MEARNSCRAFT FAQs
(Frequently Asked Questions)

Music Controller:   

Please note that all questions and answers relating to kit contents, material, etc, relate only to Mearnscraft kits.

Now that we also stock kits from other manufacturers we've tried to ensure that details as to their kit contents, etc., appear on their own pages on this site. If you're in doubt, or would like further information regarding any kit, please ask us!

What's in a Mearnscraft kit?Do you use good quality materials?

I see that some of your designs use over 30 different shades of thread!  How on earth am I going to sort them all out before I start stitching?

What type of material is supplied with your kits?

Why do you use evenweave? I usually stitch on Aida - isn't evenweave much more difficult?

I'm still not convinced - can I please have Aida?

I don't really want a full kit - can I just buy the charts?

What's in a Chartpack?

If I buy a kit, do I need a chartpack as well?

Should I use a frame or a hoop when stitching your kits?

Are your maps accurate?

How about landscape features?

What else is on them?

Can I customise them?

What if I get stuck?

What if I run out of threads?

What if the dog eats my threads?

I live abroad, but my ancestors came from Scotland. How can I find out which map is appropriate for my family name?

How do I pay for goods I buy from you?

How do I use the Shopping Basket?

After returning to your site, how do I get back to the Check-out?

How long will it take for my order to reach me?

Do you give any Warranties or Guarantees?

What if I've got a complaint?

Will you keep my details private?

I see that your prices are in British pounds. How do I know how much that is in dollars?

What are your carriage charges?

I don't live in Britain - will I be charged any Customs dues?


What's in a Mearnscraft kit?
A generously cut piece of material, Anchor stranded cottons (floss) ready sorted on an organiser, a needle, full instructions, and clear, detailed charts. On the front sheet there's a full colour picture of the finished design. Some of the kits include historical notes.

Do you use good quality materials?
Yes. Threads (floss) are by Anchor, although we also use some Madeira cottons and metallics in the Millennium sampler. The needles are usually gold-plated.

I see that some of your designs use over 30 different shades of thread!  How on earth am I going to sort them all out before I start stitching?
You won't have to.  In the vast majority of our kits, even the smallest, the threads come ready sorted on an organiser. In the larger kits, some threads may be supplied in skeins.

What type of material is supplied with your kits?
Most Mearnscraft kits are supplied with 27-count Linda cotton evenweave. There are however a number of exceptions including the Hamish Haggis kits which come with 14-count Aida, and Nessie, who comes with 11-count Aida.  Clan Crest kits come with a choice of Aida or evenweave, while MacPherson Design kits come with Aida only.

Why do you use evenweave? I usually stitch on Aida - isn't evenweave much more difficult?
Most of our map kits use quite a lot of fractional stitches and evenweave is much easier for these - there's always a hole to put your needle through!  Also, the fine writing is often over one thread of the evenweave material and would be difficult to do neatly on Aida.  Finally, we prefer the finished look of evenweave for our maps - try it and we think you will too.

I'm still not convinced - can I please have Aida?
Yes - when you place your order, send us a separate e-mail asking us to substitute Aida (14-count) for the evenweave and we'll do so - the price is the same. But we do urge you to try evenweave - many of our customers who have done so have been so pleased by the results that they hardly ever use Aida now.

I don't really want a full kit - can I just buy the charts?
In many cases, yes - almost all the larger Mearnscraft designs are available as both kits and chartpacks.

What's in a Chartpack?
All the charts that you'd get in a kit, including enlarged charts illustrating fine detail and historical notes where appropriate. Additionally, you'll get the Mearnscraft Stitching Guide and an Anchor/DMC conversion chart so that you can use DMC threads if you prefer. As with the kits, there will of course be a colour picture of the completed design on the frontsheet of the pack. You won't get the material, threads, or needle, or the detailed instructions that come with a kit.

If I buy a kit, do I need a chartpack as well?
No. Each kit includes a full set of charts plus detailed instructions.

Should I use a frame or a hoop when stitching your kits?
For the larger kits we'd strongly recommend that you use a frame. A hoop, however, should be fine for the smaller kits, eg Hamish Haggis.

Are your maps accurate?
Yes - a lot of research goes into them. For example, we don't design any new map kit without first visiting the relevant area and taking photos of all buildings that we think might be suitable for the design (space restrictions mean that not all will eventually go on). As a result, even the colours of the buildings should be pretty accurate, although it's surprising how these can differ dependant on weather conditions.

How about landscape features?
Again, these are portrayed as accurately as we can within the limitations of space and the material. We show sandy beaches, lochs, rivers, forests & woods (we differentiate between deciduous and coniferous woodlands), and mountains/hills (the bigger they are in reality, the bigger they are on the map).

What else is on them?
Lots of place names, a compass, and, where appropriate, lighthouses, puffers, fishing boats, ferries (even they're accurately portrayed) and yachts. Oh, and our county maps include the old county coat of arms.

Can I customise them?
Yes. Included with the charts is a full alphabet so that you can add your signature. You'll also be able to add the name of your or your ancestors own village (assuming its not already there) and some of our customers put their own or their families houses on them.

What if I get stuck?
Contact us by phone, letter or e-mail. We'll be pleased to help.

What if I run out of threads?
Let us know and we'll send you some more.

What if the dog eats my threads?
As above - but we'd appreciate a contribution to postage.

I live abroad, but my ancestors came from Scotland. How can I find out which map is appropriate for my family name?
If you read the descriptions of all our county and island kits, you'll see that under each we list the more prominent family names associated with that area. Also, if your name is associated with one of the old Scottish clans, it's fairly easy to find out where that clan was traditionally based.  Otherwise, it's likely to be more difficult.  Most ordinary Scottish names (and don't forget that the most common surname in Scotland is Smith) don't have any genuine clan associations and few are associated with any particular part of the country. In such cases it's much better to try to find out where your particular ancestors actually came from - it's surprising how many sources there are on the internet that can help you get started on this.

How do I pay for goods I buy from you?
We use Paypal to process our on-line payments. If you are not a Paypal member, you can pay us through Paypal using your normal debit or credit card. If you are a Paypal member, you have the added option of paying us from your Paypal account. Alternatively, if you wish to order by post rather than on-line, we are happy to accept cheques drawn on UK clearing banks (made payable to M.D. Thorpe, not Mearnscraft!) and are also happy to have payments made direct into our Bank. We regret that we do not accept cheques drawn on foreign banks as the cost of transacting these often comes to more than the cost of the goods.

How do I use the Shopping Basket?
Under each design there's an "Add to Basket" button in the colours of the Scottish Saltire (two buttons if you've the choice of either kit or chart). Click on the appropriate button and you'll be taken to the Check-out, where what you've ordered will be listed. You've then got a choice - you can either return to the site, coming back to the Check-out to complete your order later, or you can proceed to complete the purchase. To do this, just follow the instructions.

After returning to your site, how do I get back to the Check-out?
Click on one of the many "View Basket" buttons (or order something more!)

How long will it take for my order to reach me?
Rather than holding stock, we make most of our kits up to order and cannot usually therefore despatch by return. However, provided that your payment is duly authorised, we aim to despatch orders within 14 days of receipt. Orders from Britain are sent by first class post, orders from outwith Britain are sent by Air-Mail. Currently it takes about four or five days for air-mail from Scotland to get to the USA, for example.

Do you give any Warranties or Guarantees?
Yes - see the "Policies" page on this site.

What if I've got a complaint?
We do our best to ensure that you won't have! However, we're only human and mistakes can occur. Please see our "Policies" page for details as to how you can contact us and as to how we deal with such occurrences.

Will you keep my details private?
Yes. We won't send you marketing material and we won't pass your details to anyone else. Again, our Privacy Policy is set out on our "Policies" page.

I see that your prices are in British pounds. How do I know how much that is in my country's currency?
You'll see a lot of "Currency Convertor" buttons on the site. Click on one of these and you'll be taken to a simple conversion calculator which deals with most of the world's currencies.

What are your carriage charges ?
UK sales: Carriage will be charged at £1.30 for one or two items and £1.74 for three or more items.
Europe: Carriage will be charged at £3.80 for one or two items and £5.15 for three or more items.
Rest of the World: Carriage will be charged at £5.05 for one or two items and £7.90 for three or more items.

I don't live in Britain - will I be charged any Customs dues?
We can't say for certain - different countries have different rules. So far as we know, however, none of our customers have ever had to pay Customs dues or taxes on the goods that we've sent to them - usually Customs can't be bothered with small-value items such as cross-stitch kits.

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Mearnscraft
87 Charleston Village, Forfar, Angus, Scotland.
Tel. (+44) (0)1307 840451

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