Preparing Your Fabric For Cross Stitch

When you are beginning a cross stitch project, it is
necessary to prepare your fabric in certain ways. Wait, let
me rephrase that…not necessary but optional and very helpful
later. There are just a couple of things that you may choose
to do to avoid aggravation later on in your project.

First, there is the issue of pre-washing your fabric. If you
have ever sewn anything you will know that when you begin a
sewing project, the first thing you do is wash your fabric.
This is sometimes recommended for your cross stitch fabric
also. I think most stitchers would agree that this is not
necessary. When you finish the project and wash it, it will
not shrink enough to cause a problem. On the other hand, if
you are using a darker colored fabric you may want to
pre-wash the fabric to prevent the dye from running after it
is stitched. I have never personally run into a problem but
I have heard stories of others that have and I would rather
be safe than sorry. It is very simple to set the color in
your fabric. Make a solution of one part vinegar to three
parts water. Soak the fabric in this solution for about 15
minutes and the rinse the fabric under cold water until the
water runs clear.

Second, there is the issue of your fabric unraveling while
you are stitching. I know many stitchers that don’t concern
themselves with this problem. I would suggest if you are not
going to worry about the fabric unraveling, then you need to
be very certain to cut your fabric large enough to allow for
this because it will happen. There are other solutions to
this problem though.

1. Masking Tape – You can tape around the edges of your
fabric. Again you will need to cut your fabric large enough
so that you can cut off the portion that was covered with
the tape when you have finished. The adhesive on the tape
will transfer to the fabric and over time can cause the
fabric to begin rotting. The benefit to this is more control
over how much fabric you will lose to unraveling or tape

2. Fray-check – This is a fabric stiffener that you can apply to the edges of your fabric. Unfortunately, I fear
that this will have the same effect as the adhesive in the
masking tape. I am always concerned that the chemicals in
these types of products will cause stains or rotting in the
fabric eventually.

3. Sewing – I have found the best
solution to be running a zig zag stitch along the edges of
the fabric. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can
fairly quickly even hand sew a quick hem around the edges to
prevent unraveling.

After getting these two issues out of the way, you are ready
to stitch. Hopefully this will help save you some of the
aggravations of learning cross stitch.

Happy Stitching!


Author: admin

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