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All About Aida for Cross Stitch

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

All About Aida for Cross Stitch

People often first learn counted cross stitch on aida fabric as it lends naturally to the craft. AIDA FABRIC or AIDA CLOTH is an open, even-weave fabric traditionally used for cross-stitch embroidery. Aida fabric has natural openings between threads which is just perfect for cross stitching. When you start a new cross stitch project, Aida is your best friend! It has a natural stiffness that aids in supporting the uniform, equally spaced "X" shaped stitches.


Listed on each package of Aida fabric is a "count." This count number indicates how many cross stitches or squares are in each 1 inch of fabric. Aida comes in a variety of counts including 11, 14, 16 and 18. The larger the count = the smaller the stitches. The smaller the count = the larger the stitches. I know, I know, this seems totally backwards but follow me here for a second... Let me break it down. For example:

  • 11 count fabric will have 11 larger stitches per 1 inch.

  • 14 count fabric will have 14 medium stitches per 1 inch.

  • 18 count fabric will have 18 smaller stitches per 1 inch.

Are you seeing it? The stitches must be smaller to fit more X's in 1 inch of linear space... right? Woohoo! I'm glad you're still with me.

14 count fabric is the most common size used and is often included in kits. If you're new to cross stitch or beginner level, larger squares (or smaller counts) might be easier to stitch.


Also available for cross stitching are VINYL AIDA products that are usually available in 13 count. Because this product is vinyl rather than cotton, the edges don't unravel, therefore vinyl aida can be cut, folded or shaped without any edge-finish.

SOLUBLE AIDA and WASTE CANVAS are two other products that assist in cross stitching on any surface. For example, t-shirts, jeans, purses, etc. With either product, you simply cut to size and tack the product down on top of the fabric you wish to stitch on. Once you've finished stitching your project, soluble aida rinses away in soapy warm water. When using waste canvas, you can removed the threads of the canvas leaving your stitching perfectly intact.

DMC sells a product called MAGIC GUIDE AIDA that has even red grid lines on the fabric so you can easily follow patterns and designs. The red grid lines easily wash away with water once you've finished your project.


Did you love this blog post and want to save it for later? Here is an image perfect for pinning to your favorite Pinterest cross stitch board. Scroll your mouse over the image and click the red Pinterest "Save" icon OR just click on the photo and it'll take you right over to Pinterest. Don't forget to follow Amanda Brooke Designs while you're there. Thanks!

**This blog post contains contextual affiliate links. This means that when you click and make a purchase via a link I have provided, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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