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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Materials and Preparation

Find out what cross stitch materials and preparation you need to get started stitching.


You should always cut the fabric you are going to stitch onto at least 8-10 cm larger than the finished size of the design, this will allow you to turn up a seam, or to mount your work or make it into a gift. If you are making a garment with a cross stitch design you should mark out the pattern of the garment onto the fabric before you start stitching to ensure you place it correctly. To prevent the fabric from fraying you can either turn over the edge and machine stitch it or bind it using tape. I find masking tape good for this job. You should always start stitching from the center of the fabric. Fold the fabric in half one way and then the other way to find the center point. Separate your threads - If you are working from a kit the thread for the project will likely be supplied. You should separate and mark the colours before you start to make sure you identify each colour correctly. A floss organizer is very handy for this job and you can pick one up for only a few dollars these days.


Very little equipment is actually needed for cross stitch. If you are working from a kit the fabric, needle and threads will most likely be supplied. You will need an embroidery hoop or frame to mount the fabric on. Take a look at the cross stitch materials information below:

Hoops and Frames

If you mount the cross stitch fabric on a hoop or frame your work will be easier to handle and stitches will be kept flat and smooth. You should choose a frame that accommodates the whole design so you don't have to fold or bend the fabric.

If you bind the outer ring of an embroidery hoop with white bias tape it will prevent it from marking the fabric and prevent slipping.


You should stitch your design using a tapestry needle which has a large eye and a blunt end to prevent damage to the fabric. Choose a size of needles that slides easily through the holes of the fabric without distorting or enlarging them.


A sharp pair of embroidery or sewing sissors will make you floss cuts neat and tidy.


A thimble will help stop your finger hurting.


Cross stitch designs are worked with floss thread. These come in many colours and clever use of colour creates wonderful cross stitch pieces.


The Majority of cross stitch is worked on Aida fabric which comes in several sizes. The most popular size is 14 count which means there are 14 threads to 1 inch.

Laura Anne Grey has been a cross stitcher and enthusiast for over ten years. She owns a craft business in South Wales and is an expert in her field. Find more information on Cross Stitch at

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