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Friday, August 17, 2012

Counted Cross Stitch Fabrics

Cross stitch kits are very convenient to use as they include all the elements required to complete the project. These are so useful for people who enjoy stitching but no time to purchase the individual threads,fabric and chart or for the beginner.
The beauty of cross stitching is, it is so versatile and once you have gained some experience and want to be more creative and independent you can be.
Whether you are using left over fabric or purchasing new fabric it is important to have the correct fabric count for the effect you want to create. The size of the design is dictated by the fabric count.
The fabric used for cross stitch is either cotton or linen which have an evenweave. This means they have the same number of weft (horizontal) threads as there are warp (vertical) threads to 1 inch or 2.5 centimetres. The most popular fabric is cotton as this is cheaper but it is personal preference. The count you use should not strain your eyes, there are plenty of magnifying glasses on the market to assist with the smaller count fabrics.
The weave of this cotton fabric is a block of threads between each hole the cross stitch is worked over one block. This is probably the most popular fabric and is widely available it has several counts, 11,14,16 and 18. Fourteen count is the most popular. The problem with this fabric is if a design includes a large amount of three quarter stitches it becomes difficult to stitch. There is no hole for the quarter stitch so it means piercing the centre of the block on the fabric with the needle.
Evenweave Linen
This is much more expensive than aida it is woven with single threads much easier to handle and long lasting. It has varied thread counts. It can be worked over one thread which will produce a very fine small design or over two threads which will produce a larger design. This is a perfect fabric for stitching a design over two threads which includes three quarter stitches the hole is there already.
If you have a design to stitch and the chart states 14 count aida this can be substituted with 28 count evenweave stitched over two threads. The finished project would still be the same size but would look finer because of the fabric used.
Jean Leeming is a keen cross stitch enthusiast. She writes articles on all aspects of Cross Stitch and also runs a website: Needlework Magic where she sells a wide range of Cross Stitch Kits which are very competitively priced.
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