Learn to Cross Stitch: How to Choose the Right Cross Stitch Cloth - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Learn to Cross Stitch: How to Choose the Right Cross Stitch Cloth

Cross stitch cloth comes in a variety of colors, counts, and materials! In this next installment of our Learn to Cross Stitch Series we’re sharing how to choose the right cross stitch cloth. The cloth is for stitchers what a canvas is for painters. It’s the base of your masterpiece and you want to make sure you get the right one to set yourself up for success, so today we’re here to help!

Today we’re moving on from discussing floss to sharing everything you need to know about cross stitch fabric or cloth, and you can use the menu below to easily hop to any section.

What is Cloth Count?

Cloth count or gauge is the number of holes per inch that determines the size of your stitches. A higher count indicates a finer fabric with smaller squares or X’s, while a lower count will be a coarser fabric with larger squares. Understanding fabric count helps you choose a cloth that suits your pattern and stitching preference.

Click on the photos below to see the cloth types in more detail.

If you have some cross stitch fabric and can’t remember what count it is, you can use a Cross Stitch Key to determine its gauge. And we have a video showing how to check fabric count.

All About Aida

Aida fabric is one of the most popular choices among cross stitch enthusiasts, especially beginners. It is characterized by its distinct grid-like structure, which makes it easy to count and stitch. Aida is available in various counts, ranging from 6 to 22 squares per inch.

Kimberly stitched Love Forever Simply Stamps on Kimberly’s Light Pink 14 Count Aida by Fabric Flair.

For beginners, a 14-count Aida is often recommended due to its balance between ease of stitching and level of detail. The clear grid lines of Aida make it ideal for beginners, as it facilitates accurate stitching and counting. Additionally, it’s sturdy and holds its shape well, making it suitable for both small and large projects.

Everything Evenweave

Evenweave is a broader term, but usually refers to a certain type of fabric in the cross stitch community these days. Most commonly evenweave is used to refer to lugana or jobelan that are rayon and cotton blends. Evenweave cloths offers an alternative to Aida and is often found in 25, 28, and 32 counts.

Kimberly stitched her 2023 Temperature Cross Stitch on Cloud 25 Count Lugana Evenweave by Lori Holt for Zweigart.

The finer texture of Evenweave fabric allows for more intricate designs and finer detail in your stitching. With a higher thread count, it produces a more polished and professional-looking finished product. From delicate samplers to large-scale designs, Evenweave offers versatility and flexibility.

Let’s Talk Linen

Linen cloth is revered for its timeless elegance and natural texture, making it a popular choice among experienced stitchers. Linen boasts a distinctive texture and subtle sheen that adds a touch of luxury to your stitching projects. Its natural appearance compliments a wide range of design styles, from traditional to contemporary.

It’s also renowned for its durability and longevity, making it an excellent investment for long-term stitching projects. With proper care, linen can withstand the test of time and retain its beauty for years to come.

Next Up for Beginner Stitchers

This is only the start! From floss to finishing, we’re going to tackle it all. We hope you continue to join us for our Learn to Cross Stitch Series by subscribing to this blog. On the desktop, you’ll find the Subscribe sign up near the top of the right-hand menu area, and on the phone, it’s near the bottom of the page.

We’ll be sharing everything you need to know about cross stitching throughout this series the first Tuesday and third Thursday of every month, until we reach the end! Check back May 7 because next up we’ll be discussing stitching in hand and with hoops.

Drop a comment below and let us know… what questions do you have about stitching in hand? Do you have hoop questions?

Happy stitching!

Stay connected to Fat Quarter Shop!


  1. I would love to find sampler packs for purchase. I want to try ALL the fabrics but if I don’t like it, I don’t want a large piece leftover and waste it. Also, I have never stitched with anything but DMC.

  2. This is an excellent series! Thank you FQShop…you’re the best out here on ‘the net’ for all things to learn. If we ever stop learning, we die.

  3. I’m waiting to see what Lori Holt is going to do with the new natural wool floss. Did she give you any hints?

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