Needlepoint is a type of counted thread embroidery where the yarn is stitched through open weave canvas. In most cases the needlepoint designs that you are likely to see shall be those that cover the entire fabric to create a wholesome look. While there are various stitches that can be used in needlepoint embroidery, the one that is most common is tent stitch. The patterns are created by using different colors to make the differentiations.
The extent to which the needlepoint shall look delicate or not depends on the underlying fabric that is being used and the number of strands that you will need to take to fill up the area. A smaller number of strands will allow you to make the picture that you are creating appear more delicate and pretty. A sub category of needlepoint is petit point which is basically needlepoint that is done on fine canvas. Since needlepoint is almost always stiff it is best used in wall hangings, pillows, upholstery, purses, eye glass cases, mobile cases and the borders of linen.
Ancient Egyptians are credited with the use of needlepoint for the first time. These people used slanted stitches to sew up canvas tents. This craft was also very popular in the 16th century where tent stitch was used on canvas. Furniture upholstery that had needlepoint became extremely popular in the 17th century and from here the innovations in needlepoint continued.
The threads that are used today for needlepoint include wool, silk, cotton and other blends of the same. Sometimes metallic cords, metallic braids, ribbon and raffia are also used. The tent stitch can be created as basketweave, continental or half cross. The size of the canvas that is used in needlepoint is available in various sizes. The size starts from 5 threads per inch to 24 threads per inch and the most popular sizes are between 10 and 18 threads per inch.
The canvasses available in the market are also varied and include mono canvas, Penelope canvas, interlock mono canvas, rug and plastic canvas. While doing the work the canvas needs to be put in a frame or a hoop to ensure that the canvas stays stretched. Some of the needlepoint stitches that you can use in your projects include arraiolos stitch, brick stitch, cross stitch, encroaching upright gobelin stitch, gobelin stitch, Hungarian ground stitch, Hungarian point stitch, mosaic stitch, old florentine stitch, parisian stitch, random long stitch, smyrna stitch, tent stitches (Basketweave, Continental and Half cross) and whipped flower stitch. Each of these can be created in different styles and can be mixed and matches to create different types of effects.
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