The edges of cross stitch
fabric take alot of abuse while a project is being stitched. There are many ways to keep fabric from fraying while you stitch.
The easiest and most common method is to bind the edges with masking tape. Because tape leaves a residue that's almost impossible to remove, it should be trimmed away completely after stitching is finished. When working on projects from books, leaflets or charts
plan for your fabric to have a large enough margin around the stitched design so that the tape can be cut away.
There are some projects that you should just avoid using masking tape. If a project does not allow for a large enough margin to trim away the tape you can use a sewing machine to zigzag the edges. Hand sewing works also but is more time consuming.
Clothing, table linens, towels, baby bibs and other projects that will be washed on a regular basis when finished should be washed before any stitching is done to avoid shrinkage later. Stamped cross stitch
projects that have pre-printed ink that fades with washing should NOT be washed beforehand.