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Embroidery vs. Cross Stitch – What’s the Difference?

When it comes to embroidery and cross-stitch, what is the difference? How do I know this is a good question? So many different types of needlecrafts make it hard to figure out what things are. Here are some things about both of them that show how different they are.

Cross Stitch

There are many types of counted needlework, and cross stitch is one. It’s a type of embroidery. A stiff fabric with holes called Aida is usually used for this kind of needlework because it’s easy to see where the threads go through. In a way, it’s like graph paper made out of cloth.

There are strands of cotton embroidery thread that are best to use for cross-stitch. In this type of needlework, only two of the six strands are used, which gives it a very flat and clean finish.


The cross-stitch, the half stitch, and the backstitch are the stitches that are used the most. Each square of fabric has a little “x” on it because of cross stitch.


It’s common to follow a pattern that shows you how many “squares” or cross stitches to do of each color in order to make the pattern. Charted designs and hot iron transfers are the two most common types of patterns.

Charted designs are the most common these days, and they work best when used with Aida, which has a natural grid to it like that. There is no need to transfer the design to the fabric because the grid lines on the fabric can be counted and stitched in the same way that the chart is written.

They can be used on fabric that is more solid or tightly woven, and they can be ironed on right away. Many vintage pillowcases, tea towels, and other linens have this kind of pattern on them.


Cross-stitch is usually done on a flat surface, unlike hand embroidery, which usually has a little more dimension and texture to it. You don’t really mix colours together when you cross-stitch, but you can try. Different shades of the same colour are used next to each other to make a colour gradient. This makes the colours blend together.


People use the word “embroidery” to describe any kind of decoration sewn onto a piece of cloth. However, when people talk about hand embroidery, they usually mean needlework that is done on top of the fabric in a freeform way (aka surface embroidery).


You can follow a pattern with this type of embroidery, but it doesn’t have to be counted to finish the design. In order to finish an embroidery, you usually transfer the design to a piece of fabric and then fill it in with different types of stitching.

Embroidery Stitches

There are a lot of different stitches and knots that you can use. Some of the most common stitches are backstitch, satin stitch, french knot, herringbone stitch, lazy daisy, and so on.

Suppose you want to design your embroidery art. In that case, the first thing you need is a vector file format that can convert your artwork into a needlework design.

Techniques and Appearance

When you do surface embroidery, it can look more three-dimensional and textured than when you do cross-stitch. If, for example, you make a herringbone stitch, a cast-on stitch, or pinwheel rose, these stitches are more 3-D. Each stitch looks different. Many look like flowers and leaves, and some look like rope or chains.

To “thread paint,” or blend colors together, hand embroidery is the best way to get the job done. A series of long and short stitches helps to blend the colors together, and when it’s done right, it can look like it came from the real world.

Is embroidery harder than cross stitch?

I wouldn’t say that one of these two needle arts is more complicated than the other because both are very difficult. Neither one of them is better than the other, and I wouldn’t compare them.

It’s possible to learn a lot of different kinds of stitches when you learn surface embroidery. Some of them are very beautiful but a little hard to understand. If this scares you, don’t be afraid! It’s easy to learn a lot of stitches because they are simple. You don’t need to know a lot of stitches to make a piece of art, like embroidery.

Making a detailed cross-stitch picture can be more difficult to plan. However, there are many pre-made patterns and charts available, so you don’t have to create your own. Cross-stitching takes longer because you can’t cover as much ground. Starting with only a few stitches is good news. Many people enjoy cross-stitching because it is relaxing.

related blog: 

Top 5 Different Types Of Embroidery Stitches- you must know.