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Aida And Evenweave
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Aida And Evenweave

When I first started cross stitching over 30 years ago, the choice of fabric was pretty simple - cream 14-count Aida or linen, bleached or unbleached. How things have changed! There is so much choice available now in embroidery fabric, both in thread count and colour, although the two main groups of fabric used remain evenweaves and Aidas.

The fabrics in the Aida family are ideal for the beginner because they are woven with the threads grouped in bundles. This forms a square patterns on the fabric, which in turn creates obvious holes.

Evenweaves are woven singly rather than in blocks and may be made of a variety of fibres. Choice depends on factors such as your eyesight, the cost and the purpose of the finished piece. Working on evenweave is not diffifult, it is just different. Pure linen, made ffrom flax, is often ised for samplers, pulled thread embroidery and clothing, but an easy care fabric such as Jobelan may be preferred for table linen or baby linen.

Cross Stitching on Aida

Aida is a fabric designed for counted embroidery and is available in 8, 11, 14, 16, 18 and 20 blocks to 1 inch (2.5 cm) and in many different colours and fabric types. When stitching on Aida, one block on the fabric corresponds to one square on the chart, and instead of coutning threads as with evenweave, you count and work over single blocks.

To work a cross stitch on Aida, bring the needle up from the wrong side of the fabric at the bottom left of a block. Cross one block diagonally and insert the needle into the top right corner. Come up at the bottom right corner and cross to the top left corner to complete the cross. To work an adjacent stitch, bring the needle up at the bottom right corner of the first stitch and make a cross stitch as before.

Cross stitches on Aida can be worked singly or in two journeys - work half cross stitches along a row and then complete the cross stitches on the return journey. Whichever way you choose, for a neat effect, make sure that the top stitches all face in the same direction.

Forming three-quarter stitches on Aida is possible bit is less accurate than on evenweave because there is no central hole for the needle.

Cross Stitching on Evenweave

Evenweaves are available in a wide range of counts and colours. Because they are woven singly, threads can be withdrawn, making evenweaves suitable for withdrawn and pulled work.

To even out any oddities in the thickness of evenweave fibres, cross stitch is usually worked over two threads of the fabric in each direction, instead of over one block as with Aida. A 28-count evenweave, therefore, has the same stitch count as 14-count Aida.

Evenweave can be worked over one thread, for miniature work, for very fine details and for text within a small sampler. When working over one thread, each cross stitch should be completed rather than worked in two journeys because part of the stitch will tend to slip under the fabric threads.

When working on evenweave, start your first cross stitch to the left of a vertical thread. This makes it easier to spot counting mistakes because every stitch will start in the same position relevant to adjacent threads of the fabric.

Cross stitches on evenweave can be formed individually or in a sewing movement in two journeys, as described in the Crossing Stitching on Aida information above. This quicker sewing method forms neat, single vertical lines on the back of the work and gives somewhere to finish raw ends neatly.


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