You should finish the edges of the fabric you are working with prior to embroidering. This is especially important if you are working a very fraying cloth like aida.
Embroidery hoops and frames help to the fabric in right position and to keeping stitching tension even. If it is possible, choose a hoop that will be bigger than your design, this way you will be able to complete the x-stitch project without repositioning the frame over stitched work.
Don't forget to remove your embroidery hoop in between stitching sessions so that your aida fabric does not stretch.
Aim for a nice easy tension on your stitches. Don’t pull them so tight that they warp the fabric or leave them so loose that they gap. The stitches should lie flat against the fabric without pulling against it.
Embroidery needles used for cross-stitch are often called cross stitch needles or tapestry needles.
Cross stitch needles come in different sizes depending on thickness. Most commonly used size is 24. It is the best choice for stitching on 14-count aida.
A tapestry needle is a hand sewing needle with a blunt end and a large eye.
You don't need a sharp needle to use with an open weave like Aida.
The rounded tip of a tapestry needle is important because it helps to ensure you don't accidentally pierce the threads of the fabric.
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