Counted versus Stamped Cross Stitch

While shopping for patterns, you may come across cross stitch kits described as counted versus stamped cross stitch for mainly kits. So what is really the difference between those two and which should you choose?


What’s the difference?

All cross stitch projects follow the same concept: each square will have a specific type of switch and floss color to cover it.

The main difference between counted and stamped cross stitch is that, in the latter’s case, the design is printed on the fabric itself and usually come in a kit accompanied by the design and instructions. What you have to do is look at the colors on the fabric, find the corresponding floss and stitch.

Once you’re done, washing the fabric will remove the stamped design and you will only be left with your stitched fabric.

For counted cross-stitch, whether it’s in a kit or not, the fabric is blank and you just follow the pattern.

Another important difference are the project types. If you’re using a blank fabric that you will end up transferring on a table cloth or a quilt, the process will be longer (regardless of whether your using Aida fabric or waste canvas) than on a fabric where you’re stitching directly on.


Is stamped cross stitch easier?

There are a lot of disagreements on this. For some people, counted cross stitch is much simpler. Count the number of stitches you have to do, pick up your thread and stitch accordingly. Another argument is that stamped cross stitch is boring as there’s not much effort to do compared to the small stitched on the regular 14 count fabric.

Personally, I’ve never done a stamped cross stitch project. One of the reasons I might go for one would be the pattern’s design if it was too appealing. However, I may in the long run end up using stamped projects if I suffer in the long run from eye strain.

Finally, if I someday have a child who wants to pick up stitching, I’d get them a stamped project to start with.

In summary,  stamped or counted, it’s still cross-stitch and I can’t choose a “team” in this case!

So there you go! Now you know the difference between the two.

4 thoughts on “Counted versus Stamped Cross Stitch

    1. Hi Betty,
      There is a software called PC Stitch ( that I own. It will allow you to upload a picture and will convert it to a cross-stitch pattern. You can define how many colors you want as well as the size. The more details, the larger the number of threads. You can also edit it to make it look even better. It is however not free and costs around 50$. But it’s a one time purchase so you can add as many pictures as you want or create your own patterns from scratch. There are several free options out there, but none that I found were as good with actual photographs.

  1. Is there any company that will take a photo of mine and make a stamped cross stitch pattern for me. I’ve never done counted before.

    1. Hi Brandi! You can actually do it yourself. There’s software you can buy (I personally use PC Stitch) that will allow you to import a picture and generate the pattern. You can specify the size, number of colors and so on and then generate the file to print and you’ll be ready to get started!

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