I have holes or tears in my fabric.

by Nancy Stone
(Waleska Ga. usa)

Question: I have been stitching for years, have always used 14 count or maybe 11 count.

Lately I have had a tear or hole in my fabric after weeks of stitching and have had to throw it out.

I have used new fabric and different fabrics for each project. It has happened with the last four projects. The last on was Charles Craft which I have never had a problem with.

I am very puzzled.

What is the Best and thickest fabric to use. Can you help me.

Thanks, Nancy from Ga.

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Fabric Holes
by: Debbie Rice

Are you storing fabric airtight (ziploc style bags or plastic containers) where moisture could get trapped and degrade cotton fibers? Should notice gummy areas or odd musty odors before holes would happen? Poke holes in airtight bags or containers if you want to use.

Like everyone else, I would look to a hoop if used to see if hoop was snagging by having a rough spot or tangling in screw/hardware. Or if there is a screw, scissors or something else around your stitch area or in your stitch bag that could be guilty party.

Are you getting the holes as you stitch or finding them afterwards? If while stitching, try some different needle sizes and different thread tensions. On 11 count aida, a 20 or 22 gauge tapestry needle is good; on 14 count a 24 gauge for most stitchers.

You might want to check fabric or craft stores for fabric stiffener and try pretreating your aida cloth according to their directions to "toughen it up." (There are also some homemade fabric stiffener recipes running around internet as well but I have no idea about pH or other chemical concerns).

Two very toughest fabrics I've found are the no fray aida (basically pre-stiffened) in 14 count at http://yarntree.com/cross-stitch/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6041 and the Cork linen in 18 count (which may be much smaller holes than you want but is a very tough bird). At one time, the no-fray aida was marketed as Aida Plus in craft stores.

Alternately instead of tougher, stiffer fabrics -- try softer fabric. Tula and Klostern are 6 to 11 count fabrics that are not pure cotton; Monk's cloth in large yardage can be found in fabric stores but need to pre-wash and pre-shrink before stitching on (after shrinking roughly a 10 count fabric).

If your thread tension or stitching motions are causing fabric holes -- the softer fabrics may have you finding yourself using less tension. The synthetic fibers in tula/klostern fabrics may prove more forgiving of holes or may not have same problem if it's a a chemical/moisture reaction with the cotton or an attraction for something actually chewing a hole.

Posting a picture of fabric holes might give someone a better idea.


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I have holes or tears in my fabric
by: Julie

Same question do you use an embroidery hoop?
Try binding the hoops with a soft bandage or bias tape.

11ct and 14ct Aida material are stable enough not to bother with a ring

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could it be the hoop
by: Carol

Nancy,

May I ask if you're using a wooden embroidery hoop to hold your fabric?

I'm wondering if you have a rough patch on the hoop which is catching on the fabric and tearing it.

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