I love all kinds of needlework. Whether it’s embroidery, cross-stitch, sewing or other kinds of needlework. Needlework is anything that is stitched or sewn by hand. The needlework I’m going to be talking about in this post is needlepoint vs embroidery.
Both of these needle arts are beautiful and enjoyable. But, which one you choose is entirely up to you.
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Embroidery is more of a broader term than needlepoint. Because, embroidery is the art of decorating fabric with a needle and some sort of thread. So, if you want to be technical, that means that any kind of craft you do that involves using a needle is embroidery.
There is hand embroidery or machine embroidery. I don’t know that much about machine embroidery because I don’t have a embroidery machine or anything like that. But, I love hand embroidery, I actually prefer to do a lot of stuff by hand. I do use a sewing machine, but I like to stitch some parts of sewing by hand. But, the type of embroidery you do is up to you.
Speaking of hand embroidery, what do you think of when you think of embroidery. I know that a lot of the time I think of embroidered towels, tablecloths and handkerchiefs. Embroidery can be done on just about any fabric. The most commonly used fabric for embroidery is linen or cotton fabric. But, it can also be done on denim or silk fabric, I think an embroidered denim jacket would be pretty.
And there are many different stitches you can make in embroidery. A few types of stitches you’ll use in embroidery are the satin stitch, back-stitch, chain stitch, feather stitch, cross stitches and french knots. That’s just a few of the stitches you can use in embroidery, there are many more embroidery stitches you can use.
Okay, I’ve talked about the fabric and the stitches you use in embroidery. But, what about the thread you use. Most of the time you’ll use embroidery floss. And when you go to buy cotton floss make sure to buy a good brand. Cheaper thread will break easier and it will be harder to separate the stands of thread. And usually you won’t use all six strands at once but sometimes you will.
And you can use a embroidery hoop, or you can not use one, it’s what you prefer. I will say that using one does make it easier.
Needlepoint is actually a type of embroidery, and it’s also referred to as a type of canvas work. Needlepoint is a very old type of embroidery, it’s even said that it dates back ancient Egyptians. But, it is still popular today in modern times.
Needlepoint is a beautiful art, and you can make wall hangings and many other things
Needlepoint is kind of like cross stitching. But, needlepoint has a variety of stitches while cross stitch only has two main stitches. The cross x-shaped stitches and the half cross stitch. The most commonly used stitch in needlepoint is called tent stitches. A few more of the stitches are, the basketweave stitch, basic mosaic stitch, brick stitch, brighton stitch and the cashmere stitch. That’s just a few of the stitches in needlepoint, there are many more stitches you can do.
Needlepoint work is done on open-weave canvas fabric. You’ll need to buy needlepoint canvas, because it is made especially for needlepoint.
And did you know that you can use yarn for needlepoint. You can use just about any type of yarn, but wool yarn is the most popular. You can also use silk yarn and you can even use embroidery floss if you want and metallic threads.
The needles you use for needlepoint are tapestry needles, they have a large eye to fit the yarn through. They also have a blunt tip that’s makes them the best choice for the open-weave needlepoint fabric. When you go to buy tapestry needles make sure to buy a pack that has different sizes, so you have a variety of sizes for all different sizes of projects.
There are also many different needlepoint designs. And you can buy needlepoint kits, that’s probably the easiest way to start doing needlepoint. Because it give you all the materials for the finished product.
I talked about how in embroidery you don’t have to use a hoop, but you can if you want to. Well, in needlepoint you do not use a embroidery hoop. Because the hoop would just mess up your work and crush the stitches. But, you can get frames that will hold your fabric taut for easier stitching.
And you can also adapt cross stitch charts for needlepoint or plastic canvas.
What’s their differences
Even though needlepoint is a kind of embroidery there are a couple of key differences. To me the main difference between the two is the fabric you use. Embroidery is done on practically any piece of fabric, but mostly on linen. While needlepoint is done on needlepoint canvas fabric.
Also, the needles you’ll use. For needlepoint you’ll use a tapestry needle that has a blunt tip. And embroidery needles are kind of like regular sewing needle, except they have larger eyes for different threads and a sharp tip.
Needlepoint because it’s done on canvas fabric is more durable than embroidery.
Embroidery can be done by a machine, while needlepoint can only be done by hand.
And also the thread you use, needlepoint uses mostly yarn, while embroidery uses a variety of threads the most common thread is embroidery floss.
Which one do you choose?
That all depends on personal preference. If you’re like me you’ll enjoy doing any kind of needlework. I love any form of embroidery. My favorite is probably cross-stitch.
Both forms of embroidery have many decorative stitches. When I talked about needlepoint and embroidery above I just mentioned a few of each of their stitches. They both have more kinds of stitches for you to choose from.
Both needlepoint and embroidery are very enjoyable crafts. They can also both be relaxing. And I always look forward to my next project. A lot of the time I’ll have a couple of crafting projects started.
Like any craft both of these have different skill levels. You can do a simple design or a more complex design. You can find a design for any skill level.
Thank you for reading my post on needlepoint vs embroidery.
More of my craft posts
- DIY Needle Tatting (Easy Step-by-step Tutorial)
- Tutorial on Making a Split Ring in Needle Tatting
- The Best Glues for Felt Projects: My Top Glue Picks
- The Best Scissors and Other Tools for Cutting Felt
- Free Beaded Felt Heart Ornament Pattern