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Cross Stitch/Stitch Count


Hi Laura,

I'm planning on doing counted cross stitch and giving them as gifts.

The ones that I've chosen are either 16-count or 18-count.  I've recently seen other people finished products done in a smaller count, and they look delicate (you wouldn't know they were cross stitch unless you got close to it).  

If I do the 16 or 18 count with only one strand of floss will the finished picture look delicate?

Thank you,

Hi Nancy!

I personally think that the larger numbers of aida cloth like 16 and 18 count (the higher the number of fabric, the smaller the boxes/stitches will be) makes a more delicate look (as far as not being able to tell that it's even cross stitched).  I don't really like the look of large stitches, with the picture being made of obvious X's everywhere.

When I first started, I used 12 or 14 count.  However, over the years, I've moved up to 16 and 18, because it's just better-looking stitches in my opinion.  I really like using 18 count now.  I think it gives the delicate look that you're talking about.  I've never really used one strand of floss with 18 count (unless my pattern called for it).  If you go with 16 count, I would use 2 strands of floss just to make sure you get full coverage.  With 18 count, you could definitely just use 1 strand of floss, especially if you're wanting a delicate look.  I think 18 count with 1 strand will definitely give you the look you're wanting.

Good luck with your stitching!  Please let me know if you have any other questions.


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Laura R.


I can answer any questions regarding cross-stitch instruction, correct needle sizes, fabrics, tips on how to correct common problems/issues, and tips on helpful products.


I've been an avid cross-stitcher for almost 20 years. I've stitched on aida, evenweave linen, plastic canvas, towels, quilt squares, etc. I'll do my best to answer any question you have. I look forward to helping!

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