste brand and Loops and Threads. These were virtually the same in all aspects! I still believe that DMC is the best quality floss out of all of the threads I tried in this little experiment. It is glossy, durable, and comes in so many different colors and styles of thread.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with Loops and Threads and Artiste, and think that it is a more affordable option for someone that is first starting out and doesn’t need a large color palette to work with. I will be using the Artiste floss I purchased for tutorials and projects in the future, and may even consider buying more for projects that aren’t pet portraits!
I hope you enjoyed this comparison review. Let me know if there are any other more affordable and worthwhile thread options if you have any!
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.