Taking a little time to prepare your fabric before you begin stitching will help you achieve better results, so even if you are itching to start your new project take a few moments to prepare your fabric properly.
Should You Wash Aida Before You Begin Stitching?
Depending on the project you might want to wash your aida before you start stitching but it isn’t essential. Washing will help to remove any residual dyes left of the fabric before you start to stitch. Some aida is pre-treated with a fabric dressing. This gives the fabric a stiffness. Washing it will wash this away. It is a matter of personal preference whether you prefer stitching on softer washed aida or the slightly stiffer unwashed aida.
How Do You Wash Aida?
DMC Aida can be washed with mild detergent and pressed using a pressing cloth on a low heat setting. Check the care instructions for the specific aida you are using as the temperature they can withstand can vary.
Should You Press Aida Cloth Before Cross Stitching?
If you are using an embroidery hoop this will remove most creases in aida without the need for pressing before you begin. However, if your aida is very creased, ironing before you begin can help. Do this with a low temperature setting on your iron and a pressing cloth.
Cutting Cross Stitch Fabric to Size
When cutting a piece of fabric for a cross stitch project it’s important to think about the finished item and what you plan to do with it. If you are going to mount and frame the work you need to make sure there is a clear border of at least 8cm/3inches all the way around your design. The size and shape of the border you need to leave might also be influenced by the size of the frame or hoop you want to display your work in.
How to Prepare Your Fabric for Cross Stitch
Usually you begin stitching from the center point of a design. To make sure your design is perfectly centered on your fabric you need to find its center. To do this fold your fabric in half and then in half again, where the two folds intersect is the center. Some cross stitchers like to tack a line of loose running stitches along the length of these folds to make it easier to keep track of how the pattern relates to their fabric. You might also want to hem or cover the edges of your fabric with masking tape to stop it from fraying whilst you work.
Should You Use an Embroidery Hoop for Cross Stitch?
Using an embroidery hoop makes it easier to achieve neat and even stitches. It is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your fabric taut while you stitch. You can also use embroidery hoops with a stand which allows you to stitch with two hands for greater accuracy and speed. For larger projects a frame is really helpful.