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» » Red Monochromes
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Red Monochromes
Learn more about red shades of embroidery threads

Red shades of embroidery floss - DMCHistorically red has always been a stitcher's favorite. As early as the eighteenth century stitchers adopted Turkey red - or rouge d'Andrinople - because of its bright color and of the special dye process that made it colorfast, especially on cotton.
Later it became known as "Rouge du Rhin" because it was manufactured in Mulhouse, in the French Rhine region. The dyes were originally used for dying fabrics and the textile district was referred to as the "Red sea" because of the dyed textiles left out to dry in the open air.

Continuously produced in the same region of Alsace, the original color is still available in the DMC range as color 321

With stitchers never tiring of red, color ranges have been expanding and enriched ever since, with as many as 30 different reds in some color ranges! 

Variegated Threads were introduced early in the 20th century and have a particularly gradual and slow change of color because they were mostly used for embroidery, in particular for satin stitch. Red has always been a bestseller because of its use in flowers, a stitchers favorite.

Overdyed and multicolor threads were launched in the last 10 years or so and were especially designed for cross stitch. It takes less thread to go from one color to the next and they are particularly suitable for small patterns and letters. Using these threads, especially when there is a  gradual variation in the color of the thread (avoid strong contrasts that generate "stripe" effects) gives extra depth to the stitching and is fun to watch develop on the fabric.

The variety of red threads available is the reason why red monochromes, so popular in the past, are still so popular with stitchers today. Picking the perfect red thread, the one that's exactly right for you, has become one of the great joys of stitching.

Here's a little tour of the red threads selected by our designers for some of their favorite pieces.
>> click on any pattern for more information
>> click here to see all red monochrome patterns on our website

Rose alphabet reproduction sampler - Muriel Brunet - Cross stitchRose wreath - Muriel Brunet - Cross stitch
This original "Rose alphabet" sampler was stitched in Turkey red. When reproducing this sampler Muriel Brunet opted for the slightly darker DMC 498. This design comes with and extra matching "Rose wreath" design, that Muriel developped herself and that incorporates either a rose or a miniature inital from the original alphabet, stitched one on one. For this exquisite pattern, Muriel suggests using the silk thread "Soie d'Alger" color 944 from the "Ver à Soie" range.

Stitch by stitch - Annick Abrial - Cross stitch samplerAnnick Abrial - The red letters of her heart - cross stitch samplerAnnick Abrial loves colors so much that she developped her very own ranges of threads and fabrics "Fils et Toiles de Morphée". The poetess of stitching now has some of her patterns available in English. The "Stitch by Stitch" (to your right) goes: 
"She stitches her soul away
Drawing the scarlet thread,
Weaving in and out
The red letters of her heart"


Red monochrome initials - Dessins DHC - Cross stitchRed monochrome initials - Dessins DHC - Cross stitchAlso finding inspiration in antique samplers, Dessins DHC offers many patterns with an authentic feel. These "initial" designs (with complete alphabet included) can be stitched in the "negative" or "positive" version and are here shown stitched with DMC 498.


Couleur d'étoile - My stitching room - cross stitch patternCouleur d'étoile - My stitching room - cross stitch
Designs by Couleur d'étoile offer intricate heart patterns each with a special theme such as "My stitching room" that mixes roses with tiny scissors ans other stitcher's treasures. She likes stitching them on linen, over one thread, and her pick of red is DMC 815.


Sampler Tradition - Lili soleilSampler tradition - Lili soleil

Lili Soleil has a great collection of traditional style samplers featuring regional representations of homes such as this "Black forest sampler". Here choice of red is DMC 304.



Marie-Anne Réthoret-Melin - red monochrome biscornu
Marie-Anne Réthoret
has always loved red monochroime designs. Recently she discovered DMC's Color Variations 4210 and it has become her favorite. It is actually a combination of four of DMC's reds (915,814,777,498) so the parts of the designs can be color coordinated with those solid colors. Of course, Marie-Anne's best selling "red monochrome biscornu" is stitched in that color.


Another biscornu, this time by Tam's Creation who specializes in Blackwork. Entirely stitched in backstitch, this biscornu (from her biscornu series) comes in a darker, brick-like red DMC 3777.



Tome et Lily - Red heart monochromeTome & Lily - red heart monochrome

Hand dyed threads are also very popular. Melanie, the designer of Tom & Lily was one of the first to experiment with them. One of her favorites is from Atalie and comes under the pretty name of "Lie de vin" (shown here used in "red heart monochrome").


There isn't room unfortunately for more. We can never tire of admiring works in red monochrome. The beauty of them is that you can pick your very own favorite thread and make your work absolutely unique!

>> see all red monochrome patterns

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