Many new stitchers wonder what the difference is between purchasing a cross stitch kit and purchasing the chart and supplies separately. Many cross stitch designs come in both kit and chart only forms. There are several things to consider for this popular stitcher’s dilemma.
1) Your personal preferences.
Fabric. Do you prefer a certain type of fabric? Would you rather stitch on linen than on aida? What about the color of fabric in the kit; do you want white fabric or colored fabric for your background? Would you rather purchase a hand-dyed fabric for this project?
Threads. Do you prefer a certain brand over another brand? Are all the colors of the brand you wish to use available to you easily for purchasing or will you have to hunt for missing colors required to stitch your project? Would you like to maybe substitute certain types of threads used in the project (i.e. … use an over dyed thread in a border instead of a solid color or replace a multi colored section with a variegated thread)
Beads. If any beads are used in the project are you comfortable using them or would you rather eliminate them and use Colonial Knots or French Knots instead? Brand is a preference for some for beads as well; some prefer the structure of one brand over another.
2) Size of the fabric.
Many stitchers have a very specific preference about how much fabric is left around the edge of the project for framing and finishing. Generally in the purchasing of a kit you will have somewhere between 1-3 inches of fabric around the border of the design, but this not guaranteed. If you have specific requirements that you or your framer are firmly decided upon it is likely best to buy your own fabric as opposed to using the fabric in a kit.
3) Amount of threads, beads and embellishments.
Another thing to consider is how much thread you use for a project. Kits contain a pre-measured amount of floss and beads. These amounts vary by brand and many a stitcher has found themselves running out of floss and having to write to the kit producer requesting more of a certain color or sometimes several colors. While some kits have more than enough supplies provided it is, again, never a guarantee that it will be enough for you personally to complete the project.
If you were to purchase your threads separately you can buy extra to begin with and not have to worry about thread dye lots being different. If by chance you do run out you will know the correct thread code numbers and can go to your local or online needlework supply shop to purchase more of that color without having to rely on the kit manufacturer to send you more of that color.
4) The type of chart received.
Generally a kitted version of a cross stitch chart will vary slightly from a chart only purchase. Chart only versions tend to have a heavy card stock cover or are printed completely on card stock or heavier paper that what you may receive in your cross stitch kit purchase. The chart in a kit may be of a lighter weight paper and tear more easily.
5) Would you like to stitch the design more than one time?
For example, if you have two children and would like to stitch the same design once for each of the children, it may be less expensive and more organized to purchase the chart & supplies separately than to purchase two cross stitch kits. This also allows the ability to use slightly differing fabrics for each to give them their own pizzazz even though they are the same design.
These are all just a few of the things to consider when debating between purchasing a kit and purchasing the chart and supplies separately. I hope it has given some insight to your decision and made things a little easier on you. Happy Stitching!