Full coverage cross stitch - what exactly is it?

Full coverage cross stitch - what exactly is it?

When you think about cross stitch what comes to your mind? Simple designs made up of visible spaced out X stitches? Monochrome samplers? Small images made up of a few colours in a wooden hoop? 

This is regular cross stitch where you typically stitch individual crosses onto the fabric, leaving small gaps or spaces between the crosses. This creates a design that's made up of individual, distinct stitches, with the fabric showing through and around the stitched elements. It often incorporates backstitch, partial stitches and French knots.


Full coverage, on the other hand, involves stitching each individual cross stitch so closely together that the fabric is completely covered with thread, leaving no gaps or spaces between the stitches. The clue is in the name! The result is a solid, uniform coverage of the fabric with the embroidery floss, giving a different look and feel to the finished project. It's much more like a print of an image than regular cross stitch.

Think of it like painting by numbers but with floss. Or recreating the pixels of an image with stitches. A full coverage pattern takes an image, breaks it down into its component colours and then you recreate it with lots and lots of little Xs.


Full coverage cross stitch can seem intimidating but it's one of the easiest crafts to pick up. You only need to know one stitch - the X - and you can make it even easier by sewing with a half or a 'tent' stitch - this \ or this /. That's it. All you need is this one stitch, some fabric and floss, and time because this isn't  generally a fast craft. How long it will take you to complete a full coverage pattern depends on lots of things but mainly on the stitch count. A lower stitch count means a smaller piece and therefore a faster finish.


Want to know more? Come find me on Instagram or check out the Facebook group - I'm always happy to point people in the right direction.


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