Cross Stitch Kits are a good way to start your cross stitch hobby. They can provide you with everything you need for stitching beautiful items. But as with anything it is not just the kit that makes the stitched item, it's also the person who creates the finished product. So before buying a kit make sure that you are buying from a good source that will provide you with quality supplies. Here are some good buying tips.
After-Sale Service & Support: Because Cross Stitch Kits Are Hand Made It Is Very Important To Provide A Supportive Service While Your Stitch Kit Is Being Constructed. Please contact a Cross Stitch Kits supplier as soon as possible, as if the kit arrives and there is still no Stitching Sticks, no Stitching Gauge, or other Cross Stitch Hardware, check out the supplier for after-sales service and support, or send them a quick email saying that your kit needs some after-sales service. Most suppliers will say yes, or at least send you an email saying so. Please don't wait until your kit arrives and realize later that you need some extra help.
Needle-Pointing Tool: For some reason, a lot of manufacturers fail to mention this, but in fact, a very important part of Cross Stitch Kits is the needle and thread. Without the correct needles and thread, your kit will not be stitchable and your kit will not be a work of art. So check that the needles are made of the right materials and that they have been sharpened to the right degree, and then get yourself a quality needle-pointing tool. Please do not settle for just any needle-pointing tool, even one that claims it is a 'cross stitch machine'.
Aida Loops: The other thing that many Cross Stitch Kits fail to mention is that they often use Aida and double-sided tape to stitch the Aida. This is OK, except that many Aida threads are prone to stretching when placed under too much tension; and in Cross Stitch, the Aida is actually a very fragile material. If the needle or the thread is 'too tight' then the Aida threads can break, or the backing of the Aida thread can suffer damage. Please check the specifications on the packaging, or ask the supplier if the product uses Aida and double-sided tape, and if so, how far apart the tapes are taped.
Light Effects Thread: This is another very important part of your kit. The quality of the light effects thread will affect the appearance of the stitching, and also how quickly it will heal. As well as the appearance of the stitching, the quality of the light effects thread will determine how easy it is to see the pattern - if it is too dark then it will be hard to see even small areas of the Aida. If the light effects thread is too light then it will be difficult to see even small lines.
Needle: This is one of the most vital pieces of kit you will buy. The needle should be a decent size for your particular project, depending on how intricate or detailed you want your Cross Stitch Kit to be. There are two main types of needles available; the round point needle and the tapering needle. Most Cross Stitch Kits include one needle, but it's advisable to have several different sizes, just in case one break, or because you suddenly find yourself with more materials than you started with.
Cross Stitch Sheets: These are what the finished product looks like - rows of loose threads attached to each other, with a backing that is made to look like a fabric. The threads are dyed a different color, and the backing is typically a mesh-like material that will allow you to see the stitches clearly. You will also receive a set of double-sided adhesive strips that you need to adhere the strands onto the backing. Cross stitch kits also come with a kit of basic tools, which are essential to get the job done effectively. These include a tapestry needle and a pair of scissors.
Techniques: Most Cross Stitch Kits come with a set of instructions, but it's worth buying additional books and videos to learn more specific techniques. The techniques taught in these additional books and videos will demonstrate how to achieve certain effects, such as embroidery, quilting, and lace. You may also be able to acquire additional skills by using these kits. For example, some beginners may wish to learn to create a paisley pattern, so buying a kit that includes a few pinks or purples will make it easier to identify stitches used in this technique.