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How to Organize DMC Embroidery Floss

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DMC embroidery floss comes in over 400 colors and is perhaps the most popular choice among needle crafters. I fact, nearly all cross stitching books and patterns feature DMC floss colors in their color charts. If you are an avid needle crafter, you more than likely already have a large collection of these fibers in your possession and will know the frustration of trying to keep them all organized and tidy. There is nothing more frustrating than starting a new project and not being able to locate your necessary colors, or better yet, not knowing if you even own them or not. My fellow stitchers and I often joke about the fact that we seem to have “nearly every color” in the entire DMC collection and yet sure enough 99.9% of the time, we need to run to our local craft supply store and grab some missing bundles.


A popular method of keeping your DMC embroidery floss organized is to use bobbins and floss caddies. Bobbins keep your thread neat and tidy and will save you hours of time worth of un-knotting your threads. There are two choices when purchasing bobbins: cardboard or plastic. You can buy the DMC-brand of cardboard bobbins for less than $2 and you will receive 56 in the package, or, you can purchase plastic bobbins for less than $2 and you will receive 28 in the package. If you use your threads regularly, it is worth the extra few dollars to buy the plastic bobbins just simply because they are nearly indestructible and will save you the time and money later on down the road when you need to replace ripped or town cardboard varieties.

Another option to consider when choosing the bobbin-wrapped method is whether or not to use DMC labels. Though it may seem like a waste of money to spend on DMC labels when you can simply write the number in yourself, using the DMC stickers actually do a world of good. Not only do they keep your bobbin-wrapped floss easily readable, it also keeps all of your threads uniform, and for approximately 2-3 additional dollars, it makes a big difference, especially if you choose plastic bobbins which can easily make your ink smudge if hand-written on.

Floss caddies are plastic organizers that feature 17 different compartments, perfect for organizing your bobbin-wrapped floss. The best way to organize your bobbins in these floss caddies is numerically. It will make your life ten times easier when you search for colors to complete your patterns.

Other Methods of Organization

DMC Door-Hanging Needlework Storage System

DMC has recently released a Door-Hanging Needlework Storage System which measures 34 ¼” x 24 ¼” and contains 120 pockets. It is aesthetically pleasing and makes for easy visibility of threads, but will significantly limit you if you choose to stitch in other parts of your house other than your stitching/craft room. All-in-all, it isn’t a bad system for organizing your fibers and it only costs $24.99.

Floss-A-Way Floss Organizer

Floss-a-Way organizer bags measure 3”x5” and come with a white area to write your color number on. There are 36 in a package as well as a 1” ring to hook all bags together. The Floss-A-Way system costs approximately $5.00.

Index Cards

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Another method of organizing threads is the index card/snack bag method. If you choose to not use bobbins, you can put your skein(s) of embroidery floss in snack baggies, and then staple your bag to an index card that contains the number DMC color thread. You can fit these index cards inside a photo or shoe box.

My Method

I had originally purchased floss caddies to hold my bobbins of floss, but through the years, my floss collection has grown so that I now have just about every single color in the DMC collection and the idea of having 5-6 floss caddies hanging around at all times didn't seem efficient, so I searched and searched for some kind of container that would hold them all in the same place at the same time, and finally I found it!

The Creative Options Thread Organizer is PERFECT for holding all of my DMC bobbins of floss. I have a plastic bobbin with a label for each color regardless if I own it or not. Starting numerically at the beginning, I then take all of my bobbins, again, whether or not I own the color, and I put them in groups of 9-10 (10 full bobbins of thread will fit snugly). I choose this technique so that when I do come across the need to buy a color I don’t currently own, I won’t have to shift all of my colors around in order to fit it in and keep my numerical sorting. I love the fact that I can take my organizer anywhere I go and still have all of my colors with me!


DMC makes it very easy to track the inventory of your embroidery floss. You can download a hard-copy chart from their website by clicking on the following link:

This chart contains checkboxes that allow you to keep track of colors you currently own so that when you start a new project, you know what colors you need to purchase.

There are also apps available such as “Floss Checklist” that contain a list of all embroidery floss colors. You can enter how many skeins you currently own and what you need. I find that this method is the most efficient because you can take the app anywhere with you and it is always up to date. Plus, you won’t need to constantly be erasing your checkboxes!


Nico from Ottawa, ON on May 07, 2015:

Good ideas! I am fighting a losing battle in my craft room with my floss. I currently have each color in small ziploc bags and then large ziploc bags to organize it by series (ex. 100-199, 200-299). There seem to be quite a few bags all around my room though. I need a new method.

formosangirl from Los Angeles on July 27, 2012:

Hi, StarryNightsDiva. I can imagine the need to organize your floss if you have so many different colors. Fortunately, what I own is mainly from my daughter's friendship bracelet and macrame kit.

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