Stitchqueries: How Many Strands?

This question from Amy made me so happy, because I love it when stitchers try new things!

This is my first time stitching a project that isn’t from a kit, it’s also my first time using an evenweave fabric (28 count). The sampler pattern I’m using doesn’t specify how many strands of floss to use and I’m a little nervous about starting. How many strands do you recommend?

First of all, I just want to say YAYYYYYYY ~ seriously happy for you stepping out of the aida and kit comfort zone to try a new format, that’s awesome, I think you’re going to enjoy it.


So the number of strands generally depends on how much coverage you want from each stitch.

  • 1 strand gives thin coverage and can sometimes be used for minor fill details, like the sky or a background.
  • 2 strands seems to be the go-to number of strands for basic average coverage on most fabric counts.
  • 3 strands is for very full coverage and sometimes used to make things stand off the fabric more.
  • 4 strands is sometimes used in stamped cross stitch and on larger count fabrics where the X is a lot bigger and has more fabric to cover.

All that being said, you can use as many strands as you’d like. There is no right or wrong.

You could test a few stitches in a part of the fabric you won’t be using, a corner or an edge, just to see how you like the coverage of each number of strands you’re considering. Usually 2 strands provides a decent coverage and it seems to be “the standard” use in most projects.

I hope that helps and I look forward to hearing about your sampler stitching progress! 🙂

Happy Stitching

About Loretta

Passionate stitcher. Mom of four amazing young men. Wife to a comic book geek who makes me smile every day. Transcriptionist by trade. Gluten-free by necessity. Writer at heart. Seeker of knowledge and reader of novels. Dreamer of big colorful creative dreams.


  1. Harriett says:

    This is my first attempt at evenweave fabric stitching and these “old eyes” are having a difficult time. Do you have any recommendations for magnifiers?

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