A common question I hear a lot is if you can use Aida cloth for embroidery. The short answer is yes, you can use pretty much any fabric you want to embroider! However, it’s not always the most ideal fabric to work with and you should take a few things into consideration first.
What is Aida Fabric?
Aida fabric is traditionally used in cross stitch, which is a counted thread needlecraft. This fabric is stiff and has somewhat larger holes that make a grid-like surface. These qualities make it amazing for cross stitch because this type of needlecraft uses cross stitches to fill in an area or design. Additionally, the even weave of the fabric makes it so that all of the stitches will be even. The patterns for cross stitch are graph-like, showing you exactly how many squares to stitch to make a design.
Surface embroidery differs from cross stitch because it isn’t always worked on a graph-like surface and stitches are not usually counted. You could say this type of embroidery is a bit “looser”. I’m not going to go into depth about the differences here, but you can read more about the differences between cross stitch and embroidery.
Below are some things to take into account when deciding whether or not to use Aida cloth for embroidery.
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Reasons To Use Aida Fabric For Embroidery
- If you are doing a geometric design and you want your stitches to be as even as possible, this fabric would make that easier
- If you are following a cross stitch pattern
- When you are doing blackwork embroidery
Reasons Why Aida Fabric May Not Be Ideal Surface Embroidery
- The large holes in the fabric make it difficult to make your stitches smooth.
- These holes also make it hard to stitch more intricate and smaller details on the fabric.
- The large holes make it hard to stitch knots such as french knots or colonial knots
- This fabric is not as smooth as other fabrics such as cotton or linen, so drawing your design directly on the fabric can be a bit more challenging.
Aida fabric comes in different thread counts, so some fabric with lower thread counts (i.e. 14 count) will have larger, more visible holes. The larger thread count Aida can be harder to use for surface embroidery because of the larger holes. Aida fabric with a higher thread (22-28 count) count will have a smaller weave so the holes may be smaller in the fabric, which in turn may be easier to work with.
In conclusion, if you decide to try and embroider on aida I would say go with the higher thread count.
If you’re ready to learn about types of fabrics that will work well for embroidery check out How To Find The Best Fabrics For Hand Embroidery
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.