How to Achieve the Perfect Backside of Your Cross-Stitch Piece
The perfect backside of a cross stitch piece is something that many cross stitchers worry about – we want the back to look as neat as the front with no lumps of knots and messy tangled up threads. We have prepared some tips for those looking to learn how to achieve the perfect cross-stitch backside. You can find more generic tips about cross stitching in this article.
You should cross-stitch in a convenient way. It doesn't matter, where you start, in a corner or in the center. If your piece of canvas is limited, then it is better to start from its center so that the stitching doesn’t lean to one side. If the canvas is pre-gridded, then you can start cross-stitching from a corner and it doesn't matter from which one – just make sure it is convenient for you. Although it is often recommended to start from the top to avoid rubbing the completed parts with your hand, it is up to you to choose the direction that works best for you.
It is important to secure the thread without making knots, at the same time hiding the ends of the thread in the front. Keep the stitches as close to each other as possible to make sure the ends of the threads are hidden behind the them. Using Aida 18 or Aida 16 (when cross-stitching with 2 strands of floss) is best to achieve a perfectly neat backside. On Aida 14, the spots where the thread was secured can be seen through and on Aida 22 those spots are visible as the stitches rise higher above the fabric. If the stitches are not close to each other and the canvas can be seen through the gaps, you’ll have to bury the ends of the thread in the backside.
All your stitches should be made in the same direction both on the front and on the back. The stitching direction itself doesn’t matter and can be either horizontal or vertical – just stick to the one that is convenient for you.
Another secret to the perfect cross-stitch backside is the double-sided cross stitch. This technique is often used for decorating curtains, towels, napkins, tablecloth and other items where both sides are on display. Such stitches can be quite difficult to make, but there are simple variations, for example, the classic double-sided cross-stitch. The main feature of this type of stitches is that the stitching looks identical on both the back and the front.
To make a double-sided cross-stitch, start by doing half cross-stitches missing out every other cross in the row. Then move in the opposite direction along the same row completing the first half of the missing crosses. Then, complete the second half of the crosses missing out every other one. And finally, complete the upper part of the missing crosses. If done correctly, the front and back stitches will look the same.
If you decided to challenge yourself with achieving the perfect cross-stitch backside, you should be prepared that it won’t be easy and your stitching speed will be significantly lower, especially at the very beginning. Start your new cross stitch project and select it from our extensive collection of unique & unusual cross stitch kits or download your free cross stitch pattern today.
Bear in mind that it is almost impossible to make the backside perfectly neat, for example, when stitching with thick acrylic threads, working on designs involving half cross-stitches and other types of stitches. Reversible stitches work best for tapestries and full-coverage cross-stitch pieces.
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