Some thread equivalents:

thread numbers are very confusing, I agree. Crochet is usually worked on a relatively coarse scale compared to traditional needle lace. Crochet cotton 30 is a little thicker than a pearl 12. But machine threads 30 and 50 are much finer, and comparable to the sizes of quilting threads. So here are some equivalents (or similars) that I use. Each line are rough equivalents, coarsest first. A is coarsest, E finest.

A: crochet cotton #30, DMC Cebelia #30, Anchor or DMC Cordonnet #30, Fresia linen 30/2

B: crochet cotton cordonnet #40 DMC or Anchor, pearl 12, Sulky 12, Aurifil 12, Bockens linen 35/2

B+: crochet cotton cordonnet #60 DMC or Anchor, Moravia linen 40/2, Bockens linen 50/2

C: Cordonnet 80 (tatting cotton), Fresia linen 80/2, Egyptian cotton 40/3, Brok cotton 36/3, 1 strand of DMC or Anchor embroidery floss

D: Aurifil 28, Sulky 30, DMC Retors 30 or Broder machine 30, Brok 36/2, linen 100/2, Madeira Tanne 30

E: Aurifil 50, Sulky quilting cotton 50, DMC Retors 50 or Broder machine 50, Bockens linen 90/2, Fresia linen 120/2, Egyptian or Brok cotton 60/2, Brok 100/3, Madeira Tanne 50

Not everybody will agree with my equivalents in all the details. But these are equivalences that I use in bobbin lace. The Aurifil and Sulky threads are quilting threads and are beautiful with lots of colors. The Madeira Tanne is no longer manufactured, but some of us have it on hand. Lizbeth Cordonnet numbers seem to be comparable to DMC and Anchor (I only have #20 and it matches DMC 20).

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Replies to This Discussion

I like the ease and silkiness of Lizabeth #40 and the variety of variegated as well as solid. And I only have 2 little 40 olympus. I think it is. I lost the wrappers to them and am trying to remember. That is what I made the Oya dark rose/magenta colored spiral motif from Elena Dickson's pattern book.

I made a lot of edgings for hankies and bandana's using a variety to see how they went and loved 30 Dmc cebelia as well as 12pearl cotton. The 8 pearl cotton is a great filler or for mats but I like a little finer for the edgings. Also Aunt Lydia's mercerized cotton #30 is a very nice twill and doesn't knot up.

Silk 1000 denier on the card, I think it is Kawagana. It is lovely, but pricey. you can get a good edging out of 1 card depending on size of project.

Rayon on the spool(America's Best), is shiney and lovely but suggest very short thread so it doesn't shred. ( I am used to at least 1-1 1/2yd. at a time and this I recommend to be only about a 2ft piece at one time.

I was not impressed at the 50 butterfly cotton I sent for from Au. It is quite matte and snarls. I like the weight of it..but found it annoying to use with any speed. (I do like to fly with my needle) hehe ( I found if I ran it through thread heaven, a thread conditioner that it didn't drag so much)

That is my humble opinion currently of threads. I don't have a chart set up nice like Lorelei, but I right down a note and pin it to the bulletin board with a loop of the thread sewn through the paper, ie;  works well for this...not so good on that..

Onna Addis who is very much into Oya or Mediterranean knotted lace.

Almost all except DMC is not available where I live.. is DMC perle cotton #20 , 30 , 60, 80 ok for these laces??

Perle cotton is a bit soft and loosely twisted, for my liking.  I prefer a crochet cotton which has a firmer twist.

But see what others think.  It is all a matter of what you prefer to use.  Some people have success with embroidery floss, but I find it too soft, again, to use very often.

This is the beauty of it all,  - Variety!! - we all like different things - patterns, threads, etc, so it is a case of finding what suits you, - and what you are able to buy.

DMC crochet cottons are fine.  I have used them.  What size to choose depends partly on your eyesight.  I work large because my eyes aren't so good any more.

Ma'am so even embroidery floss can be used for lace making ?? :O

so it's all boils down to what I will be comfortable with and what resources we have right?? Like the flexible nature of this craft :)

Elizabeth Ligeti said:

Perle cotton is a bit soft and loosely twisted, for my liking.  I prefer a crochet cotton which has a firmer twist.

But see what others think.  It is all a matter of what you prefer to use.  Some people have success with embroidery floss, but I find it too soft, again, to use very often.

This is the beauty of it all,  - Variety!! - we all like different things - patterns, threads, etc, so it is a case of finding what suits you, - and what you are able to buy.

Thank you ma'am a big problem is solved for me :) okay I wear glasses from quite an young age so (am 26 ) , I have to take in to account that too 
Lorelei Halley said:

DMC crochet cottons are fine.  I have used them.  What size to choose depends partly on your eyesight.  I work large because my eyes aren't so good any more.

Just work with what Cotton thread you can get, and what is comfortable for you to see. You can adjust a pattern to suit the thread.  embroidery floss makes very soft drapey lace, crochet cotton makes firmer lace.

ok :) That's good to know about the drapey lace and firm one :)

I've a thread question - Ombretta uses thread weight 100 - 140 for working mesh. I've only seen weights over here in the UK up to 80 and know nothing about other weights. Is anyone aware of what a 100 weight is over here? Is it the equivalent of ordinary sewing thread? I have seen a comment about Brok 100 linen but I understand it's not suitable for Needlelace?
Hi Teri. Most lace suppliers In The UK will sell Egyptian cotton thickness up to 185/2 which is finer than the human hair. Some will sell the egyptian cotton up to 240/2 but this is generally a cream colour as it is too fine to dye. You can also buy silk threads up to 120 Honiton cotton thickness from a supplier in the UK and there is at least one on the cotinental as well. I have the fine Egyptian cottons as well as silk ones in my stash. As far as I am aware you can use most threads for needlelace, including linen, as long as it will hold the shape of the item made. I have seen Brok cotton thread which goes up to 170 Which can be bought in the UK as well. I believe the linen thread is not as fine as it was years ago. If you want any further info, just ask, but I hope this helps.
Hi Maureen, thanks ever so much for this, as always you are so helpful. I'm trying to get my supplies together for when I start on Burano. Just one small project to achieve and then I'm ready to start experimenting. I'm doing another pendant, slight variation on Brona's, to try and refine my previous efforts. Unless I do things repeatedly, things don't stay fixed in my mind (age) I see that it's the Solihull lace fayre in two weeks. At present it still looks as though we won't be able to meet up again - such a shame but I'm sure there'll be other possible opportunities in the New Year. All that snow in the states - wish I could be there with my snow shovel but to little effect!

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