Using a different count evenweave fabric?

by Helen
(Oxfordshire, UK)

hi, I have been following your fantastic Hardanger tutorials and I achieved really good results, thanks to your very clear instructions. It's definitely something I am going to do more of.

However, I have been using a 28 count even-weave cross stitch fabric made by MCG Textiles (it was all the habby shop had & I was too impatient to get started!!)

As a result the Hardanger piece I have created is more of a diamond shape than a square! Is this because the thread count was higher than the 22 count you recommended?

Carol answers

Hi Helen,

Firstly a sincere apology for taking so long to answer your question! I got rather inundated!

I am glad you enjoyed learning Hardanger with the help of my site. I hope you are still stitching.

Personally, I love doing hardanger on 28 count as it gives a finer finished result. I always recommend 22 count for beginners as it is easier to see and count the fabric threads when you are first learning, however.

If a fabric is labelled "evenweave" then it should have the same number of threads in each direction, meaning that the work will be "square". It is possible that there was an inconsistency in the fabric as MCG Textiles is not a brand I am familiar with.

However, it is also possible that an inconsistency in tension could have pulled the work out of "true". Getting the tension right is one of the trickiest parts of learning hardanger, or in fact any embroidery technique. Ideally you want the stitches to lay comfortably on the surface of the fabric, not to pull it tight or to be "baggy" or loose.

Mistakes in counting can also cause problems. I always advise my students to check that the kloster blocks line up before doing any cutting. It is possible to have TWO mistakes, so that they effectively cancel each other out, and only notice there is a problem when you cut the fabric threads. Maybe you worked the kloster blocks over the wrong number of threads?

I do hope you persevere with your Hardanger, Helen. There are many places online where you can order evenweave and hardanger fabrics.

Regards,

Carol

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