I was browsing on the internet, as we crafters love to do, having fun drooling over lots of yarny supplies, and (I’ll admit) keeping my eyes open for inspiration. Mrs Tattoo has just finished knitting her summer top (photos of the two of us modelling those very soon, I promise) and I was also trying to help her decide on a new project. Anyhoot . . . I was browsing on the official French DMC site. Cross stitchers will know DMC for its skeins of embroidery thread, but DMC also specialise in yarn and knitting/crochet. Mrs Tattoo rather liked this pattern.
Which happened to be available as a free download on the DMC site . . . and ordered in the recommended yarn: DMC Knitty4 so she could start her new project. I, meanwhile, continued browsing, and visiting UK sites too, which is when I started seeing double because . . .
Same pattern, except it’s branded as Sirdar Hayfield, requiring Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK. Hmmm! That’s strange, methinks. So I continued browsing and
Found this one (for free, in French) which requires DMC “andes” yarn.
Whereas for English speakers, it’s branded as Sirdar, requiring Sirdar “Saltaire”.
Another free DMC pattern, requiring DMC “pirouette”.
For English speakers it’s using Sirdar Jewelspun.
I could go on and on because I found dozens of examples. Now . . . being curious, and also sensible enough to realise two such huge companies couldn’t be flaunting copyright laws and copying each other, I googled. To discover this: Back in 2016 a company called BlueGem Partners bought up DMC and Wool and the Gang. Then in 2017, BlueGem also bought up Sirdar. The group was originally called Craft Group Holdings, but has since been renamed the DMC Group.
That’s fair enough. Companies are being bought up & merged all the time these days, but, as a crafter . . . I can’t help but wonder about the “labelling”. If I buy one or the other, am I getting a French product? from DMC, “established in 1746”? Or am I getting a British product? From “West Yorkshire – British design expertise and craftmanship trusted by generations of hand-knitters, established in 1880”?
I don’t suppose I’m actually getting either. I don’t have any of the Jewelspun/Pirouette, Saltaire/Andes yarn in my stash but I do have Hayfield Bonus DK and DMC Knitty4 . . . and when I read the labels it clearly states: “made under licence for Hayfield in Turkey” on the one, and “made under licence for DMC in Turkey” on the other. So all I can assume is: everything is made in the same factory in Turkey, then labelled up differently and shipped . . . leaving British knitters under the impression they’re buying British, and leaving French knitters under the impression they’re buying French.