Embroidery VS Cross stitch | Difference between Stitches


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Embroidery VS Cross stitch

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Many of us don’t clearly understand a difference between cross stitch and embroidery stitch. This article helps you understand these differences, and after reading this, your confusion is clear about embroidery vs ... Read more

Many of us don’t clearly understand a difference between cross stitch and embroidery stitch. This article helps you understand these differences, and after reading this, your confusion is clear about embroidery vs cross stitch.

What is the difference between embroidery and cross stitch?

The main visible difference between embroidery VS Cross stitch is that cross-stitch forms with counted stitches are only made with X shape stitches. It’s only made on woven fabric with raised box surfaces on which you can make your design easily. You can make a cross-stitch on each box through counting the boxes and following the coloring chart on the pattern.

While embroidery is different from cross stitch because it has many variations in stitches, you don’t need any specific cloth for it. You can make your desired pattern on any fabric and use colors.

Another thing that helps you understand the difference is that the work we do with the help of a needle and thread on different fabrics is called embroidery.

Another side, cross stitch is a specific form of embroidery stitch which you can make with threads. Most people use cross stitch for making borders for their craft pieces.

Want to get the job done with more efficiency then try out some best embroidery machines reviewed by experts and great for your home business and custom designing.

Main objective:

As you know, we make embroidery on fabric for decorating it with beautiful patterns and attractive thread colors. You can make embroidery with hand or machine.

Cross stitch belongs to the embroidery technique in which you have to make only cross stitches to complete your desired pattern.

Difference Between Stitches:

You can make any stitch in embroidery according to your design and pattern. There are countless embroidery stitches that you can select for your embroidery.

You can make a cross-stitch in a cross shape, fractional, half cross-stitch, and backstitch. But you can change the size of the stitch, such as ½, ¼, or ¾, according to your design.

The Difference in Fabric:

Another big difference in cross stitch vs embroidery is the type of cloth on which you work.

You need a woven cloth or woven fabric containing visible holes for cross-stitch. Aida and Linen’s fabric is perfect for cross stitch because cross stitch needs to make on a specific pattern and the holes of the fabric provide convenience to count and easily make your desired pattern.

For embroidery, fabric choices are unlimited. You can make embroidery on silk, cotton, wool, Linen, or any other fabrics. Choose a fabric for embroidery according to your craft and style.

Difference Between Needles:

Like many other things, needles are also different for cross stitch and embroidery stitch.

If you don’t select the right needle for your project, you cannot get satisfactory results after completing the work. You must look for suitable needle size, tip, and eye for both cross and embroidery stitch. Select blunt and round tip needles for cross stitch. For embroidery, you must pick sharp tip needles that can go through all types of clothes during work.

Select a large needle for cross-stitch, and a small needle is suitable for embroidery.

Difference between threads of cross stitch vs embroidery:

Usually, both types of stitch can make with cotton strands. In the cotton strands, there are quite a lot different shades more than you can imagine. It will allow you to make your craft with any color of your choice with perfect shading.

The cotton strand contains six strands of thread altogether. You have to separate them when you decide to use them. You can combine multiple strands according to your required thickness of stitch. In cross stitching, you can select your design strands according to the given numbers in the chart.

Cross stitch is more effortless than embroidery:

Suppose you want to learn embroidery skills. You should start from cross stitch because this is very simple to make compared to other embroidery stitches. You can learn cross stitch quickly as it does not include complicated stitches. Instead, you must make cross shape stitches with follow the direction of your design patterns.

For embroidery, you have a little command over your stitch to get perfection in your work. That’s why cross stitch is more straightforward for beginners.

Differences in pattern transferring for cross stitch vs embroidery:

For cross-stitch, you must follow a pattern indicating how many cross stitch you should make with different colors. These patterns are available in chart form, or you can transfer them with a hot iron.

Chart paper patterns are more common because you don’t have to transfer them on cloth. Just follow the pattern and count the fabric grid and make cross stitch according to the chart.

A hot iron transfer is perfect for tight woven fabrics. Some clothes such as tea towels, pillow covers, and linens are suitable for using the iron transfer method.

For embroidery, multiple methods help you to transfer your desired pattern. You choose the way of transfer according to your fabric and type of embroidery. There are many ways, such as transfer through light or window, heat transfer, carbon paper, and transfer through soluble pens and markers.

The difference in Appearance:

The cross stitch looks flat on fabric compared to the embroidery stitch that appears in raised textures and broad dimensions.

In cross stitching, you don’t need to blend colors. Instead, you have to use a different shade of colors one by one that creates a perfect blending look.

In embroidery stitch, you have to blend colors on a pattern to make different stitches long or short. And the final look of your embroidery presents it as an actual-looking pattern.

Uses of cross stitch vs embroidery stitch:

You can make cross stitch for decorating your home accessories such as pillows, table covers, cushions, wall hangings, and more. But nowadays, cross stitches are often used in bookmarks, coasters, frame artworks, and any one-sided accessories.

Embroidery also provides style and attraction to a garment. You can make your outfits beautiful with different embroidery stitch. Embroidery is also used on different accessories such as bags, shoes, garments, and furniture.


You can make embroidery stitch through transfer a cross stitch pattern on a piece of fabric. But as you make it with other embroidery techniques, it does not look presentable as cross-stitch.

No, cross-stitch or another embroidery stitch never gets old-fashioned. Rather than, according to latest trends it gets more upgraded according to a new era. You can find various patterns of cross stitch online.

You can décor many accessories with cross stitches, such as pillows, table covers, mats, cushions, handbags, outfits, frames, and more.


I think now you have a detailed knowledge and know a clear difference between embroidery vs cross stitch. Both provide style and attraction to your craft. If you are interested in learning embroidery, choose one from them or try both techniques. As a beginner, choose the technique you can learn quickly without confusion.

Josh nixon

Josh Nixon is an acclaimed author and expert in sewing and sewing machines. With over 30 years of experience, beginning in his family's sewing shop, he's also a graduate of Parsons School of Design.

Josh's career encompasses working with top fashion houses and promoting sustainable garment production. His authoritative and best-selling books provide invaluable insights into the craft of sewing and the mechanics of sewing machines.

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