Cross stitch fabrics: Aida, evenweave, and linen


Hi all, this is Dana, in this video I’m
gonna be talking about different kinds of fabric that you can use for your
cross stitch and also embroidery projects. So there are three main types
of fabric there’s Aida and there is evenweave cloth
and there’s linen. There’s a lot of varieties of these, but those are the
three main ones that you’ll find stitchers use. You’ll see occasionally
people using something different like maybe like a cotton or something like
burlap or something like that, but yeah, Aida, evenweave, and linen are your
three main ones you’ll hear a lot about, and that’s usually what’s called for in
most cross stitch patterns. So the first one up is Aida and I’ve got some here. So
Aida is neat, it’s blocks of threads so you can see here, I’m just gonna zoom in
a little bit here, so you can see it’s actually made up of strands of threads that
create little blocks in the middle. So this is a really good fabric for
beginners if you’re just starting out with cross stitch, because the holes are
so easy to see. It also usually tends to be a little bit stiffer, this is just a
test piece of fabric I was using for something, but so this is what’s called,
it’s the Michaels Loops & Threads variety. So if you go to
Michael’s shops and they’ll have tubes, like rolls of fabric, this is what this
is. You can see it’s a little bit stiff, you can see it’s left the hoop mark, and
that comes out just by washing it and ironing it. But yeah, you can see it’s
actually quite stiff to work with. Whereas something like this is Aida as
well, this is Zweigart, it’s Aida, it’s a German company. They make they make
beautiful fabrics. So you can see this is a lot more pliable and a lot softer to
stitch with. So this is what I used for my Spirited Animals collection on my
website, whereas this one, this one’s really good for quick little
projects because it’s not that expensive and it is quite commonly available. This
Zweigart you tend to have to go to needlework shops or you can get it
online places like Charting Creations or 123stitch.com or SewandSo. I’ll put
some links to those shops in the description below. You can get these
kinds of beautiful Aida fabrics. So you can see that
holes in this one are a little bit more distinct than in the Zweigart, but the
Zweigart is a lot more pliable. So this is 14 count, that means it’s 14 stitches
to the inch. That’s normal for what most beginners start with, although many
intermediate and advanced stitches also prefer 14 count because it is easier to
see the holes and to work with. Alright and there’s also different kinds of
specialty Aida. So I’ll show you this here, this is this is Charles Craft which
is DMC. So this is called Fiddler’s Cloth or Fiddler’s Aida, and it’s basically an
oatmeal Aida. But this is actually really nice, it seems stiff at
first but actually when you start working with it, your hands start
touching it, it actually gets quite soft and pliable. So that’s really neat, it’s
actually gives a really nice rustic look to patterns. So I use this for my Adorned
Life collection, it’s like a bunch of pin cushions and and things like
that. So that was actually really nice for that, I wanted the pieces to have kind of
a vintage look, and so this was actually really really nice to work with.
I actually got this on Amazon quite inexpensively.
Yeah and it’s made by Charles Craft so there’s that, there’s that kind of specialty
Aida. You can get this is from Zweigart, I just got this this is amazing, this is
linen aida. So I’ll be talking about linen fabric
separately, you can see the texture of it, it’s really cool. So this is actually
made out of pure linen thread but it’s actually been woven like Aida, so it’s a
lot easier to stitch with than a normal linen fabric which I’ll go into in a
moment. And you can get all kinds of hand dyed Aida, you can hand dye Aida yourself like
you would any other fabric as well. So that’s the Aida, it’s good to start
with. The next step is what’s called evenweave, and you can see I’ve got a bunch
of different colours here. This is it’s called Purple Passion. This is also from
Zweigart fabrics, and you can see the count on this, that the thread count is a
lot higher. This is 25 count, or 25 stitches to the inch if you’re gonna be
stitching over each individual thread. A lot of people with evenweave and linen
fabrics will stitch what’s called over two. So let’s go over two threads, and I’ll
show you that. And this is just a little project I did for a friend, I’ll
zoom in here, make sure it’s focused. So you can see,
these stitches here you can see it’s actually each cross is actually going up
two holes instead of one. They can go over one but it’s gonna be really small
and you’re gonna end up… what you might want to use over one for, if you’re doing a
really really big project and say you can’t find fabric wide enough for it,
then then you would go over one. But for the most part these higher count fabrics
you’re going to stitch over two. Another advantage of stitching over two is you
can do fractional stitches. It’s hard to see here, but this is a back stitch
this way and then it’s actually a little diagonal stitch here that goes across to
help fill in this little part of the letter here. So that’s called a fractional
stitch, and it’s a lot easier to do on the higher thread count fabrics like
like the evenweave and the linen, just because you’ve already got a hole there
so you’re not trying to puncture the center of your block of Aida.
Like if you’re trying to go through the center of this block to make a
fractional stitch it’s possible, but it’s a little tricky with a tapestry needle
because the tapestry needle’s not really meant to go through the middle, it’s
meant to go just through the holes. So it is possible but it is a lot easier when
you’re using the evenweave fabric. So that’s that, so this is Zweigart fabric, I’ve
got a green and I’ve got a nice cream one here, I used these all for the recent
Royal Proclamations collection, and I’ll put links to all the collections in the
description below as well so you can actually see the differences in the
fabrics. This is Monaco 28 count, so it’s a little bit higher thread count than the Zweigart here, the Zweigart’s called Lugana,
that’s just the name of the 25 count from Zweigart, this is the 28
count Monaco fabric from Charles Craft. You can
see it’s a little bit finer but with evenweave you can see all the threads
are really really even, they’re all identical, the space in between each
hole is totally identical. Evenweaves tend to be made out of cotton or cotton
blend fabrics, and you know it’s called evenweave because it is so consistent
across the whole fabric. So lots of people like evenweave and it’s really
really nice to stitch with. And then the next step is linen and I’ve got some examples
here to show you, get everything out of the way, this is some Cashel linen. So this is
really really beautiful stuff, also from Zweigart,
my local needlework shop only stocks Zweigert because they’re one of the
better companies and they’ve got a huge range of colors and such. So these are
both Cashel linen, obviously is it’s black and it’s a little bit trickier to
do, but you can see with this one it’s got a ton of fractional stitches, like
all these little diagonal stitches are actually all fractional stitches. So this
is being stitched over two, same as this one, this one doesn’t have any fractional
stitches at all this is just a pattern I got off the Antique Pattern library I’m
just stitching for myself. So this is a like a delicate beige linen.
So linen is actually from the flax plant and you can see it’s got a really nice
sort of gentle sheen to it, like it’s not shiny at all but it’s got a really really
nice texture. But you can see how some of the threads are a little bit thicker,
some are a little bit thinner, sometimes it’ll have what’s called a slub which is
like a little area where it’s like one little section is just a little bit
thicker and that’s actually totally natural. That’s part of the beauty of
linen. So that’s the main difference between linen and evenweave, is linen
is a little bit more natural looking, it’s less manufactured looking but it
does depend as well. I mean if you’re using a really really high thread count
linen like this is Zweigart’s Newcastle linen, this is 40 count, so you
can see how fine that is but yeah, you see the little the little slubs.
But yeah, that texture of the linen is what makes it so beautiful, it’s got a
really really nice sheen to it. So linen is really nice to work with, it
is obviously more expensive than using Aida but if you’re doing a big project or
you wanted to do something really special, I would definitely recommend
looking at linens and seeing what you can either get at your local shop if you
have one or order in. Most shops can order in a huge variety of fabrics that
you probably don’t even know exists. One thing to note though too about linen is
it does crease a little bit more more easily when you’re working with it, like
I’m stitching this one in hand so I’m just rolling up the edge and then just
stitching it without a hoop, and so you can see it does get creased a little bit
more easily. It irons out fine though, I mean if you own linen clothing,
you know that linen is a little bit more temperamental in the fact that it does
crease easily. But yeah, it is fairly easy to take care of as well, it’s nice
durable fabric. it’s really really beautiful, I really like working with this. And I’ll also show you some specialty fabrics. So with the linen, so
here’s some other linens here, some different colours, let me show you. So
here’s just some other colours I was testing. so it’s a nice gray there, and
then there’s the beige one I’m using for the peacock. With the linen and evenweave, as well as the Aida, it depends on where
you’re buying it from, but there’s all kinds of neat patterns like this is 32
count even weave and it’s so cute. This is from Zweigart, they just sent me
some samples which is fantastic. I think they’re so cute, like little polka dots again
this is 32 count evenweave, and it’s got different colors available.
I got some neat marbled type ones here some more marble ones here, so you can get
all kinds of really beautiful textures and colours. You can even get sparkles,
like a lot of fabrics have sparkles, this is a linen that’s got sparkles woven into
it which is amazing, this is actually a linen aida.
This is 18 count linen so obviously it’s not pure linen because of the metallics
running through it, but it is super cool I’m really looking forward to trying
something out with that. So that’s pretty much it, like I said you can get good
fabrics from your local needlework shop or Charles Craft which is DMC has a lot
of good selection. Zweigart you can search and see where
they are available or where to order them online, Charting Creations, 123stitch, sewandso.co.uk, they can all order in any of
these fabrics. And also for hand dyed fabric there’s a company called Fiberlicious, and I’ll put a link to that as well in the description, I haven’t used
their fabrics but some of my customers have recently been using them, and they
look amazing. Like there’s one that a customer is using right now and it’s like
this colour, it’s similar to this colour maybe a little bit deeper purple, but
it’s got sparkles all through it which is really really cool, and her patterns
coming up looking really really neat. So that’s pretty much it for now. If you
have any questions or comments please let me know in the comment section below,
and if you’d like to access the free patterns on the site, you can
click on the little pop up in the top right and then you can sign up to get
instant access to those free patterns that are on my site. And I hope you have
a great day, bye for now!