eZine Article #1: Choosing the Best Fabric/Color for Your Project

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Teri Diaz




Hand Painted Fabrics: Choosing The Best Fabric And Color For Your Project

By Teri Diaz

So you've decided to try a hand painted fabric for your next project. Great! Now comes the hard part, you think. How do you choose not only what color to use, but what type of fabric? It's not as hard as it seems.

There are many different types of cross stitch fabric. The fabrics that we'll discuss are Aida, Lugana, Belfast, and Cashel.

Aida is the most basic of cross stitch fabric. It is made of 100% cotton, and has visible holes. It is also quite thick and stiff. For beginners or those with vision problems, Aida may be the best fabric for you. Colors are richer and darker when hand painted on Aida. They also don't blend quite as well. Designs that incorporate stencils or other special effects will be more visible on Aida than on other fabrics.

Belfast and Cashel are similar in that they are both 100% linen. They vary in their count (holes) per inch: Belfast has 32, and Cashel has 28. They are more sheer than the other fabrics, yet are strong, and have not-so-visible holes. They are best for special projects and reproduction samplers, as they have a delicate look. Colors are much softer and muted when hand painted on linen, due to the fabric being porous. Stencils and other special effects may not be fully clear or visible.

Lugana is a cotton/rayon blend with a soft feel. it is thicker than the linen fabrics, and is a good choice if you're adding beads or embellishments. Colors are rich and vibrant when hand painted on Lugana. They also blend very well due to the thicker "hand" of the fabric, and stencils or special effects are visible and clear.

Now that you know about some of the more common types of cross stitch fabric, it's time to talk about choosing the best color or design to complement your project. Remember, your goal is to showcase your needlework, not to have it hidden or to take a back seat to the fabric, unless you want to, of course!

For multiple color samplers, simple and subtle is the way to go. A solid or multi-color muted design would work best. If it is a reproduction sampler, go with a parchment color for it to look the most authentic.

To make your fairy or angel designs look ethereal, go with either a nature scene, earthtone colors, or sky/night colors.

Either solid or blended sea colors would be great for your mermaid designs.

The sky is the limit for geometric designs! Play it safe and go with a solid color, or think outside the box and match your thread colors up to a bold multi-color design.

Also, think about the theme of your project. Is it seasonal? If so, try a fabric with autumn leaves, snowflakes, a grassy meadow, or surf and sand. Is it for a baby or child? A design with pastels or bold primary colors would be best.

Follow these guidelines and your project with hand painted fabric will be a success!

eZine Article #2: Making your XS Project a Work of Art

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