Embroidery and stamped cross-stitch are both done with a design on the cloth that will wash out after your done.
Both are also done on normal fabric not fabric that is woven with holes between rows.
I will give basic written instructions here with more detailed instructions and pictures to come later.
Generalities For Any Printed Needlework
Do not prewash printed fabric. Your design will disappear and that will make it hard for you to do your needlework.
Try to keep your hands clean. Avoid having food and drinks around where you stitch. You must be very careful not to get any kind of moisture on the fabric or design until you are finished or part of your design may disappear.
Even though instructions say to hand-wash, it can be done on delicate cycle in a washing machine with regular soap. Use cold water. Lay flat on a towel on a table or counter. Do not dry in a dryer.
Iron on the wrong side only with a cool iron after completely dried. Any excessive heat can cause shrinkage on the fabric or puckering from the floss shrinking.
Most major brands of floss that you will use will not bleed, run or fade. If you are going to use some floss that is hand dyed, it would be best to test it on a scrap of fabric first. There are ways to wash dyed items that bleed or run, but they take special solutions that are available, but expensive.
Try to prevent the floss from twisting while you stitch.This can normally be achieved by turning your needle a quarter to half turn with each stitch. If your floss does get twisted, let your needle hang freely to let it unwind.
It is best if you try to keep your needle perpendicular to the fabric when stitching. It will let you keep a more even tension on the floss. An even tension will give a better finished project and help to avoid puckering.
Keep your fabric tight in the hoop. Stop and adjust if the fabric is getting loose. If you are using straight up and down stitching (perpendicular), the fabric is less likely to loosen in the hoop.
And always use the right size hoop for the size of the piece you are working on. A hoop that is too big or too small may be hard for you to hold on to. I normally use a hoop between 5″ and 8″ diameter. They seem to be the easiest for me to hold and manuever.
Fabric for embroidery is normally a plain weave with no holes or spaces left in it like aida cloth used for counted cross-stitch. Most any fabric can be used for embroidery, but normally the predominate fabric is linen or linen-type.
The design can already be printed on the fabric (like in a kit), or ironed on with special patterns you buy or you can draw your own design by hand on the fabric. The inks used are special water-soluble so they don’t detract from the finished work.
Learn the main basic stitches. Most designs will use the following 10 stitches.
- A running stitch is just what the name implies. It is a series of stitches that don’t touch each other and look like a broken or dashed line.
- A satin stitch is a series of stitches that go from edge to edge of the design area and right next to each other. It is used for filling in an area with color.
- A padded satin stitch has a series of stitches underneath the satin stitch to give it height and dimension.
- A french knot is made by pushing the needle up from the backside and then wrapping the floss around the needle two or three times and pulled up tight to the fabric. Then the needle is pushed straight through to the back, while keeping tension on the floss, right next to where the floss comes up through the fabric.
- A back-stitch is made by bringing the floss up from the back and going back down and then coming back up like you doing a running stitch. But instead of making another running stitch, you go back down through the hole where you had gone down for the first stitch. Then you will come back up two stitch lengths forward. Then back down one stitch length backwards, where you had come up last time. This will give a series of continuous stitches that will form a solid line.
- A split stitch is made by coming up, then going down one stitch length forward. Then you come back up in the middle of that last stitch splitting the floss and go back down one stitch length from the last place you went down. This will give you a stitch that looks like a heavy back-stitch
- A stem stitch is made similar to a split stitch. Except instead of splitting the floss, you will come up right next to it. Make certain to always come up on the same side all the way down the line.
- A chain stitch is made by bringing the floss up from the bottom, then putting the needle back down the same hole. But you leave floss on top. Then you come back up one stitch length forward and wrap the thread underneath the needle to form a loop. Then you pull the floss all the way through and put the needle back through the same hole, etc. This gives you a series of loops that looks like a chain that could be used for a necklace.
- A lazy daisy stitch(detached chain stitch) is one section of a chain stitch, but instead of making a second chain, the needle is brought down on the other side of the floss, tacking it down to the fabric. Then you come back wherever your pattern indicates.
- A cross-stitch is made by bringing the floss up on one corner of an X. Then going down on the other end of that leg. Then coming back up on the other leg of the X and going back down on the other end of that leg. It is a series of Xs.
There are many more stitches, but they are not commonly used in most pieces. They are advanced speciality stitches.
This is very simply a form of needlework that uses the cross-stitch described above. The pattern will tell you what color of floss to use where.
The only real difference between counted cross-stitch and stamped cross-stitch is the fact of the pattern being on the fabric, making it easier to have all of your stitches in alignment both vertically and horizontally.
Next Friday there will be another article. So please come back to check it out.
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Need to follow the printed design as close as possible. Stitching that is too long or too short or too tight will detract from the intended design. Cross-stitching is done in even rows and columns as if it were done on a loose woven cloth like aida.
You don’t always have to follow the pattern and directions to the letter. After learning the basics and becoming experienced, you can add your own ideas and twists to the pattern and make it your own.