The difference between counted and stamped cross stitch

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The difference between counted and stamped cross stitch

When you are out searching for kits to resale at yard sales or thrift stores there are two types that might just say “cross stitch”. They are stamped and counted. Counted is more common today. Both make x shaped stitches on the fabric. To make the stitches in both counted and stamped you have two opposing diagonal stitches to form an X. Step One of a single stitch: /. Step 2 of the same stitch: \. End result: X. Always make sure that your bottom / is always going the same direction. Then your top \ will go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter which way you start but just make sure that each stitch has all the bottom threads laying one way and the top threads lay the other way.

This is a huge hint in buying completed Cross Stitch whether it be stamped or counted. If all the top threads are laying in one direction not including half stitches and quarter stitches that you see in faces and hands then this is possibly a consideration to buy but if you see the top stitches going in every direction walk away and don’t buy.

Stamped cross stitch kits have the pattern printed onto the fabric. You stitch with embroidery thread the colors shown on a chart. Counted cross-stitch has the pattern printed on a separate sheet of paper. You will have a blank piece of fabric in front of you. This means that you have to count the squares yourself to see where each stitch goes. This the term counted. Many stitcher’s start stitching in the center of the pattern to make sure there’s equal room on both sides to frame the design. I like to have three inches on each side and tip and bottom and I always start at the top and never the center so that all my new stitches come up in an empty hole and go down in a hole with stitching in it. It makes for a more even stitch in my opinion.

Stamped cross stitch is easier and easier and in my opinion (my opinion only) not as easy to make look consistent with stitching. It is also more popular for beginners. You can start anywhere you want because you don’t have to count squares. Stamped cross stitch does not have as much detail as counted cross stitch. Squares have to be bigger for the x’s to be visible on the printed fabric so you don’t get as many half or 1/4 stitches or color variations usually. Counted cross stitch kits come in many higher count fabrics (more stitches per square inch) so you can work small details and use more colors. Counted cross stitch has become more popular due to many reasons. 1. Overall appearance with consistency of stitches 2. More patterns and kits are made in counted.

A finished counted cross stitch project can have enough detail to look like a painting and they can be framed to be a focal point in a home or office. Stamped cross stitch are usually seen tablecloth and tablecloth borders, pillow cases, and place mats.

Stamped cross stitch is usually done on a tight fabric such as broadcloth or muslin. Counted cross stitch can be done on a fabric called aida (little squares), linen or other specialty type fabrics with different names. Aida cloth comes in several different counts, or stitches per inch. For example, 11-count aida cloth will measure eleven stitches to each inch. Other common counts are 14 and 18 – the higher the number, the finer the weave.

Most people start of with stamped cross stitch and then move up to counted patterns as they get more experience. I started out on counted cross stitch when I was in college and never did stamped Cross Stitch because I never liked embroidery as a child and it reminded me too much of embroidery. If you are listing kits on eBay stamped Cross Stitch will go under hand embroidery kits and counted cross stitch will go under Cross stitch.

I will add photos tomorrow.


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