Deciphering Watercolour Dyelots
Changing dyelots in needlepoint thread, can be a real problem. While it’s relatively easy to deal with them when using solid colored threads (see the page on changing dyelots) They can be a real pain when using overdyes such as Watercolours.
I’ve done pieces, before I knew this trick, where the change was so apparent I threw out the piece. With many types of needlepoint thread, there isn’t much you can do, but with Caron Collection Threads there is help, sitting right on the tag. This trick works for all of this company’s hand-dyed threads.
I started to discover the trick when I noticed something about my favorite color, Tahiti. I called them “good Tahiti” and “bad Tahiti.” The good color had a nice even blend of all the colors of the rainbow. The bad color had lots of lime and chartruse. It’s nothing against those colors, it’s just that I don’t use them much. I bought good Tahiti whenever I could find it and mixed skeins with ease.
Then on a trip I found another Tahiti, which tended toward red. I liked it even more and bought it and brought it home. I noticed something about the dyelots — they began with different initials.
That how I learned the secret. Every skein in all Caron Collection multi-colored threads has a dyelot number in the same format.
First are some letters. These are the initials of the dyer. This is the most important thing to match. Each dyer creates the color mix differently but is consistent from batch to batch. So AA might dye red-white-green with lots of white, while ZZ might dye the same sequence with lots of red.
Dyelots from different people probably won’t coordinate.
The second three numbers are the color number, so they create a nice reference for you if you are looking to match. Needless to say they should always match.
The rest of the number is the day and month the thread was dyed. So 1205 was dyed December 5, while 1215 was dyed on the 15. Thanks to my friend Jan who owns Needle Nest in Indiana for telling me this.
This is less important, but because changes in water can affect dye, the closer these two numbers are the better. Although without the year, you don’t actually know if they were dyed the same year.
Knowing this trick has saved me from countless needlepoint thread disasters and I hope it will save you too.