The main difference between needlepoint and embroidery is that embroidery is the method of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle and thread while needlepoint is embroidery upon canvas, usually with uniform spacing of stitches in a pattern.
Needlepoint is actually a type of embroidery. Embroidery is a broad term that covers a wide range of fabric crafts and involves decorating fabric with needle and thread or yarn. It has a very long history.
Key Areas Covered
What is Needlepoint
Needlepoint is a type of embroidery that has been popular for centuries around the world. This is typically done on a canvas and was thus called canvas work. You can use needlepoint to make tapestry, rugs and cushion covers.
Depending on the type of canvas, there are several subcategories of needlepoint. Petit point is needlepoint on a small scale, usually on canvas with sixteen to twenty holes per inch. If the canvas has between eight to sixteen holes per inch, we call it gros point. Meanwhile, if it has less than seven holes per inch, we call it quick point. It’s important to know that if there are more holes per square inch, more detailed and time-consuming your design will be. Tent stitches are the most common stitches used in most needlepoint work. Half-cross, continental and basketweave stitches are three basic tent stitches.
Not all thread is suitable for needlepoint, but there are many types of threads or yarn you can use to stitch a needlepoint design. You will require a blunt tip tapestry needle for doing needlepoint.
What is Embroidery
Embroidery is a term that covers a wide range of fabric crafts. Basically, it is the method of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle and thread. Embroidery can also include other items such as yarn, beads, pearls, quills, and sequins.
Embroidery involves many types of stitches; some of the basics include chain stitch, cross-stitch, blanket stitch and running stitch. There are also two types of embroidery as hand embroidery and machine embroidery. When compared to hand embroidery, machine embroidery is more popular in modern times since it is more convenient and time-saving. However, hand embroidery allows for more techniques and creativity. Moreover, hand-embroidery designs are unique and reflect the talent and distinctive style of the person who creates it.
Furthermore, there are many other types of embroidery, including free embroidery, counted thread embroidery, surface embroidery and canvas work. Free embroidery is embroidery that is done without taking the weave of the fabric into account. We do surface embroidery on top of the fabric while counted thread embroidery uses patterns that are measured by the number of threads in the fabric. Canvas work, on the other hand, requires stitching over the entire fabric, making a new fabric. Needlepoint, which we discussed in the above section, is a type of canvas work and surface embroidery.
Difference Between Needlepoint and Embroidery
Needlepoint refers to closely stitched embroidery worked over canvas while embroidery is the method of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle and thread.
Type of Stitches
The most common stitch in needlepoint is tent stitch while embroidery uses many different types of stitches such as chain stitch, cross-stitch, blanket stitch and running stitch.
Needlepoint is a type of canvas work and thus involves stitching over canvas while embroidery can involve a wide range of fabrics and materials.
Hand vs Machine
Moreover, needlepoint is usually hand-stitched while embroidery can be done by hand or machine.
Needlepoint refers to closely stitched embroidery worked over canvas while embroidery is the method of decorating fabric using a needle and thread. Moreover, needlepoint is usually hand-stitched while embroidery can be done by hand or machine. Thus, this is the main difference between needlepoint and embroidery.
1. Fall, Cheryl. “9 Basic Needlepoint Tips for Beginners.” The Spruce Crafts, Available here.