An introduction to Needlepoint

I would normally describe needlepoint as an embroidery technique worked on canvas, using a variety of fibers and stitches as I have done with my downloadable needlepoint patterns.

You might have also heard it called canvas work, long stitch, florentine work, bargello or tapestry (although real tapestries are woven - not stitched).

It is a practical needlework technique with which you can use to make all manner of household items such as the chair shown here from Arlington Court.

I will go into into more uses further down the page, but as a taster why not check out my freebies by clicking on the links below. They will open into a new tab or window, so that you can find your way back here easily.

Free patterns

So what supplies will you need?

Enjoyed those freebies? If you are interested in taking it further, let's look at what you will need.

Its actually a pretty short list of essentials, but then you can really go to town on colors and textures!

  • Canvas - in different mesh sizes
  • Tapestry needles - which are blunt with a big eye
  • Fibers of various types (including rayon)
  • Frame to hold the project taut while you work
  • Scissors - large for cutting canvas and small for snipping fiber ends
  • Laying tool - for helping you achieve smooth stitches (optional)

For your Book Shelf

Simple needlepoint stitches

What can you use it for?

Needlepoint creates attractive, hardwearing, useful items, that can become family heirlooms. Here is a quick list of some of uses it can be put to...




Book covers

Church kneelers

Cushions (pillows)

Chair covers

Dog collars

Doll house carpets

Door stops





Needlepoint Kits

Do you have a question about Needlepoint?

If you can't find the answer to a question about needlepoint then why not ask it here? Other visitors to the site might be able to help you.

Or perhaps you have a tip you wish to pass on. This section is for you to interact with other needlepointers, create you own page and help others.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

outline details for cross stitch 
I am stitching a counted cross stitch on plastic canvas. When completing outline details, do I do in and out of every hole or do I extend outline in longer …

Neils Handiwork 
I have been doing needlepoint for many years, at first I would do it on the cloth, but had so much trouble getting the completed cloth in the correct shape …

Do I need a needlepoint border 
I am an expat living in Nanjing China. I brought several pieces to finish. The piece I am working on is surrounded by a border. The last piece I …

using plastic canvas 
How do I needlepoint a Circle shaped Plastic Canvas. There does not seem to anything to show you the correct pattern to follow the circle format. HELP!!! …

I am a beginner in Needlepoint 
Hi, I have two questions. I am a real newbie in needlepoint, although I do know how to do the basic stitches. I found a pre-stamped kit which includes …

canvas count 
If using 3 threads of wool what is the canvas count..size of the hole?

Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start 
I'm a novice needlepointer and am so confused about how to follow a chart. I've done a lot of preparation and in all the books (except one) I've read …

framed needlework 
Can you possibly tell me how old this might be and exactlly what type of needlework it is. Thanks for any information. cheryl

Needlepoint questions from beginner Not rated yet
I am a novice needlepointer - who travels long distance frequently and likes to needlepoint on the flight. First - does on start at the top of a canvas …

To use a hoop or bigger scroll/laptop frame? Not rated yet
I am new to needlepoint and am starting on an Ehrman 16 x 16" pillow. What kind of frame do I need to use? I am confused as to whether I need to get …

enlarging needlepoint patterns Not rated yet
I love your charted needlepoint patterns , but would like them to be bigger than 3.6". Is there a way to enlarge the pattern? Your website is wonderful. …

Starting bargello Not rated yet
My mom did a lot of bargello needle work in the 70s and I cherish her colorful pillows. I want to try my hand at it. How do you recommend that I start …

How to Avoid Seeing the canvas through your work Not rated yet
I have just started needlepointing and I'm making a belt. For the most part, my canvas is covered....but I still can see some of the paint, from the design …

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