Many people use the term 14 count or 18 count in cross
stitch and this can be confusing if you don't know what it means.
So What does it mean?
Well the term comes from the fact that cross stitch
comes in two types.
Counted cross stitch and non counted cross stitch
Non counted cross stitch is where the
design is printed in coloured ink onto the Aida fabric and you just stitch
the colour of thread, where the colour of ink lies.
Counted cross stitch on the other hand,
is where you follow a pattern printed on paper, usually of symbols
representing the colour of stitch and you have to count the number of
stitches that you stitch to make sure you put them in the correct place on
the Aida fabric.
The term "count of fabric" comes from this, where you
count the number of stitches. This term has now been used to denote the
number of stitches in an inch of fabric.
Hence 14 count Aida means fabric that has 14 stitches
in an inches of the material.
18 count Aida, means fabric that has 18 stitches in an
inch of the material.
Sometimes this is written as 14#, or 14 count but they
all mean the same thing.
So the lower the number the larger the stitches.
10 count is a relatively large stitch for cross stitch
where as 28 count, (sometimes known as evenweave), is a very small stitch.
Another term often used is "hpi". such as 14hpi this
means exactly the same in terms of the density of the stitches, it just
stands for "holes per inch".