What is the difference between Aida, Evenweave (Lugana) & Linen?
These fabrics can all be used for cross stitch projects plus some of the Evenweave & Linen can also be used for embroidery designs. So what is the difference, and how do you know what one is right for YOUR project?
The answer really depends on what sort of fabric you like, and that only comes with experience & experimenting. If you always use Aida you will never know what Evenweave (often called Lugana) is like, so it is worth trying out the different sorts of fabric to see which you prefer.
Aida was originally developed and patented back in 1907 by a German company called Zweigart and although there are other
companies making similar products now-days, Zweigart Aida is still the best quality. Aida is made from 100% cotton and is an open-weave fabric. This means that the threads are evenly spaced with clear, easy to see holes so it is perfect for Cross Stitch designs. The fabric has been stiffened so that the threads do not move, which is important when it has such an open weave.
Aida is great for everyone from Beginner to Advanced level as it ranges from 6 count up to 20 count (see our blog on the 26th Nov 17 which explains the different counts), so there something to suit all skill levels. 14 count Aida is the most common fabric used in cross stitch kits plus in most designs and it comes in a wide range of colours.
Evenweave fabric has a grid layout with the threads in both directions being evenly spaced – hence the Evenweave name. This fabric is mainly used for Cross Stitch and the even nature of the fabric means that the
crosses end up being very neat and tidy. This gives a lovely crisp look to your finished work. Evenweave fabric is a lot softer than Aida and a lot of people prefer to work with it.
Check your pattern when using Evenweave as some patterns say to do stitched ‘over one thread’ and others say ‘over two threads’. What this refers to is how you do your crosses e.g. Stitching ‘over one thread’ is what you normally do on Aida. You are taking your needle up one hole then over one thread and down the next hole.
If you stitch the cross ‘over two threads’ you are skipping a hole so you cross two threads and then stitch into the next hole. The effect of this is that if you are using 28 count fabric & stitching over two threads, then the final design size is going to end up the same as if you were using 14 count fabric. This is because 14 is half of 28. I will explain this further in a future blog.
Linen fabric has been made from flax for centuries and it use to be very common in clothing and furnishings. Now-days it is used more exclusively and is seen as something special. It has an uneven natural look with some threads being thicker than others.
This look can really enhance a stitched design especially if some of the fabric is left unstitched around the design so that the fabric thread pattern can be seen. Like Evenweave it is often cross stitched over two threads but again, check your pattern’s instructions.
Choosing which fabric to use is part of the fun of doing a new project. It can be a bit challenging to try something that you have never done before, but it is always good to step outside your comfort zone now and then. We do have smaller pieces of fabric available if you just want to ‘give something a go’ so don’t feel that it will be expensive to try a different fabric. Please feel free to contact us if you want some advice about which fabric to use for your project. We are happy to help!