Term of the Week: Aida


In this week’s Term of the Week we dive into the different types of fabric available to stitchers!

Aida (also called aida cloth and java canvas) is a type of even-weave fabric designed specifically for needlework such as cross-stitch and embroidery. It is a stiff material that softens as you work, which is ideal for stitching in hand, but a hoop or a frame can be used also.

All aida cloth is even-weave fabric, but not all even-weave fabric is aida cloth. It’s the most popular fabric for cross-stitch and comes in a variety of colors. It’s the fabric packaged in most kits.

Aida is often called a beginner’s fabric due to the perfect squares formed by the even-weave as well as the fabric’s natural stiffness. It is not good for fractional stitches due to its stiffness. In order to make fractional stitches (such as quarter and three quarter stitches) the stitcher has to “punch through” the fabric’s middle square.

More advanced stitchers prefer to use pure even-weave and/or even-weave linen rather than aida, especially for larger projects and projects with lots of fractional stitches. Some stitchers, however, prefer to use aida for all their stitching. Just like many other things in cross-stitch, it’s all a matter of preference!

By Wikipedia.it et Wikipedia.en (Wikipédia italien) via Wikimedia Commons

An example of Aida Cloth fabric.
By Wikipedia.it et Wikipedia.en (Wikipédia italien) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!