We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Difference Between Needlepoint and Embroidery?

By Christine Clukey
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Needlepoint and embroidery are interrelated. Embroidery encompasses any art which involves decorating fabrics with stitched designs; needlepoint consists of using a tent stitch, also known as a half cross stitch, to create designs on stiff mesh or open-weave fabric, typically canvas. Needlepoint, then, is a particular type of embroidery.

The history of needlepoint and embroidery reaches back to the ancient world. Fragments of embroidered items have been found in numerous areas, most notably Egypt and China. Basic stitches such as cross stitch, half cross stitch and satin stitch have been found on textiles that are more than 3,000 years old. From this, needlepoint and cross stitch can be considered some of the oldest forms of embroidery.

In the modern world, needlepoint has blossomed into a much-loved hobby and decorative art. There are a multitude of organizations and crafter's groups who freely share information and patterns. Books on needlepoint and embroidery are readily available at most book stores in the crafts section, and needlepoint patterns can also be found through magazines and online sources. Patterns come in many varieties and can be charted out or directly printed onto the ground fabric.

Needlepoint supplies and kits can be found online and at craft and fabric stores. Needlepoint kits are an excellent way for a beginner to learn the basics of the art of embroidery. These kits include a pattern, stitching and finishing instructions, the ground fabric and all supplies needed to complete the project. Unlike most other forms of embroidery, a hoop is not required for needlepoint. However, most crafters use some type of wooden frame to hold the canvas taut for ease of stitching. These frames can be found with needlepoint and embroidery supplies at craft stores.

The ground fabric most used for needlepoint is stiff, open-weave canvas, and it is available in a variety of weights. Heavier-weight canvas is excellent for items such as cushions or wall hangings; lighter weight canvas is more suited to pieces such as table runners and eyeglass cases. The stiffness of the required canvas makes this type of embroidery more suited to decorative items than garments, and it is rarely found on clothing.

The weight of the canvas determines the thickness of the embroidery thread or yarn that is used for a project. The basic concept of needlepoint is to stitch over the design area and completely cover it with thread or yarn. Thus, for a heavy-weight canvas with wide spacing between threads, a thicker yarn must be used to ensure that none of the background fabric can be seen. For lighter weight fabric, lighter weight threads and novelty items such as ribbon can be used.

Needlepoint creates a beautiful and durable work of embroidery art that can be enjoyed for many years. Individual touches can be added by using novelty threads and materials and by learning to create patterns. Needlepoint and its cousin, cross stitch, are types of embroidery that have been in use for most of recorded history, and have been employed by various cultures around the world.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.