I originally compiled this list while writing the Kreinik article, but that article was getting super long so I ended up publishing this separately. Plus I wanted it to be its own resource, as it can be super helpful to compare brands regardless of which metallic thread you’re considering.
Note that ALL of these brands have their places. They each have unique colors, different textures, and are their own unique experience. I would not say any one brand is “better” or “worse” than another. That is not the point of this post.
Instead, it’s simply to help you get an understanding of how many metallic thread brands there are out there beyond just the horrid DMC Light Effects you’re likely to encounter first.
I’ll add to this list as I research and/or discover more brands.
Table of Contents
Comparing Metallic Brands
It’s hard to compare thread brands in general, but I’ll do my best here. These brands are not better or worse than each other necessarily. Just have different purposes and fill different needs. Some are definitely easier to work with than others, but they’ll all “get the job done” so to speak.
When looking for specialty threads, I decided to compare three things:
- the cost
- the number of colors available,
- and whether it’s easy to find and use.
So let’s try and compare some metallic brands using just these 3 categories to help you decide. I’ve included any glow in the dark and silk threads I could find as well.
Granted I don’t know every single specialty thread brand out there, but I’ll be listing the ones I’ve been able to find and have actually used.
There’s plenty of other brands, some which I simply don’t know enough about to discuss them yet. Such as Au Ver a Soie and Madeira. You’ll have to do your own research there.
Average Price Per Skein / Spool
All prices are per skein or spool are in USD. I’ve listed a range for each, as price can differ from shop to shop and with sales. These are the average prices I found as of September 2023.
I used the smallest spools available when different sizes were offered. That’s most likely the ones you’d be purchasing when trying out new brands anyway, but naturally buying larger sizes is going to be cheaper.
- DMC –
$0.80 – $1.20 per 8.7 yard / 8 meter skein of DMC Silk / Rayon
$1.95 – $2.15 per 8.7 yard / 8 meter skein of DMC Mouliné Étoile
$2.50- $3.00 per 8.7 yard / 8 meter skein of DMC Light Effects
$2.99- $4.50 per 38.2 yard / 35 meter spool of DMC Diamant
$2.00 – $3.00 per 54.7 yard / 50 meter spool of Blending Filament
$3.50 – $4.50 per 12.1 yard / 11 meter spool of #4 Very Fine braid
$4.00 – $5.00 per 10.9 yard / 10 meter spool of #8 Fine braid
$2.00 – $3.00 per 16.4 yard / 15 meter spool of Ombre
$2.00 – $3.00 per 2.7 yard / 2.5 meter skein of Silk Mori
$3.50 – $4.99 per 165 yard / 150.8 meter spool of Sulky Original Metallic
$3.50 – $4.99 per 250 yard / 228.6 meter spool of Sulky Sliver Metallic
$3.50 – $4.99 per 250 yard / 228.6 meter spool of Sulky Holoshimmer
$3.50 – $3.99 per 110 yard / 100.6 meter spool of Sulky Glowy
- Lecien Cosmo
$3.00 – $4.25 per 21.9 yard / 20 meter spool of Cosmo Nishikiito
$7.50 – $8.50 per 10 yard / 9.1 meter skein of Threadworx Overdyed Metallic Braid
- Rainbow Gallery
$3.50 – $4.50 per 25 yard / 22.8 meter card of Treasure Braid Petite
$4.50 – $5.75 per 9.8 yard / 9 meter skein of Caron Snow
$6.20 per 9.8 yard / 9 meter skein of Antica
$2.30 – $3.50 per 54.7 yard / 50 meter spool
$2.50 – $3.25 per 54.7 yard / 50 meter spool
Number of Colors Available
This number can change! A lot of these brands add a couple of new colors once a year, usually announced at or during Nashville Needlework Market in march.
- DMC – 35 colors of DMC Mouliné Étoile, 58 colors of DMC Light Effects (a dozen or more of which are discontinued or hard to find), and 14 colors of DMC Diamant. A total of 107 metallic/glow colors. Additionally, 37 DMC Silk colors.
- Kreinik – The sign in their factory office says 221 shades, so I’m going to take their word for it and not spend an hour counting them. There’s all different sizes and textures available, so that multiplies pretty quickly. I did count around 113 colors of the Silk Mori though.
- Sulky – 36 Sulky Original Metallic colors, 24 Sulky Sliver Metallic colors, 24 Sulky Holoshimmer colors, and 7 Sulky Glowy colors. A total of 91 colors.
- Lecien Cosmo – 19 Nishiki colors, 16 Kagami colors, 12 Opali colors, 6 Champagni colors, and 6 Neoni colors. A total of 59 colors.
- Threadworx – Their site states “99 brilliant colors”. These are all overdyes, and thus are variegated.
- Rainbow Gallery – SO MANY. Much like Kreinik they have a ton of different types of thread, so it’s hard to say as there will be some overlap in colors. The largest selections of metallics I found were their Silk Lame Braid with 262 colors, and their Frosty Rays line with 207 colors. The Entice line aslo had 142 colors, and Treasure Braid Petite at 124.
- Caron – Caron has a few different specialty threads as well, but the ones I’ve seen most used for cross stitch are the Antica threads (10 colors), and the Snow line (33 colors). A total of 43 colors.
- Bijoux – 30 colors, most with a black core.
- Accentuate – 140 colors, including both solid and variegated shades.
Easy to Find / Ease of Use
I’ve given a general idea of how hard they’ve been to locate in the US, however your experience may vary.
If you’re having trouble finding a certain brand in your area, try my list of Worldwide Cross Stitch Resources.
- DMC – This brand excels at being easy to purchase. It’s incredibly easy to find in most countries, and is likely the first brand you encounter. Unfortunately, the DMC Light Effects line is absolutely horrid to work with, but Diamant is much more tolerable and Mouliné Étoile is even pretty nice to use.
- Kreinik – Found at most specialty shops, but not box stores. Nice to work with.
- Sulky – Fairly easy to find, including box stores like Joann. But is primarily a sewing thread and thus thinner and may need to be doubled up unless working on higher count fabrics or using as a blending filament.
- Lecien Cosmo Nishikiito– Is starting to become much easier to find, but you still have to go look for it. It does fray easily though.
- Threadworx – Mostly found in specialty stores, and nice to work with.
- Rainbow Gallery – Mostly found in specialty stores, and nice to work with.
- Caron – Mostly found in specialty stores, and nice to work with.
- Bijoux – Harder to find and likely to only found in specialty stores, and nice to work with.
- Accentuate – Harder to find and likely to only found in specialty stores, and nice to work with.