Is CXC Floss Worth It? How They Compare To DMC

Jan 14, 2024

When I first started to really get back into cross stitching (about 6 years ago, and before I owned the shop!) I wanted to build up my thread stash. I didn't have the budget to get all DMC, so I hopped on Amazon and found a full pack of CXC threads for around $30-$40. I knew they weren't DMC but I liked that it followed the DMC number system. Here's my overall feelings about CXC Threads:

The Colours Don’t Match DMC

This is my number one complaint about them. While the number system technically matches. If you were looking at a skein of CXC by itself and then looked at a skein of DMC by itself, you'd say they are the same colour. Side by side, and you can see a slight difference. They are a few shades different from one another. I personally know this from experience. When I did buy the CXC threads, I put them all on bobbins and organized them in my containers. The first time I realized there is a difference in colour, I was working on my pattern "Fox Sakes". It requires 2 skeins of DMC 946 (Burnt Orange - Medium). I used the CXC skein first, then used a skein of DMC 946. As you can see, there is a difference:


The bottom portion of the fox is the DMC. I noticed it as soon as I started stitching, but decided to keep going. So, on their own, CXC threads come close to DMC by colour, and if a pattern only calls for 1 skein, it's safe to use but I wouldn't combine both brands on one project. 

They’re Not 100% Cotton

CXC threads are made from a composite of polyester and cotton (much like a dress shirt is). From a traditional standpoint, the threads of cross stitch should be cotton (although I really couldn't find an answer as to why, other than tradition. DMC threads are definitely 100% cotton. I can tell the difference between the two threads by touch. The CXC threads appear fluffier, and not nearly as smooth.

They're Harder To Needle!

As I just mentioned, I find the CXC threads to be fluffier thread so it is harder to thread them onto a needle than DMC. Even using a needle threader like the Smart Fox Needle Threader it can be a challenge.

They Break And Knot!

This is the biggest con for CXC threads. I find them to be horrible for knotting and breaking.I know from experience that even with DMC, the odd breaks and knots happen, but mostly these can be avoided by using good techniques. No matter what I do I seem to not be able to avoid getting knots or the threads breaking with CXC which can only lead me to think it's a quality issue.

The Colours Run!

Apparently. While I have read and seen other stitcher's show projects stitched with CXC that have ran, I personally have not come into that problem. I have washed pieces (even with red thread) and they didn't not run. Maybe I got lucky, so washer beware.

In conclusion, CXC threads tend to knot, they are duller than DMC, they aren’t 100% cotton, and they are harder to thread onto a needle. Avid stitchers will be turned off by this list, myself included, however the price difference between DMC compared to the average CXC skein is a massive difference. Using a slightly inferior thread for less might be a viable option for many. If a stitcher was working on a budget or for people just starting in the hobby, I would actually suggest going with CXC (with giving the above cautions).