Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. The stitcher counts the threads on a piece of evenweave fabric (such as linen) in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance. This form of cross-stitch is also called counted cross-stitch in order to distinguish it from other forms of cross-stitch. Sometimes cross-stitch is done on designs printed on the fabric (stamped cross-stitch); the stitcher simply stitches over the printed pattern. Cross-stitch is also executed on easily countable fabric called aida cloth but the threads are not actually counted.
Fabrics used in cross-stitch include linen, aida, and mixed-content fabrics called 'evenweave' such as jobelan. All cross stitch fabrics are technically "evenweave," as it refers to the fact that the fabric is woven to make sure that there are the same number of threads in an inch both left to right and top to bottom (vertically and horizontally). Fabrics are categorized by threads per inch (referred to as 'count'), which can range from 11 to 40 count. Aida fabric has a lower count because it is made with two threads grouped together for ease of stitching. Cross stitch projects are worked from a gridded pattern and can be used on any count fabric, the count of the fabric determines the size of the finished stitching if the stitchers counts and stitches over 2 threads. The finished stitching size is reduced by half if the stitcher counts and stitches over one fabric thread. These methods are commonly referred to as "2 over 2" - i.e. 2 embroidery threads used to stitch over 2 fabric threads; and "1 over 1" - i.e. 1 embroidery thread used to stitch over 1 fabric thread. There are different methods of stitching a pattern, including the cross-country method where one colour is stitched at a time, or the parking method where one block of fabric is stitched at a time and the end of the thread is "parked" at the next point the same colour occurs in the pattern....LESS