In this post, I am sharing 5 tips and tricks for stitching on black aida.
You can listen to the episode from The Cross Stitch Podcast below or keep scrolling to read the blog post.
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If you have stitched on black or dark coloured aida before you will know it is not the same as stitching on white or lighter colours. It is much more tricky! But it can also look amazing when finished, particularly for patterns that are a night/space theme like my 2020 Galaxy Stitch-a-Long.
So let’s dive in.
5 tips for stitching on black Aida
1. Stitch on a higher count
If you’re stitching on black Aida then I recommend doing it on 16 count aida/32 count evenweave or higher if you can.
Your stitches will be more compact and closer together the higher the count you stitch on, meaning that when you are making your “X” you can see less of the black under your stitches coming through. This is particularly important with lighter colour thread on the dark Aida. If you stitch on 14 count a lot of the aida under the stitches will show through.
If you only have 14 count or that is what came in the kit you have bought then you can get around this issue by using extra threads instead. So instead of the usual 2 strands, you can use 3.
However, I personally don’t like stitching with more than 2 strands usually as it can make your stitches a little too bulky. This is personal preference though and if you want to try this then it is a good way to make sure your stitches are giving good coverage over your black aida.
2. Use lots of lights
Light, light and more light. You need good lighting to stitch on black Aida.
Put a light above or to the side of you when you are stitching and one underneath your Aida if you can.
So I usually just unlock my phone and put it on my knee and that gives a good bit of light underneath the aida too and it’s so much easier to see the holes. But you can also put a lamp on the floor or a reading light under the hoop, especially if the pattern you are following is on your phone.
3. Use a white towel
If you don’t have a light you can put underneath the aida, or you don’t want to sit with one on your knee, you can put a white towel or sheet or even a white T-shirt across your knee and the contrast of it against the black Aida will help you see your holes better.
4. Use a window
Another thing to do if you don’t have light and you’re stitching when it’s daytime is sit facing a window and hold your hoop/frame/aida up to it when you are stitching so the natural light outside hits the back of your aida to help you see your holes better.
If it is evening then you can do the same thing with the T.V.; sit facing it and hold your hoop up infront and use the T.V. for the light.
5. Put chalk on it
Mandy in the Facebook groupshared a tip which was to lightly dust chalk (preferably white) over the black aida before you start stitching and once you have finished it should just wash off.
The chalk will change the colour of your aida which should help you see your holes better as it will almost be like stitching on white aida.
Bonus tip – Practice
I hate saying this but it also needs saying. You will probably get frustrated when you first start stitching on black/dark coloured Aida because you can’t go quite as fast as you can on lighter colours, but just keep trying and take breaks if you need to.
I’m a huge fan of having 2 projects on the go at once so when you’re getting frustrated with the project using black aida, switch it over for a little bit until you’re ready to come back to it.
So that’s my 5 tips and tricks for stitching on black Aida, plus that bonus tip. And you might have noticed that they’re almost all related to light because that is the most important thing when stitching on black Aida. I have many other tips across my blog and on this podcast if you need any others (some of the links are below).
I would love to know if you have any extra tips for stitching on black aida? Let me know in the comments below.
Extra Cross Stitch Resources
- 15 Cross Stitch Hints and Tips
- 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Cross Stitching
- 6 Things to do Before You Start Stitching
- 3 Tips for Stitching With Variegated and Variations Thread