Fabric is a stitching must-have, and as there are a lot of types, sizes, colours & counts it can get a little bit confusing! Here is our guide to fabrics, with some examples thrown in!
The most common type of fabric used for cross stitch is 'aida', which is made of cotton and has equally spaced holes making it perfect for this craft. Other popular fabrics include linen and evenweave. All these fabrics are available in a range of sizes, colours and counts.
The 'count' of a fabric refers to the amount of holes per inch (HPI) that it has. So, 14 count aida has 14 holes per inch of fabric. Aida is available in the following counts: 11, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22.
THE RULE: THE HIGHER THE NUMBER COUNT OF FABRIC, THE SMALLER YOUR FINISHED DESIGN WILL BE!
How do I work out the design size from the stitch count given?
Some patterns give the finished size in stitches, instead of measurements. To find out how big your design will be, simply divide the number of stitches by the number count fabric you are going to use. This will give you the size IN INCHES!
For example, if your stitch count is 100 wide x 120 high, and you are using 16 count fabric, you need to divide 100 by 16, and then 120 by 16. This works out at: 6.25" wide x 7.5" high.
How much fabric do I need for my design?
We generally recommend having approximately 3" (7cm) spare on each side of your design for framing purposes. To work this out, simply add 6" (15cm) to each dimension (width and height).
For example, if your design measures 10" x 10" (25 x 25cm), you would need a piece of fabric measuring 16" x 16" (40 x 40cm).
What is the difference between aida and evenweave/linen fabrics?
Aida is generally stitched using two strands of thread over 1 hole of fabric. Whereas evenweave is generally stitched using two strands of thread over two holes of fabric. Or, for finer work, one strand of thread can be worked over one hole of evenweave. This is most effective for pieces such as samplers, or designs which require a number of fractional stitches.