Waste Canvas

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A guide to the use of Waste Canvas


Waste Canvas is a grid of thread held together with a starch glue agent. It is used as a guide material for stitching on non evenweave type fabrics, so that you can stitch neatly and the correct size and then remove the waste canvas to leave neat work on the non even fabric.

You will need to use a crewel needle, a size nine for 14count canvas or a size three for 18 count canvas.

The centre of the canvas should be found either by counting or more easily by folding in half and then in half the other way. The centre should then be marked. This can be done by pencil mark or a tacking stitch.

You need then to attach the waste canvas to your fabric with a tack stitch all the way round. Next you can stitch your motif or design through the waste canvas and through the fabric beneath using the squares of the waste canvas as a guide for the cross stitch or embroidery stitched that you need. Be careful when you are stitching the design that you position your stitches carefully. This is important as the squares of the waste canvas are comparatively large and you should stitch through the middle of the hole for a regular sized stitch. Also make sure that the points of the crosses are touching as any gaps will look unsightly.

Once the motif has been fully stitched then the next stage is to remove the canvas.

As the canvas is only held together with a starch based glue, it can be unstuck by dampening or spraying the design area with water.

Firstly remove the tacks that you put in to hold the canvas in place and then dab or spray the area with the water. The moisture will dissolve the starch and allow you to pull out the canvas threads one at a time.

The threads are pulled out from under the stitches you have made and can be pulled by hand or with tweezers.
I would strongly recommend the magnified tweezers that can be found at the shop at;

Daylight products

If you find that you have stitched a bit tightly over a strand, then if you cut either side if the stitch then remove the canvas strand as normal.

Waste canvas can be found at the shop by clicking on the link below

Waste Canvas