This is very beautiful fabric with a good feel in the hand. It is not stiff at all. The pattern is easy to see and the leaves and berries clearly delineated. I did not wash it prior to stitching on it. I think the colors could be a bit deeper. I put medium range colors on it and it worked fine, that is, the stitching showed up very nicely. It is a larger print so the design should not be too small or it will be dwarfed by the pattern of the fabric. I put words on it, "Merry Christmas" as I thought that would work best against the fabric. Do lay your floss on it before you commit to the colors. I recommend this fabric if you are looking for something different and elegant.