If you are new to cross stitch or new to cross stitch social groups you may be unaware of the acronyms and jargon that can be used. I’ve included the buzz words I’ve used in my reviews below. I’ve also included some basics on fabric and floss types for cross stitching.
If there’s any word or phrase you want included please send me an email via the Suggestions page. I’m always happy to help.
Cross stitch generally uses specific types of fabrics which have the same numbers of threads running vertically and horizontally (the warp and the weft). Because of the even nature of the holes between the fabric threads, these fabrics are called evenweaves. The most common types of evenweaves are lugana, jobean, and monaco.
Linen is a form of evenweave but is often listed separately as the threads in the fabric are not a uniform size; the holes between the threads remain uniform, but the threads themselves are not. Linen is often named for the fabric count, so 25ct is Dublin, 28ct is Cashel, 32ct is Belfast and 36ct is Edinburgh.
Aida is a specific form of fabric deliberately created for cross stitch. It has a number of threads woven together between each hole. Therefore the holes are much easier to see. Also because of the width of the threads between the holes, Aida is often a smaller count of fabric than evenweave.
Aida has half the number of holes of evenweave, so the most common Aida fabrics are 14ct, 16ct and 20ct.
Floss refers to the length of thread that is woven into the holes on the ground fabric to produce the cross stitch. There are many different types of floss that can be used.
Cotton is by far the most common floss type used in cross stitching today. DMC cotton is widely available, cost efficient, has a huge range of colours and there are very little variations in their dye lots.
Silk is the next common type of floss used. There is a huge variety of silk types. Some silks are soft and wonderful to work with, others can snag on the rough hands or fingernails. If you have had a bad experience with silks, I suggest you try again with a different company. Silks can provide vibrant colours.
Metallic threads have a springiness in them due to metal content and thus require a little more patience when using. The results however are wonderful; an added depth and sparkle to any design. Due to the stiffness of the metallic content, this floss is usually found wrapped on cards or spools instead of the loose skein shown above for silks and cottons.
Monochrome means using only one colour floss to complete the project. Some monochromes used hand dyed fabrics and hand dyed threads so their “single colour” is could be many shades of the same colour, or differing colours. As long as you use only one make and model of the floss you are allowed to call it a monochrome.
Stash is any cross stitch item you have obtained but have not started using. This could include charts and kits you haven’t started and floss that you don’t have an immediate use for.