Cross Stitch Fabrics 101

The choice of fabric for cross stitch affects so much about a project. The fabric choice affects the feel, the appearance, and the ease with which it can be stitched.
There’s easy aida fabric, and other advanced options that can lead to intricate and more classic looking designs. So how do you go about choosing the right one for your skill level and specific project? Without further ado, here’s your guide to understanding cross stitch in seven easy steps.

1. Understanding fabric types

Before you begin, get to understand the many different types of cross stitch fabrics. There’re specialty ones like afghan and ones that are dyed by hand. Then there’s the standard evenweave, aida, and linen. They are sold in measurements called fat quarters, halves, and yards. The differences are mostly in size, feel, and how they look. Some are also easier to work with than others.

2. Aida

Aida is the original and most popular fabric choice for cross stitch. It’s made of 100% cotton and the popular size is 14 count, which is exactly 14 squares both horizontally and vertically. If you’re a beginner, you can’t go wrong with this as the squares are easy to count.

3. Evenweave

Evenweave is a type of fabric that have a double thread, something to keep in mind as it will make your design larger. That is, a 28-count one will be equivalent to a 14-count of aida fabric.

4. Mixed fiber Evenweave

A mixed fiber Evenweave will give a background that is a lot more subtle. Due to the fiber type, it’s possible to get many exotic colors in this type of cross stitch fabric. There’s even the shinier end of the spectrum like silver and gold Bellana fabrics. The even better news? It’s just as easy to work on as aida fabric.

5. Linen

Linen is an ideal choice for a vintage look and for more advanced cross stitch enthusiasts. The unevenness and natural character means it’s slightly more challenging to stitch, but the payoff is worth the effort. Like evenweave, you mostly stitch over two threads.

6. Choosing and deciding on which fabric to get

If you have a project and you’re rearing to go, take some time first to research what would work best for it. Especially the colors, the counts, and more. The place you buy from can be a great resource for advice on what fabrics would work best for your particular dream stitch. Also, don’t be afraid to go a little wild and experiment with the feel and utility of a particular fabric. If in doubt, start small with an easily managed and tiny project.

7. Where to get cross stitch fabrics

Now you know what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of companies that do fabric for cross stitch. There’s more of a selection in Europe, but the USA also has distributors of fabric brands. With the number of online stores that exist, you’re bound to find the right fabric for you.

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