Embroidery vs. Cross Stitch: Understanding the Differences

Embroidery VS Cross Stitch


Embroidery and cross stitch are both popular needlework techniques that involve using a needle and thread to create decorative designs on fabric. While the two techniques may seem similar, there are actually some significant differences between them. If you’re new to needlework or just curious about the differences, read on to learn more!

Embroidery VS Cross Stitch


Embroidery is the process of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread. It’s a versatile technique that can be used to create a wide range of designs, from simple monograms to intricate floral patterns. Some popular types of embroidery include:

  • Crewel embroidery, which uses wool thread to create textured designs.
  • Counted thread embroidery, which uses pre-determined stitches to create geometric designs.
  • Stumpwork embroidery, which involves creating three-dimensional designs using wire, padding, and other materials in addition to thread.

Embroidery can be done on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, and even leather. It can also be used to decorate a wide range of items, such as clothing, bags, and home decor.

Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is a form of embroidery that involves making small “X” stitches to create a design. Unlike traditional embroidery, which can be done using a variety of stitches, cross stitch uses only one stitch. It’s often used to create intricate, detailed designs, such as samplers and portraits.

Some common types of cross stitch include:

  • Counted cross stitch, which involves following a chart or pattern to create the design.
  • Stamped cross stitch, which uses a pre-printed design on the fabric as a guide for stitching.
  • Blackwork embroidery, which is a type of counted thread embroidery that uses only black thread to create designs with a high contrast.

Cross stitch is typically done on even-weave fabric, such as Aida cloth or linen. It’s a popular technique for creating decorative items like samplers, framed pictures, and ornaments.

The Differences

So, what are the main differences between embroidery and cross stitch?

  • Stitch types: Embroidery uses a variety of stitches, while cross stitch uses only one stitch (the cross stitch).
  • Designs: Embroidery can be used to create a wide range of designs, while cross stitch is often used for detailed, intricate designs.
  • Fabric: Embroidery can be done on a variety of fabrics, while cross stitch is typically done on even-weave fabric.


Whether you prefer the versatility of embroidery or the detailed beauty of cross stitch, both techniques offer endless possibilities for creative expression.