Aida The most common cross-stitch fabric, it is woven in such a manner to make every square even. Available in a variety of gauges from 6 through 18 count. There are a wide variety of styles, including regular Aida cloth, Hearthstone and Klostern. Some of the top manufacturers of Aida cloth are Zweigart, Charles Craft, and Wichelt.
Beadwork Some patterns, especially those depicting Native American scenes, use beadwork for embellishment. Small beads can also be used in place of French Knots. Mill Hill is perhaps one of the best known bead suppliers. For more detailed information please see the Tips Section about beadwork.
Bobbins Are small cards made of either cardboard or plastic used to store floss on. I prefer the plastic bobbins as they don't bend or get worn. When putting floss on to a bobbin, I cut the colour number off the label and affix it to the slotted side of the bobbin with clear tape. These bobbins are the perfect size to fit in floss organizers.
Bunka Brush a small prickly nap brush you can use on textured threads to make them fluffy.
Charms Small shapes usually made of brass added as an embellishment to your design. Many of the charts from Dimensions use charms for embellishment. The charms must be treated with a spray varnish prior to being added to your design to prevent tarnishing.
Counted Cross-stitch A form of needlework in which the stitcher sews X's on to fabric using different colours of embroidery floss, forming a variety of patterns, textures and pictures.
Danish Method When following this method of cross-stitching, you will stitch a bottom row of half cross-stitches, then go back along the row with the top half of the stitches.
English Method When following the English Method of cross-stitching, you will make each individual stitch before moving on to the next stitch
Embellishment is the adding of Beads, Metallics, Charms, or Textured Threads to your design.
Embroidery Floss this is 6 stranded thread used for stitching patterns. The strands are generally separated, with 3 strands being used for 11-count fabric and under, 2 strands for 12 count to about 22 count, and single strands for over 24 count. The pattern you are using will usually tell you how many strands to use. Other types of threads may also be referred to as floss, even though they really aren't. These include Silk, Metallics, and Textured Threads.
Evenweave Fabric This is the fabric you will sew your design on. It is available in a variety of gauges, from 8 up to 30+. The even weave of the fabric forms squares which the stitcher makes the X's over. The gauge of the fabric tells you how many stitches there are per inch. The higher the gauge, the smaller your stitches will be. Cross-stitch fabric is available in many textures, colours, and styles. Please see Fabrics in the Tips section for more information.
Fractional Stitch Is a ¾ ½ or ¼ cross-stitch. ¾ stitches are often used for rounding out curves, ½ stitches for partial filling of background areas, such as snow dunes, and ¼ stitches are sometimes used in eyes or other places to fill in a small area.
Fray Stop is a product which will stop the edges of your fabric from unraveling during stitching. Another use for Fray Stop is on the ends of metallic threads. Put a drop on the ends, wait for it to dry, and then thread your needle. Fray Stop is available at most sewing centres. It is washable, dry cleanable, and it does not stain.
Graph, also referred to as a chart or pattern; it is the guide a stitcher uses in completion of a project, following a coded system for each floss colour.
Gridding is using a basting stitch to sew 10 x 10 stitch grids on your fabric prior to stitching your design. While this adds a lot of preparation time, it is very useful when stitching on linens. If you do sew a grid, use a thread colour that is not in your pattern. It's not necessary to sew all the grid lines, you can have the grid show up every four stitches if you want, or just sew either the horizontal lines or the vertical lines.
Hardanger is a type of embroidery style from Norway, as well as a type of fabric.
Hoop or Frame embroidery hoops hold your fabric taut as you stitch your pattern. There are also Scroll Frames which are very popular. They hold your fabric like a scroll, and unlike the hoops, you don't need to remove the fabric when you are not stitching to keep from getting 'hoop marks.'
Japan Threads are metallic threads available in two tones of gold, silver, and copper. They give the appearance of real metals in your design. They will not tarnish, and are available in a variety of gauges. Kreinik is one of the major manufacturers of Japan Threads.
Lashing is the name used for slipstitches along the sides of your scroll frame. While they are not necessary, they lend an extra tautness to your fabric. When you need to move your fabric, just remove the stitching, scroll your fabric, and re-sew them along the edges.
Laying Tools these are basically any thin, rodlike tool you can use to make your threads lay flat. The laying tool is put across the fabric where you are stitching, the thread is made to lay flat and maintain a nice texture. The laying tool is held with your non-stitching hand, and is easiest to use when you are using a frame stand.
Linen A fine fabric, also referred to as evenweave, even though it's not always an evenweave. There are many types of Linen fabrics available, such as Irish, Dublin, Cork, and Belfast.
Metallic Threads There are many types of metallic threads on the market, generally for all types of projects. Those most commonly used by Cross-Stitchers include Japanese Gold, Braid, Blending Filaments, Madeira, and a variety of 'sparkly threads' available from companies such as DMC, Anchor, Caron Collection, and Kreinik. Kreinik is probably the most widely used brand of Japan Threads, Braid, and Blending Filaments. A wide variety of effects are possible with metallics and filaments, from adding sparkle to your snow scenes to adding a sparkle to a child's eye. Please see the Tips section for more information on sewing with Metallics.