Are these 7 discontinued DMC floss colours toxic?

DMC Floss Spinner

No, of course not. DMC discontinued these 7 colours for a very legitimate reason. But we did wonder for a moment.

It all started when, in preparation for the store’s move, we ordered a very cool DMC spinner.

We excitedly started to transfer the floss but were confused when we took a handful of skeins of colour 504 over and found that there was so spot for it on the new spinner. Two of us checked and double checked but it wasn’t there. We despaired for poor 504; overlooked and forgotten. We made a shrine for the under-loved 504.

Our shrine for 504 and 731

Just before we placed the 504 in its shrine we noticed that there also was no space for 731. We couldn’t figure out why this must be. We ordered this spinner from our supplier in Canada who was the same supplier we purchased 504 and 731 from. Why were they not on the spinner? Then we realized that the spinner likely came from DMC in France. That may have been true but it didn’t answer the question of why those colours were missing. We added 731 to the shrine and posted about it on our social media accounts so others could join us in honouring these rejected colours.

Discontinued colour numbers with current number

That is where we found our answer. One of our customers told us that those 2 colours, along with 5 more, had been discontinued in 2015 (it was now 2021). It turned out that the dyeing process being used was deemed ‘dangerous’ and when DMC tried to produce these 7 colours with safer dyes they turned out so close to 7 other existing colours that they just discontinued one from each set of doubles.

7 discontinued colours in their own spot on spinner

With that mystery solved, we still had to wonder why, 6 years later, we could still get these colours? If they were made with ‘dangerous’ dyes, why were they still being sold to us? We made a spot for them on the spinner and joked about putting a ‘toxic waste’ hazard tape over them.

DMC colour 3813 with 504 in brackets

I did e-mail DMC but haven’t received an answer yet. On DMC’s UK site, those 7 colours don’t exist. On their US site they are listed and you can buy them under either number (for example, 504 or 3813). In the UK, when you buy floss 3813, it has 504 written in a smaller font in brackets underneath to help with colour matching.

7 discontinued colours with their matches

We still don’t know exactly why 504 and 3813 (and the other 6 pairs) are labeled separately here. It crossed my mind that maybe we were getting remaining stock of the old one; that maybe the rules here were different and those dyes were allowed here. But if you look at this picture, the colours match each other so well they must be the same floss with different labels. If we find out why we’ll let you know. If you know why, please comment below.

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