This fabric is used to add designs to such items as sweatshirts, tote bags, and even T-shirts. Waste canvas comes in a range of gauges the same as regular Aida cloth, with blue threads running through it every 5 to 10 threads, making for easy counting.
Make sure that your design will fit in the area you want it to at the gauge you are using. Cut the waste canvas, leaving extra fabric around the edge of the design area, and find your centre. Baste the canvas on to your article-be sure to get it straight and the centre where it should be.
There are basically three ways to anchor your thread when starting a waste canvas design. You can bring your floss up from underneath, leaving a waste knot to secure under stitches, or you can do the opposite and leave the waste knot on the top of your design, just be sure that no tails are going to show. The third way is to knot your thread. This is permissible on waste canvas projects, as they are not going to be mounted against a board and framed. However you choose to anchor your threads, make sure they are very secure to endure many future washings.
After you have finished your design, use a spray bottle to wet the canvas with water. Dampening the canvas removes the starch binding the threads together. You then pull the canvas threads out one at a time-tweezers are very useful for this part.
Using waste canvas on articles of clothing is a nice way to personalize a commercially purchased item to give someone. While there are computerized embroidery/sewing machines capable of doing cross-stitch designs, it's just not the same. Taking the time to do something by hand makes a gift all the more special.