Lord Libidan

Storing finished cross stitch

Lord Libidan's cross stitch storage

Whilst some pieces are destined to be framed, there are other finished pieces that just aren’t. That’s not to say they suck, but you JUST HAVE TOO MANY!!!
Cross stitch is addictive, and so you will inevitably need to store some pieces temporarily/permanently. And whilst out of sight out of mind is a great way to think sometimes, finished cross stitch sometimes needs a helping hand. In particular you could get all types of awful things, like rust spots, water damage or warping if not properly stored. But you can fix them with this quick guide on how to remove stains from cross stitch.
There are two accepted ways to store cross stitch; and I tend to use both for different reasons as sadly neither is perfect.

Storage tubes

Kinda in the name, isn’t it?

Cheap, easy to store and crease free, cardboard tubes can be a super idea for cross stitch storage (source: Google images)

Now I would ALWAYS suggest sending pieces in storage tubes, however they are also a great longer term option. The great thing about them if you can stack them either on top of each other, strapped together, or even better, in a box. I bet you didn’t realize that all tubes are designed to fit into a 1x1x1.5m box in the most optimal way possible? Well now you do!
However, there are down sides.
The first thing to note is you need to cover the tubes. Most tubes are cardboard, and so water CAN go through them. In addition if the ends are left open you could get moths moving in. The easiest method is cling film, however is still not going to protect it from a flood, so always store them high up if possible.
The second, and most irritating, is warping. Whilst the cross stitch will stay square, it curls. Heavily. In fact, the tube creates are warmth which causes the aida to permanently warp. Now, I’ve just said permanent, but in reality you’ll be looking at maybe 10 years in a tube before its permanent. A quick ironing will be enough to clear any shaping issues up.
But this isn’t my preferred permanent storage method; that title goes to the next type of storage.

Flat portfolio storage

Portfolios are problematic from the start. Firstly, they’re HUGE, and secondly they need to be laied flat, which can be a massive problem. Then there’s the sheer choice, why are some hard, some soft?
I can’t tell you to be honest, they just are, however they have massive positives when it comes to cross stitch storage.

A slightly fancier way to store cross stitch is a protfolio. Make sure you get one big enough though. (source: Google images)

In short, so long as you can cope with the sheer size of them, they’re great. However, as they’re so good at storage, feel free to store them in a loft, under the bed, or anywhere out the way…
A few people have asked how I store my cross stitch, and I use flat portfolios. I now have three, each holds about 3 years of work. They’re A3 sized, and have A3 plastic slots for larger works, and A4 for smaller ones. I also attach smalll stickers detailing the name, count, when it was finished, etc.