seeing double (albeit a few years late)

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.



9 thoughts on “seeing double (albeit a few years late)

  1. Well I never! I shall pay more attention to labels in future. I know Stylecraft yarn looks as if it came from a Yorkshire Mill but actually comes from Turkey. I also know acyrillic yarn is horrible for the environment.

  2. It is so hard to know what we are buying and where it came from. To add to the problem, for me at least, acrylic may be bad for the environment but in a home with pets (or children) it is practical as wool takes so long to dry and preferably does so flat. And I can easily buy fabulous local yarn – properly local from local sheep spun in a small local factory which will take small numbers of fleeces from smallholders and keep them separate – But it is eye-wateringly expensive.

    • I buy acrylic (or a mix with acrylic) simply because it’s easier to wash. Some acrylic these days is actually made from recycled plastic, so that’s something in its favour ^^

  3. I knew DMC had bought out/merged a few years ago. My local stockist stockpiked DMC Perle threads, as her supplier mentioned prividers were going to change. Its incredible. Thanks for reminder of their free patterns.

    • it is a beauty, that pattern, isn’t it? I love its simple look. That’s on my to do list but I plan on buying in the specific Andes yarn to knit it. In the meantime; I’ve ordered in something completely different and am going to knit a Pirouette poncho because it’s time I learned how to cable.

  4. Pingback: cooler days and pretty yarn | Claire93's Blog

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