Embroidery vs. Cross Stitch - What You Should Know


Hand embroidery, machine embroidery, and cross-stitch are all forms of embroidery, but each have their best uses, and require different skills to master.

Whether you're just starting to embroider, or are looking to hone your skills, learning the difference between the different types of embroidery can help open doors of creativity all around.

Depending on the tools and skills you have, as well as the type of project you're working on, will determine which embroidery method is best.

Here's everything you need to know about embroidery vs. cross stitch.

Hand vs. Machine Embroidery

While cross stitch is a type of embroidery, it is stylistically much different than hand and machine embroidery. With hand and machine embroidery, you stitch onto a fabric, following a smooth and streamlined pattern.

With an embroidery machine, for the most part, you're bound to a computerized design template and a set amount of stitches. Embroidery machines are often used to stitch patterns onto clothing and are very common for things like promotional materials.

For this reason, nearly all commercial applications for embroidery are fulfilled by an embroidery machine.

Hand embroidery is more art than business. With hand embroidery, you can stitch a design on anything you want, and aren't bound by a template, or a set style of stitches. You can make anything you want, on anything you want.

The biggest drawback of hand embroidery is the skill needed. Most people don't become great at hand embroidery overnight. It is a learned skill and takes time to master.

However, because of the love that goes into a hand-embroidered item, they tend to make great gifts for things like baby showers and weddings.

Related Content: Best Commercial Embroidery Machine

So, Do You Really Need an Embroidery Machine?

If you're doing commercial work, yes, an embroidery machine is absolutely necessary. If embroidery is simply a hobby, and you want to get creative, absolutely not! Hand embroidery is much more versatile and allows you to embroider items that a machine couldn't.

With that being said, an embroidery machine will almost always provide a more perfect product and will embroider significantly faster.

Whether or not you need an embroidery machine for your project is up to you, and what you're trying to do.

What You Should Know About Cross Stitch

As we mentioned before, cross stitch is a form of embroidery. However, as its name suggests, cross-stitching involves stitching Xs to create a design. This often results in a more pixelated design but can be great for specific art styles, and for stitching text.

There are two types of cross-stitching, stamped and counted. With stamped cross stitch, a pattern is pressed into the fabric and the embroiderer uses this to create the design. To cross stitch using the counted method, the embroiderer counts stitches from the center of the fabric to create the design.

What You Need To Cross Stitch

Cross stitching is a relatively easy and cheap hobby to pick up. All you need is embroidery floss, a hoop, and fabric to embroider on. The stitches involved are easy for beginners to master as well since they are all consistent X shapes.

If you want to do more complex patterns, using the stamped cross stitch method is recommended because it makes the overall process easier and leaves less room for error.

Choosing The Best Type of Embroidery For Your Project

There are limitless possibilities with what you can do with different types of embroidery. Depending on what you have on hand and what you're trying to accomplish will determine which is best for you.

Which type of embroidery is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!

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