Cross Stitch 101

Aida vs Linen



The pattern says to use Linen but, I'm just starting to cross stitch and that looks too daunting! Can I use Aida Cloth instead of Linen?

Of Course you can!

Most of the lovely cross stitch designs that you see are generally stitched on Linen but, that doesn't mean that you can't stitch it on Aida Cloth, it just means that your finished size (depending on the size you choose to work with) and fabric background look will vary from the stitched sample pattern cover photo.


What about if you've only used Aida Cloth for 20 years, or, if you're new to stitching?


First - what is Aida Cloth?

It is a stiffened mesh fabric that is woven into small cross-hatch squares that are followed by a very small round space (what you stitch into.)

Aida Cloth comes in sizes 7ct, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, down to 28ct, this count tells you the number of stitching squares per 1" of fabric. The higher the number the smaller the weave and the smaller your stitches will be.

The inherent design of this fabric makes it easy for beginning cross stitchers of ANY age to enjoy this relaxing hobby.


How on earth do I convert a pattern from Linen to Aida Cloth and vice versa?

The easiest way to understand this is to just double your Aida Cloth count to get a comparable Linen count. It's that simple! Example: 14ct Aida = 28ct Lugana/Monaco, 16ct Aida = 32ct Belfast, 36ct Edinburgh, and so on. See how simple that was?

What size Linen do I pick to start with? Is there a beginner's Linen?

Generally speaking no, but most beginner cross stitchers start with 28ct Lugana (52% cotton and 48% Viscose) Monaco or Jobelan (51% Cotton, 49% Rayon/Modal) which are considered Evenweaves, meaning that the fabric weave is even throughout the entire fabric and the holes are equally defined making it an easy transition for anyone. Evenweaves thread count is double of that of Aida Cloth, and is found in 25ct, 28ct and 32cts, are generally made of a combination of cotton & rayon, whilst linen is usually made from flax or cotton.  Evenweaves are typically stitched "over two" like linen, but can be stitched "over one" for a more compacted look.


Starting to stitch on linen can be like jumping into the abyss, but once you start stitching your first project you will see just how easy and fun it truly is.


Happy Stitching!



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