You may have heard of AliExpress. It is a little like Amazon and a little like Ebay. Essentially, it allows you to order items directly from Chinese manufactures at really low prices. You can find just about anything on AliExpress, including cross stitch kits.* So, several months ago (during my “free” month from Stitch from Stash), I decided to buy a couple of kits to see what they were like.
I picked up this Peacock cross stitch kit for only US$14.99. It is pre-printed on quite thick 11 count fabric and is a whopping 77×99 cm (33″x39″).
The fabric is huge and very well made. It doesn’t feel either too floppy or too stiff. The printing lines up almost perfectly with the holes, and it will disappear once the finished piece is washed.
As you can see, the floss gives good coverage, and the printing is very cleanly done. The holes themselves are smooth and the floss pulls through cleanly without any undue wear.
The booklet runs to several pages, is printed on glossy paper, and is very detailed. And get a load of those floss bundles.
Speaking of floss: look at what the kit comes with! It is all pre-sorted and ready to go. The large bundles are for the colours that are used the most. There is one stand of each of those colours on the floss holder so that you know which colour is which. Everything is pre-cut to generous lengths and labelled with DMC numbers as well as the numbers that correspond to the chart and fabric. I’m not sure if the floss actually is DMC, but it stitches very smoothly and feels a lot like DMC to me. Also, I checked with my colour card, and the colours seem true.
The colour key is printed on both the fabric (with the colours used in printing on the fabric) and the booklet (with the symbols used in the booklet). Both keys include the number where you can find the floss on the holders. All in all, it is a very well put together kit, and an absolute steal for just US$14.99.
Perhaps the only issue comes from the instructions being in Chinese. Thankfully, I have in-laws that can translate for me. The important parts say to use three strands for the cross stitches and 1 strand for back stitching. Other than that, what else do I need to know?
* There is a huge problem with copyright violations on AliExpress, as there is with many Chinese sites. I did not order any kits that were clearly in violation of copyright. But, it is also worth stating that U.S. and Canadian copyrights do not always extend to China, or many other countries for that matter. If you choose to order from AliExpress, be aware of issues surrounding copyrights and only purchase items you feel comfortable buying.