If you are a beginner stitcher prefer to use Aida cloth. Its weave forms clearly distinctive squares in the fabric, which eases the placing of stitches.
Another option is using waste canvas. It forms a grid for stitching which can be easily removed later.
Material Type: Aida Generic White
Sewing Count: 14/inch or 55/100mm
Design Size: 124 x 56 stitches
Sewn Design Size: 8.9 x 4 inches or 225 x 102 mm
Suggested Material Size: 14.8 x 9.9 inches or 375 x 252 mm
Stitch Style: Cross-stitch Using 2 strands
In cross-stitching correct tension is important. Having too strong or too loose of a tension can totally destroy the impression of your project. The threads should be flat against the fabric you are using, but not too tight, so that they are actually pulling the fabric in any way.
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