How To Cross Stitch On Any Fabric

I often see people talking about stitching on linen, evenweave or monk’s cloth, and people in the comments are quiet. It took me a while to work it out, but people aren’t aware you can cross stitch on other fabrics. Most people see just the standard cross stitch fabrics like aida and evenweave, but you can pretty much cross stitch on any fabric out there. You have to change the way you go about stitching sometimes, but there really is a world of fabrics out there to cross stitch on.

14 Count Aida and 28 Count Evenweave (source: cloudsfactory.net)
14 Count Aida and 28 Count Evenweave (source: cloudsfactory.net)

Aida

When it comes to cross stitching, you probably learned with aida. It’s the go-to fabric to use for cross stitch as its uniform in size and shape, comes in different counts and makes nice cross stitches. In all likelihood, you know how to stitch on aida, so I won’t dwell, but if not, check out our guide on how to cross stitch.
What I will say, however, is that cross stitching on aida requires you to go through the closest hole to the one you started with. In short, 1 over 1.

Cross Stitching on Aida (Source: thecrossstitchguild.com)
Cross Stitching on Aida (Source: thecrossstitchguild.com)

Linen/Evenweave

Before we start, let’s talk about the differences between Linen and Evenweave. In fabrics like cotton and Aida, the vertical threads (Weft) and the horizontal threads (Warp) (see our cross stitch terms guide for more info) are evenly spaced out, meaning you get nice square blocks to stitch on. Linen is NOT like this. In most cases, linen is bigger in one direction than it is the other. There is nothing stopping you stitching on linen, but be aware your cross stitches may be a bit irregularly shaped. Evenweave however, is linen that is specifically made to be nice and uniform.

Can You Cross Stitch On Monk’s Cloth?

Yes. Monk’s cloth is another name for evenweave, and you can cross stitch on it the same way you would evenweave.

Linen cross stitch fabric (source: thecrossstitchguild.com)
Linen cross stitch fabric (source: thecrossstitchguild.com)

Now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about actually stitching on it. Unlike aida, you have to stitch 1 over 2. Pull your needle through the first hole, jump a hole, and then put it in the next one. The reason we do this is that unlike aida that is woven together with starch, linen and evenweave are loose weaves, meaning threads can move from one row to another by jumping over/under threads.
By doing this you reduce the overall count by half, however with a 28 count evenweave you can get a 14 count cross stitch, with a nicer background fabric.
Cross Stitching on Evenweave Linen (Source: thecrossstitchguild.com)
Cross Stitching on Evenweave Linen (Source: thecrossstitchguild.com)

Cotton

Whilst aida, linen and evenweave are the most common fabrics to cross stitch on, you can also stitch on others. One big one people often forget about is cotton fabrics, polyesters, and general clothing fabrics. Unlike the other examples on the list, you actually need something else to stitch on; waste canvas. It works very much like aida when stitching, however once you’re done you wet it, and pull out all the fabric threads. This leaves you with cross stitch in neat shapes, despite the fabric under it.

14 Count Waste Canvas Cross Stitch Fabric (source: google images)
14 Count Waste Canvas Cross Stitch Fabric (source: google images)

Knitting/Crochet

What about knitting, or crochet? We mentioned that knitting and crochet is a great additional hobby to cross stitch, so you may already do one of them, and you can cross stitch straight onto it! It works the same as aida, so it does make your knitting one sided, but you can really make a piece stand out by adding a bit of cross stitch.

Cross Stitch On Crochet (Source: thesprucecrafts.com)
Cross Stitch On Crochet (Source: thesprucecrafts.com)

Pretty Much Anything

We wrap up this list with, everything. Yeh, everything. Thanks to things like waste canvas you can stitch on any soft material, but by using a drill you can actually cross stitch on any hard surface without waste canvas.

Ikea desk chair cross stitch hack (Source: Pinterest)
Ikea desk chair cross stitch hack (Source: Pinterest)

 

 

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One thought on “How To Cross Stitch On Any Fabric

  1. I disagree about this part of your section on linen/evenweave:
    “Now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about actually stitching on it. Unlike aida, you have to stitch 1 over 2. Pull your needle through the first hole, jump a hole, and then put it in the next one. The reason we do this is that unlike aida that is woven together with starch, linen and evenweave are loose weaves, meaning threads can move from one row to another by jumping over/under threads.”

    That isn’t the reason I stitch over 2 on evenweave fabrics. I stitch over 1 or over 2 depending on the size that I want my finished piece to be, also whether there are partial stitches in the pattern, which may dictate the need to stitch over 2. If you haven’t done one already, a blog on stitching over 1 would be useful to some folks, I’m sure.

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