The Horror of Dye Lots

Yesterday I share with you my progress on Florentine Fancy, a bargello piece designed by Carolyn Mitchell for the EAC. As I mentioned, I’ve gone through a lot more thread than what I thought I would need. Thankfully, it has only been DMC perle cotton that I’ve run out of. Many, many skeins of perle cotton. But, with them there is very little worry about dye lots not matching.

This is not the case with some threads.

The Same Colour?!

The Same Colour?!

These are two different dye lots of Caron Watercolours in shade Cotton Candy. The small skein is what I’ve been using to do the “neutral” coloured background on Florentine Fancy. I’ve nearly run out of it, but I would like to use it to cover the background in the centre as well. The larger skein just arrived in the mail for that purpose, and it doesn’t even look remotely like the same colour. It is mainly salmon pink, while the original skein is more of a light pinkish-white with some blue and green mixed in.

Different Dye Lots

Different Dye Lots

I know there are changes between dye lots, but this is much more than I ever expected. These are two totally different colours. I’m going to have to find a plan B, because this new skein won’t work at all. :/

Have you every experienced such a huge difference in dye lots? I’d love to hear about it, and see some pictures if possible. Comment below and link to your blog post about it, or tag me on Twitter (@silverlotus152) or Instagram (@stitchinglotus).

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14 Responses to The Horror of Dye Lots

  1. Christine says:

    I have had a couple of cases with WaterColours dye lots being very different. Much more so than many other overdyed threads.

  2. Amy says:

    That’s so frustrating. And of course there’s no guarantee that ordering another will turn up a better match.

    I ordered 2 skeins of a Gloriana silk thread that has shades of blue, green, and brown, and while the difference isn’t huge between them, one of them has much more brown in it than the other has. I’m not looking forward to using it; I like the blues and greens better. 🙁

  3. Catherine says:

    I am so sad this happened to you, I hope you can figure out what to do.
    I have been lucky this has never happened to me.


  4. Kathy says:

    Since I work in a needlework shop, I can tell you this is quite common. With hand dying the product can accept the dye differently even with the exact same recipe. Amazing but true. Good luck on your project.

  5. Paula says:

    did you throw the pic up on instagram and ask if anyone could send you some of the first dye lot?

  6. Yes I have seen that before, with just as much difference as you are showing. You might try posting the dye lot you need on some forum groups to see if someone has that dye lot. Good luck!!

  7. Or you could do a search for Caron Watercolors Cotton Candy, then call some online shops and have them check the dye lot before you order.

  8. Rachel says:

    I’ve had the other problem – vastly over-buying thread so as NOT to have the dyelot problem…

    I’m still trying to work out what to do with the remains!

  9. Kim says:

    I’ve had the same thing happen with DMC…..very frustrating….and discouraging. Best of luck trying to sort this out. Wish I could help.

  10. Heather says:

    I haven’t yet luckily. Maybe one of your followers has one you can trade or eBay? Good luck!

  11. Joanne P says:

    That’s crazy! Surely if the dyelot is so different they should give it a new name and try again to match the previous lot?

    Your canvaswork was looking lovely in the previous post so I hope you can find an answer.

  12. B. Lapp says:

    That’s a huge difference! Maybe someone has some skeins of the original dye lot?

  13. Pingback: Florentine Fancy Finished | Stitching Lotus

  14. Suzemo says:

    True story:
    20+ years ago way back in the day, I saw Celtic Christmas where someone had a different dye lot with the DMC reds (I think it’s around the time they switched dying processes, so there were some differences). There was a definite line in the dress that was horrifying. Ever since then I am religious about dye lots and buying entirely too much thread.

    I have a number of threads with the same company where the dye lot has been significantly different as well, I get why it happens, but I pretty much live in fear of it happening to me in a piece.