Fabric/thread conversion

by Kathie Swanson

Question: Help please. I have a project and the pattern call for 32 ct linen using two strands of floss over two threads. I am going to stitch this project on 16 ct adia cloth. My question is this......do I still stitch over two threads and do I still use two threads of floss. Thanks Kathie

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cross stitch
by: Anonymous

I am changing a 14 count cross stitch to 18 over two threads. How many strands of thread do I use for the cross stitch and how many do I use for the outline?

32 count vs. 16 count.
by: Debbie Rice

On 32 count fabric ("32 holes per inch") you stitch over 2 threads/holes (to make stitches sized "16 holes per inch").

On 16 count fabric ("16 holes per inch") you stitch over 1 thread (to make stitches sized "16 holes per inch").

A 24 or 26 gauge tapestry (cross stitch) needle is appropriate size for 16-count or 32-count fabric.

Needle, fabric and size helps can be found at http://yarntree.com/java/xstitchcal.htm (their home page also has some free videos and instructions for beginning stitchers)

If all stitches used are whole cross stitch, half cross stitch and backstitch, you can do project easily on either fabric.

If pattern calls for specialty stitches, better suited to the 32-count (particularly, pulled thread, drawn thread or cut work).

If pattern calls for a lot of quarter and 3/4 cross stitches you may be happier on the 32-count (if trying on the 16-count fabric--pre-rinse if colorfast to remove any manufacturer's sizing and keep a sharp sewing needle handy to pierce between holes on the 16-count fabric).

Project/design size is exactly the same for both fabrics. (And for both make sure you have fabric sized to leave a 2-3 inch border of unstitched fabric on all four sides, that is, take design size and add 4 to 6 inches to height and add 4 to 6 inches to width to get fabric size).

If instructions don't specify stitching over 1 or 2 threads, make sure you label fabric purchased "over 1" or "over 2" so you know what size you calculated.

Generally, 11 to 18 count aida fabrics get 2 strands regular embroidery floss stitched over 1 hole or 1 fabric thread.

25-36 count linens and evenweaves are two strands stitched over 2 threads or wholes.

6-10 count fabrics could be either (and usually take more strands of thread or switch to something thicker like a perle cotton instead of normal embroidery floss). Pattern should specify exact instructions; if not, again just make sure you note on fabric. Don't be afraid to add more strands or switch to a thicker fiber if you don't like project's appearance.

40-60 count fabrics and gauze usually only use 1 strand and can call for being stitched over 1 or 2 threads (if over 1 thread, particularly on gauze, usually do half instead of full crosses, i.e., "petit point"). On gauze, needle should be bigger than gauze material and distend "hole" when making your stitches.

Any time trying an unfamiliar fabric, ask if shop has a scrap pile you might find a sample to practice on or size what you are buying to give yourself a strip on one edge that you can practice on.

Some projects and fabrics, it just pays to try a couple of stitches to see how you like different number of strands, stiching over a different number of holes/threads, different needles, or even some different fibers (like metallics). Particularly if your pattern's instructions aren't real specific.

It's your project and your handwork so if you like the appearance of one method or fabric over another -- go for it!

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