Origin of Cross Stitch
Cross-stitch is a popular form of embroidery that uses X-shaped stitching in tiled patterns to form pictures. Cross-stitch has been a traditional sewing art in continental Europe for centuries and is one of the oldest forms of embroidery. Countries in Eastern and Northern Europe, such as Hungary and Germany, have particularly elaborate cross-stitching traditions, and many of these pictures created by cross-stitch are both colorful and intricate.
What’s Unique about Chinese Cross Stitch
While cross-stitch has been practiced in China for hundreds of years, it is only just becoming popular among average people. Luckily, cross-stitch is a fairly easy art to learn and there are many patterns available to help people sew amazing pictures by themselves.
Most cross-stitching is done on fairly thick, evenweave fabric called an aida cloth. Sometimes, cross-stitching is done over designs printed on the fabric, called stamped cross-stitch, but more commonly the stitcher counts the threads in both directions so that they are even, which is known as counted cross-stitch.
The scenes and styles of cross-stitches vary widely, especially depending on the tradition and background of the stitcher. Central European cross-stitching tends to show geometric patterns in one or two colors, and it is also not uncommon to see cross-stitch scenes that incorporate trees, birds, wildlife, flowers and other natural elements.
As cross-stitching has become more popular in China, Chinese-style cross-stitch patterns have been developed. These patterns include elements of Chinese culture that include many themes you might find in a traditional Chinese painting, such as Chinese characters and calligraphy, Chinese sayings, dragons, mythical scenes and gods, fans and elements of the Chinese zodiac, including traditional Chinese zodiac animals. Other common cross-stitch patterns may incorporate scenes of China, such as views of the Great Wall or other famous spots. Very often, Chinese cross-stitch patterns include a theme of luck or a blessing or good wish, as cross-stitches are likely to be hung in the home or given as gifts.
Chinese cross-stitch kits generally come with everything you need to get started cross-stitching, including an aida cloth, thread, needle and easy-to-read instructions. Cross-stitching is a wonderful and inexpensive way to create a handmade gift or decorative item for the home.