Basic rules of embroidery
The following simple rules will help you make sure your embroidery is neat and the process is easy and pleasurable:
1. Wash your hands every time you start embroidering. Doing so will make it much easier to prep a ready-made piece for decoration.
2. Before your begin, make sure the fringe of the canvas won’t crumble. If the canvas is stiff enough, you should be good to go. In case you are worried that the fringe might crumble, apply some water-soluble glue like PVA (polyvinyl acetate) on it. Another option is to border it with buttonhole stitch. You can read a separate article on the latter technique on our website.
3. Start embroidering from the center. The center of an embroidery pattern is on the intersection of triangles on the pattern. This spot is easy to locate – just fold the canvas in half horizontally and then vertically.
4. Do a markup of 10/10 cells using a marker specially crafted for fabric. When applying the markup, follow the marker manufacturer’s instruction. Use cold water only to wash off the marker traces afterwards.
5. Correlate the notation symbols with the thread codes in the organizer carefully. Please be advised that one- and two-thread stitches are sometimes made with the same color, whereas their notation symbols may be different!
6. If you are embroidering with two strands, it’s quite handy to fold one of them in half, thread it in your needle and fasten it on the canvas with a loop. If there’s an odd number of strands (one or three), then pass the working strand through several canvas threads and fasten it with a stitch.
7. The rule of thumb for cross stitch is to make sure the upper stitches lie in one direction. If stitches lie in different directions then even the same color will have different shades.
8. Pay attention to how tight the stitches are. If you astringe your stitches too tightly, especially the bottom ones, then the fabric will allow light through and the image may become skewed.
9. Make sure the underside of the piece looks neat. Transitions of more than 1 cm. are not acceptable as they astringe the image, tangle the threads on the underside and make you waste threads in general. Keep in mind that the embroidery kit includes extra 40% of threads, but this excess amount is insufficient for the so-called Cross Stitch Parking Method.
10. All the decorative seams should be embroidered in the end, after the cross stitch part has been completed.
11. Be sure to wash the piece before applying decors. Follow these rules:
- If you used a marker to apply the markup, wash off its traces with cold water;
- Add some liquid soap or washing powder to a washbowl filled with lukewarm water and stir it with your hands until foam appears;
- Put the piece of embroidery into the water and leave it there for about one hour. Don’t rub it. Instead, you can change the soapy water several times;
- If the piece is very dirty, consider stroking it very gently with your foamy hands;
- Rinse the piece in clean water, changing the water a couple of times.
Do not use bleach soap or powder, otherwise the threads may fade and your work will go down the drain.
Do not twist the piece – doing so may deform it.
12. Make sure you dry the piece of embroidery flat. You can put it on a towel. The canvas should assume a regular rectangular shape.
13. Iron the piece while it’s still a bit damp. If it’s dry, sprinkle some water on it using a sprayer. Iron it on a clean and soft surface. A white, terry cloth towel will do just fine. If the towel is colored, make sure it doesn't fade. Put the piece of embroidery upside down and iron it thoroughly in “cotton” mode, trying to give it regular shape. Povitrulya uses cotton fabric and cotton threads only for all kits.
That’s it! Your piece is ready for decor in a framing workshop.
Have a pleasurable pastime with Povitrulya!