Needlepoint is a craft that lets you make unique pieces with simple stitches. Whether you're new or experienced, this guide will help you improve your skills.
When starting, having the right supplies and learning basic stitches is crucial.
Needlepoint, or canvaswork, is a kind of embroidery that uses a stiff, grid-like fabric. This allows for even stitches. There are different mesh sizes and types of canvas to choose from, depending on the detail and texture you want.
You can use printed or hand-painted canvas or follow a graph or pattern on squared paper.
The basic supplies you'll need include:
Click on the buttons below to learn some basic needlepoint stitches. They will add texture and dimension to your designs.
When it comes to designs, the options are limitless. You can create pictures such as flowers or animals, geometric patterns or semi-abstract designs.
The complexity of needlepoint designs can range from this series of wall hangings at Wallington House in Northumberland to a simple pincushion.
Check out this list of things that you can needlepoint:
In the sixteenth century, needlework was important in the lives of both professional and amateur needleworkers.
One of the practical uses of needlepoint was the creation of cushions. These cushions provided comfort on the long, wooden benches that were the primary seating in households and public spaces.
You can find examples of canvaswork from this era on the V&A Museum website, such as this piece of flamestitch (bargello). Now we know this technique as Bargello or Florentine work, where vertical straight stitches create geometric patterns.
Cushions were not the only items that needlepointers crafted. They also worked on large tablecloths to cover the simple tables and cupboards standard in households. These table coverings served both practical and decorative purposes.
During the eighteenth century, the availability of woven fabrics for practical purposes expanded, allowing women to focus more on creating purely decorative pieces.
This led to the creating of intricate and ornamental articles such as firescreens, small pictures, and other decorative items.
One notable characteristic of this period was the increased realism and flowing forms in the designs.
Moving forward to Victorian times, a technique called Berlin wool work emerged. This method used printed charts to create intricate designs on various items.
The craftsmanship of many of these pieces is believed by today's textile restorers to lack the finesse and attention to detail seen in earlier works. Considering this historical context, it is fascinating to observe the fluctuating popularity of needlepoint throughout the centuries.
If you're ready to start your needlepoint journey, start by gathering the essential supplies and learning some basic stitches.
With the right materials and techniques, you can bring texture and dimension to your designs.
From bags and cushions to rugs and ornaments, the possibilities are endless for what you can create with needlepoint.
You may wish to explore the rich history of this timeless craft further and be inspired by the artistry and creativity of the past.
Get started today by downloading one of my free charts and discover the joy of needlepointing.