Friday, March 1

Cross Stitch Fabrics : A Primer

Since I gave my little rundown on threads for cross stitching, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for the fabric that you stitch on.

This is the fabric most people are familiar with for doing cross stitch.  It's like 20lb copy can find it anywhere, it's cheap and it will work.  It's usually cotton or a cotton/poly blend. It is sized by the number of cross stitches per inch : 14, 16, 18 for example. However, much like copy paper, you can only do so much with it.  It's just not as versatile as linen, to my mind.  I was looking for a piece to photograph for this post, and I don't even have any around the house anymore.  Then I remembered a finished piece I had lying around :

This is what I use 99% of the time when cross stitching.  It's beautiful, strong, natural and comes in an endless variety of colors and sizes.  Usually when stitching on linen, you stitch "over two".  This means you make your cross stitch over 2 threads.  Linen is sized by the number of threads per inch.  My preferred size is 28 count, or 28 threads per inch.  Since I will stitch "over two" I will have 14 cross stitches per inch.  You can also stitch "over one" for very detailed work, or just in certain areas.

This fabric is what it sounds like, it has a very even weave with no thin or thick threads, as linen can sometimes have.  It's usually a cotton or cotton blend.  Aida is actually an evenweave fabric.  Other names for evenweave may be Jobelin, Lugana or Salem cloth.  If you dislike the look of Aida but aren't ready to try Linen, this is a great choice.

Similiar in appearance to Evenweave, Hardanger fabric is usually 100% cotton and a 22 count fabric. Made especially for Hardanger embroidery, it works fine for cross stitch.

Waste Canvas
Use this when you want to apply cross stitching to a fabric that would be difficult to stitch on, such as denim, knitted fabric, quilting or patterned fabric.  As the name implies, you layer this over your chosen fabric, stitch the design, then pull out the waste canvas, leaving the design on your fashion fabric.

Perforated paper is available for stitching small items like bookmarks or ornaments.  It's usually 14 count, and available in a variety of colors.

Wood & Plastic
You may have seen wooden pendants that have been cross stitched.  I've only seen these on Etsy, and they are adorable.  I've also seen plastic iPhone cases that can be stitched on.

What's your favorite fabric for stitching?

1 comment:

  1. You are the best!!! Thanks so much for this!


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