DMC threads are one of the best-known and most widely available brands loved and used by stitchers across the globe. The company was founded an amazing 270 years ago – in 1746 as the first organisation to manufacture hand-painted Indian prints in Europe. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century though that the brand diversified into threads. At that time is was managed by Jean-Henri Dollfus-Mieg and the company name was Dollfus-Mieg & Compagnie – also known as DMC.
Dollfus-Mieg was keen to learn more of textile developments around the world and in Leeds he was introduced to the work of chemist John Mercer who had discovered the process of “mercerising.” This involved passing cotton thread through caustic soda to improve its strength, silky appearance and longevity. Remarkably this is the same process that DMC uses today to create high quality threads suitable for a variety of sewing uses.
Like the Quaker families in this country, Dollfus-Mieg was concerned for his employees’ welfare, improving living conditions and in 1850 building “Cities Ouvrieres” at Mulhouse – dwellings that were purpose built to house DMC employees and their families. Each house came with a small garden attached and was sold to the worker at cost price giving them 14 to 16 years to pay off the property. He also invested in a school and hospital.
Today DMC operates in over 125 countries and is a truly global company offering hundreds of hand and machine embroidery thread options including 465 colours of its world famous Mouline Special as well as yarn for knitting and crochet, patterns, kits and supplies. Although DMC has evolved and changed over the centuries it still remains true to its values and motto “from one fine thread a work of art is born”.
We do hope you’ve found this post interesting – if you’ve got any other DMC facts you’d like to share then please let us know in the comments below!
*This article originally appeared in Bustle & Sew Magazine
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If only there were more companies in this world so concerned for the welfare of their employees, like DMC! It seems the days of caring for the little guy to build strong companies are long GONE, at least in the US.
Thank you for sharing this article!