What is the Difference Between Needlepoint and Embroidery

Are you wondering what is the difference between needlepoint and embroidery?

The main difference between needlepoint and embroidery is the same as the difference between a square and a rectangle. Needlepoint is a specific form of embroidery that uses stiff, open weave canvas as its main template for use. Whereas embroidery is the art of threading through the material to create a picture or design.

There are many forms of needlecraft and embroidery is one of them, along with cross stitch, crochet and knitting. They are all made solely with the use of a needle .

If you are looking at taking up a new hobby and fancy some needlecraft you might be looking at needlepoint at a whole or embroidery specifically but you may not be entirely sure on what that entails and encompasses.

Here is a breakdown of each craft and the difference between the two.

What Is Needlepoint?

Needlepoint is a type of art that involves using a tapestry needle to create designs on canvas by using different colored threads. It uses counted thread embroidery techniques to create art, and the amount of thread in the fabric dictates the amount of detail and intricacy within the needlepoint art.

The more thread you use, and the wider the variety of colors, the more expertly designed the finished product will become. The most common type of stitch used in needlepoint work is called a tent stitch. The different colored yarns pave the way for how the design is organized and what the finished product will become.

Needlepoint art is often used to make baby blankets, coasters, pincushions, and a number of other crafty items. You can use needlepoint for personal items and use, gifts, decorations, and more!

The materials needed for needlepoint art include these:

  • Tapestry needles: This is your main tool for threading the canvas.
  • Open weave canvas: This is a stiff fabric with openings wide enough for the yarn to pass through and the main part of needlepoint on which you create your art.
  • Needlepoint yarns and threads of a variety of colours: These are the materials used to create the design. The thread can be made of different materials including cotton, silk, and ribbon.
  • Scissors: These are used for cutting yarn, thread, and canvas.Masking tape: This is used to cover the rough edges of the canvas.
  • Needlepoint frame: Used to stretch out the canvas out and hold it in its place
  • Markers: To outline the design you are trying to create
  • Thimble: You need to protect your fingers! The tapestry needles are very sharp to get through the stiff canvas, so you want to make sure you don’t prick yourself when it goes through the canvas.

What Is Embroidery?

Embroidery is the art of threading, or embroidering, cloth with designs. To embroider, you use a needle to pass the threads between pieces of fabric to create a picture or pattern.

Traditionally, embroidery hoops are used to keep the fabric tightly in place by putting the fabric between the two parts and screwing the hoops together to make it secure for stitching. The spectrum of embroidery methods and varieties is as broad as a rainbow is colourful.

If you are looking at all the different needlecrafts you may interested in the difference between embroidery and cross stitch.

You can incorporate items into embroidery art besides just the thread and canvas. You can paint over the embroidered designs, thread beads into the fabric, incorporate unique materials, and more. As long as you can imagine it, you can make it happen.

You can embroider just about anything made of fabric! Cloth items such as furniture, blankets, clothes, hats, phone cosies, or whatever you have are open game for embroidery!

If you are new to embroidery and are looking for different resources to learn more and how to get started I have a full breakdown on both free and paid classes and courses you can take.

You can add personalized names or initials to clothing, create intricate designs for a wall hanging, or stitch fuzzy animals onto a baby blanket. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Here’s what you will need to get started with embroidery:

  • A fabric base to embroider such as cotton, canvas, or linen
  • Needles for threading the fabric
  • Thread, floss, yarn, or ribbon to thread through the fabric and make your embroidery designs
  • Scissors to cut fabric and threading materials properly
  • Embroidery hoops to hold your fabric in a traditional embroidery fashion, keeping it taught between the two parts of the hoop so it’s easier to thread the yarn through the fabric
  • A marker to draw your designs onto the fabric before you stitch them into existence
  • Pre-made patterns to make sure you get the exact design you’re looking for
  • Mix it up with some creative beads, sequins, flowers, and buttons for an added personal touch!

What Is The Difference Between Needlepoint And Embroidery?

The main difference between needlepoint and embroidery is the same as the difference between a square and a rectangle. Needlepoint is a specific form of embroidery that uses stiff, open weave canvas as its main template for use. Needlepoint work also often covers an entire canvas.

Embroidery encompasses any use of thread or floss to create designs in fabric with a needle. Embroidery is the more diverse or broad term because it branches out into all forms of needlework art, including other mediums such as pearls, sequins, beads, and different forms of thread than that which is specific to needlepoint.

I hope you have found this guide helpful on distinguishing the difference between needlepoint and embroidery.