Stitch Embroidery

12 years ago

Stitch Embroidery
Stitch Embroidery

What’s the difference (if any) between embroidery/cross-stitch/tapestry/needlepoint?

I figure some of these might be sub-categories of another, but it’s all so confusing to me.
embroidery,cross-stitch, tapestry, and needlepoint

Embroidery involves working designs on cloth with laid or stitched threads. Any cloth may be used and any thread may be used.

Cross-stitch is a sub-category of embroidery. All cross-stitch embroidery creates designs using threads applied in crossed (x) stitches. There are two basic forms: cross-stitch using printed patterns and cross-stitch done on even-weave fabric. Generally, the fabric used is linen or cotton or a synthetic fiber that looks like linen or cotton. Generally, the floss used for the stitches is silk, cotton, or synthetic fiber with a gloss or sheen to it.

Crewel is a sub-category of embroidery that uses wool (or synthetic) yarn to apply (usually) traditional designs as decoration on linen or sometimes cotton fabric. Crewel was popular in the 1700s and enjoyed a revival in the 1960s-1980s in the US.

Needlepoint involves working a design in wool yarn or silk thread on open-weave canvas. When completed, the design and background completely fill the canvas that is used as a base. Completed needlepoint pieces may be used as pillow tops, as seat covers, as bell pulls or other wall hanging, or framed as a picture.

Plastic canvas needlepoint uses some of the same techniques as needlepoint, but the base is an open-mesh plastic. The yarn used may be wool or a wool blend, but is most often acrylic. Pieces completed in needlepoint on plastic canvas are most often used as coasters, tree ornaments, table decor (such as napkin rings), or other home decor (such as tissue box covers).

Tapestry is a heavy fabric with a design woven into it. The designs are usually complex, and may vary from a repetitious pattern on uphostery fabric to a scene woven into a wall hanging that covers a large–say 30′ x 14′–wall. Needlepoint on canvas was designed to simulate tapestry for furniture upholstery and other home-decoration fabrics.

Edited to add sources for further reading about the various forms of needlework:

the two most basic embroidery stitches

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