Stitching is a very painstaking kind of needlework. The quality of materials and all additional elements plays an important role here. With modern cross stitching kits, you will make your work easier and get the most out of it. The main advantage of such sets is that they are created by people who are engaged in needlework themselves: professional craftswomen, designers, and artists are often involved in the creation. They know all the nuances of stitching, so ready-made kits often become real helpers for fans of this type of needlework.
What’s in the modern cross stitching kit
Many craft stores offer only canvas with a drawn pattern. For such a blank, you must separately purchase a needle and thread. It can take a lot of time to select shades, and the colours of interest are not always present in the assortment. Therefore, needlewomen have to compromise and buy thread close in shades, which does not always have a positive effect on the overall look of the picture. It is much more convenient to choose a ready-made kit, which includes:
- There is a drawing scheme on the fabric and you can create a beautiful picture following the pattern. The canvas is made of natural materials, which ensures its durability;
- High-quality bright yarn allows you to create a picture with rich shades that has a realistic look;
- This handy tool greatly facilitates the stitching process. The main feature of the professional needle is the presence of a small ball at the tip, which makes it easy to get into the desired cell.
Stitching of the canvas according to the diagram drawn on it – this is a significant reduction in the time of work on one picture. The craftswoman does not need to be distracted by counting the cells that need to be filled with one colour of the threads.
How to choose a modern cross stitching kit
Stitching is an opportunity to spend time pleasantly and calmly, to escape from everyday affairs, to create a beautiful thing. Therefore, mistakes in choice become a waste of money and time and lead to feelings of frustration and annoyance.
To avoid this, it is important to know the selection criteria:
The packaging is usually a plastic envelope with a sticky edge. Make sure that it is intact, without damage, kinks. The photograph of the finished product printed on the packaging must be of high quality, not a digital image with blurry outlines.
Mouline threads from well-known manufacturers are marked with a logo. The highest quality threads are recognised with double mercerisation, which gives strength, silkiness, stability (do not fade in the sun).
Some manufacturers fold the threads into one ball, others place them on a special cardboard divider. It is not a fact that randomly nested mouline threads indicate poor quality, moreover, such a tangle is hardly separated into different colours.
Canvas is a fabric with a large, even and easily recognisable weave that is easier to stitch on. It differs in numbers – counts, on which the size of crosses or other stitching elements depends. The larger the canvas number, the smaller the crosses. The thickness of the threads also depends on the count: for example, on the 14th count, you can embroider in two threads, and on the smaller 18th – in one. For woolen and cotton threads, choose a different canvas.
The needle is the main tool of the embroiderer. An indicator of the quality of a stitching needle is the appearance and material from which it is made. Needles with a long eye, rounded end are considered the best. Recently, chrome-plated needles coated with platinum or gold have been popular. However, experienced craftswomen prefer to work with their own favorite needle, regardless of the presence of this tool in the kit.
Readability of the circuit and comprehensibility of instructions
The readability of the scheme and clear instructions affect the success of the stitching process. Manufacturers provide buyers with different types of schemes:
- Black and white
Beginners love to use coloured schemes, because there are just a few shades and simple patterns. It is more expedient to use black and white or symbolic designations in more complex multi-colour compositions. For large embroideries, it is appropriate to choose kits with schemes, divided into fragments, shown on separate sheets. However, this is an individual matter, embroiderers prefer the type of pattern that is comfortable to work with.
The instructions contain a step-by-step description of the stitching process. Sometimes the manufacturer supplies it with photographs or illustrations. The more detailed the instruction, the easier and faster the work on the embroidery goes.
The level of complexity of stitching is chosen by the craftswomen based on personal experience. Some modern kits use special difficulty indicators. They are usually designated by symbols on a scale from one to five.
The simplest embroidery is distinguished by its small size, the absence of small complex elements, and a minimum of shades.
In kits of medium complexity, there are more colours, and small details are present. A combination of two different techniques is possible.
The most difficult patterns require a high level of craftsmanship. They are distinguished by their impressive size, a huge number of shades and small details. In such embroidery, various techniques are combined and auxiliary decorative elements are always present, such as:
- counting cross;
- mixed cross;
- printed cross;
- french knot.
These elements will allow you to get beautiful embroidery with an original, complex, multi-coloured and a realistic image.
The characteristics are indicated on the packaging. It is advisable to read with them before buying. There you can find information about:
- the size of the finished work;
- number of colours;
- type of canvas and threads;
Modern cross stitching kits are divided into portraits, icons, flora and fauna, life events, landscapes. Plots of fairy tales, horoscopes, paintings by famous artists are popular. This is just a small part of the rich design choice, which depends on the preferences of the embroiderer.
The size range is striking in its variety: small pictures, medium works and huge canvases give freedom of choice. The main thing is that the size of the future embroidery should look appropriate in the room where it is supposed to be placed.
It is advisable to pay attention to the technique indicated on the package. Manufacturers sometimes produce kits of the same design for different techniques.
An important characteristic is the number of colours used. For experienced craftswomen, this does not matter, but for novice embroiderers, it is better to choose sets with fewer shades.
The brand is often the main characteristic of a purchase. This is a reasonable decision, since the popularity of the models and the comfort of stitching is largely ensured by the name of the manufacturer. For example, the CraftOnline catalogue contains modern cross stitching kits from more than 700 brands, so you can find the best one.
When deciding which set is better to buy, many needlewomen proceed from the price. In this matter, it is important to find a middle ground. Cheap sets may not include the necessary materials or a diagram, then you will have to buy these things separately. It is better to choose kits of well-known brands with proven quality, but the price should be acceptable, despite the popularity.
A quality modern cross stitching kit will become a real helper in your work. And the finished products can be left in the hoop, decorated in ready-made frames or taken to the baguette workshop, where a professional will arrange your work in a frame with clasps. Any option looks great and will be a wonderful interior decoration.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.