Blog Page
Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Are you thinking about picking up a new hobby? Needlepoint is a relaxing craft that leaves you with a beautiful piece of home decoration, clothing, or an accessory that will catch everyone’s eye. People tend to notice homemade items stitched with care and attention. You can begin creating masterpieces that will take everyone’s breath away when you take up needlepoint. Start by knowing the basics. The differences between needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery aren’t as vast as you might think. Keep reading to find out which you should try.

What Is Needlepoint?

Needlepoint is a surface embroidery technique that covers the top of the fabric or canvas. It’s an old-fashioned art that’s remerging with a younger generation. Designs are created on a fine canvas, though you can use a woven canvas. Most needlepoint uses square canvases and multiple stitch types as well as beading. Unless you use needlepoint kits & supplies, you should draw your pattern on the canvas before beginning your project.

Types of Needlepoint Stitches

Needlepoint requires knowing different stitches. The more you know, the better your project will be when it’s done. Stitches have multiple purposes. Some create unique designs on your canvas, while others secure threads. Each type you choose to use should have a purpose. Needlepoint stitches you should know include:

  • Tent stitch. A tent stitch is the most used stitch in needlepoint. It’s a diagonal stitch that crosses over the vertical and horizontal lines of the mesh.
  • Basketweave stitch. A line of tent stitches is known as a basketweave stitch. It provides a foundation for other stitches.
  • Half-cross-stitch. A half-cross stitch is one that you cross vertically or horizontally across the fabric.
  • Continental stitch. Similar to a half-cross stitch, this is a tent stitch you work horizontally over the fabric. With this stitch, the back of the canvas is covered, which makes for sturdier needlepoint.
  • Gobelin stitch. This is a diagonal stitch. You cross the thread over a vertical and two horizontal threads to create it.
  • Cushion stitch. This stitch consisting of a group of five stitches. You place the longest stitch in the middle. Shorter stitches will flank each side until you get to the smallest stitch.
  • Parisian stitch. The Parisian stitch is a long vertical stitch that creates a basket-weave pattern.
  • Mosaic stitch. The mosaic stitch involves three stitches and consists of a long stitch flanked by two shorter ones.

What Is Cross-Stitch?

Cross-stitch is a type of hand embroidery, and it’s simple for beginners. The most popular stitch is the: a basic X-shape. The stitches form tiles that come together to create a pattern. Since the stitches create a boxy look, cross-stitch is good for printing slogans and other simple designs. The pattern lays flatter than needlepoint. Cross-stitch designs are typically used as wall hangings, bookmarks, and coasters.

Types of Cross-Stitch

Stamped Cross Stitch

If you buy a cross-stitch kit, it will likely come with the design printed on it. Having the design printed on the canvas makes it easier to navigate your stitches. Once you’ve completed your project, you can wash away the print.

Counted Cross-Stitch

An advanced technique is to count your stitches to determine your design. In this case, the pattern is separate from the canvas. You might draw it yourself or get it from somewhere or someone else (i.e., online, a store, or a friend). When using the counted cross-stitch method, you begin at the center and count stitches outward until you complete your project.

What Is Embroidery?

Embroidery is known as the art of decorating a material with needle and thread, and it involves a variety of stitches, embellishments, styles, and methods you can master. Depending on your canvas type, you can use thin thread or yarn. Embroidery is a general term that encompasses needlepoint and cross- stitch. It also includes quilting and any other crafting done with needles. You can create all sorts of beautiful items with embroidery, whether by hand or machine.

Types of Embroidery

Hand Embroidery

Everyone loves hand embroidery. The most common types of hand embroidery are needlepoint and cross-stitch. You can make personalized, homemade gifts when you master the techniques of this craft. One of the best things about hand embroidery is that you can see the personal touch of the designer in the work. Custom creations feature unique designs with multiple stitch types, and you can typically tell that they’re homemade (usually due to some happy accidents.)

Machine Embroidery

Machine embroidery is commonly used for mass production, such as for textiles or home décor, and it’s used to creates immaculate designs with no imperfections. Machines imprint a design onto the fabric using a software. Machine embroidery is commonly found on:

  • Blankets
  • Gowns
  • Purses
  • Tablecloths
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Napkins

Needlepoint Versus Cross-Stitch

You can find many similarities and differences between cross-stitch and needlepoint. Though they are both types of hand embroidery, needlepoint is a much more complicated art form. Cross-stitch is often a beginners’ craft on the way to needlepoint. While cross-stitch only involves one type of stitch, needlepoint uses more than half a dozen. You may find cross-stitch limiting when it comes to design choices and the items you can embroider. Needlepoint gives you more options.

Needlepoint and cross-stitch both use canvas, but the way you hold and stretch the canvas is different. For cross-stitch, you use a hoop while you use stretcher bars for needlepoint. Stretch your canvas so it doesn’t distort while you’re doing your project. Furthermore, stretchers make it easier to hold your embroidery project in place.

Needlepoint Versus Embroidery

The differences between needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery are the level of difficulty and stitch type. Embroidery is an umbrella term that encompasses needlepoint and cross-stitch, so it’s not different from either hobby. All three crafts are vintage styles of needlework that date back to China during 30,000 B.C. People have handed the tradition down over the years and evolved it by inventing new designs and stitches.

Whichever type of embroidery you enjoy, both are excellent for relieving stress and helping you relax. The mood-boosting benefits of needlepoint are best understood when experienced firsthand. To get started, check out stitch printed canvas kits from Elizabeth Bradley Designs and Needlepoint To Go. We have a wide collection of prints and canvases to inspire you. Shop our online collection today.

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Latest Blog Posts

Thread Talks-Working with Silk Lamé Braid!

Thread Talks-Working with Silk Lamé Braid!

Silk Lamé Braid is one of our favorite threads to work with. There are so many fun techniques that can be done with this fiber.

Our 2022 Top Selling Kits!

Our 2022 Top Selling Kits!

2022 was a fun year here at Needlepoint.Com with lots of new classes and kits being released for all stitchers alike. Here is a list of our top 10 kits...

Thread Talks-All about working with Fyre Works!

Thread Talks-All about working with Fyre Works!

Fyre Works is one of our favorite threads to work with. There are so many fun techniques that can be done with this fiber.

All About Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

All About Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

Welcome to Charleston, SC! Our Charleston Boutique is located in the heart of the Historic District right next to the famous Rainbow Row. In February 2022, Needlpoint.com acquired Cabbage Row Needlepoint Shoppe and...

Thread Talks-Learn More about Straw Silk!

Thread Talks-Learn More about Straw Silk!

Learn all about Straw Silk with Needlepoint.Com! This fun and versatile thread is a ribbon-like thread with natural color variations, which provides depth of color in the canvas. Watch this...

Our new

Our new "How to Needlepoint" Video!

Check out our new How to Needlepoint Video on Youtube to get you started on this amazing craft!

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a Canvas

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a...

Do you want to add texture for intrigue and dimension? Uncover three essential tips that every stitcher needs to know to add texture to a canvas.

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

All stitchers, including beginners, can create heartfelt gifts to give loved ones to celebrate special occasions, show gratitude, or simply make their day. Consider these five practical gifts you can make with...

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the new Needlepoint.Com website! We have completely redesigned our online store and added new features to give you the best shopping experience and educational support.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Alicia's...

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

There has been a great resurgence in the popularity of needlepoint. The Charleston location has an endearing tradition of allowing customers to design and stitch heart-shaped canvases that are donated...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Knitting stitch...

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch Today

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian ...

The criss cross Hungarian stitch creates a highly decorative and dynamic needlepoint design. Uncover why you need to know it and learn more about this stitch today!

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoint Canvas

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoin...

Self-finishing needlepoint projects can be a creative but tricky process. Uncover further details in our quick guide to finishing your needlepoint canvas.

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Ever wonder what our different "Add on Threads" option on the website means? Check out this helpful video to show the different types of threads in each category and how...

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas To Make

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas...

Uncover personalized needlepoint projects to see which are the best gift ideas to make for friends and family. Get your presents ready in time for Christmas.

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To Needlepoint

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To ...

Uncover needlepoint for kids and learn why showing your kids how to needlepoint is simple and fun. Introduce them to a hobby they’ll love forever.

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

Find out how to select the right canvas for needlepoint no matter which project you want to complete. Use these tips and tricks to choose the correct canvas.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video illustrates variations on the...

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

Canvases come in different mesh sizes that correspond to the number of stitches (holes) per inch.  Most common are 10 count, 13 count, 14 count and 18 count mesh.  ...

Threads for your favorite teams!

Threads for your favorite teams!

March Madness-The Big Dance is upon us and it’s time to pick your basketball tournament stitching project. Seasoned sports watchers know, stitching is a fantastic stress reliever for all of...

Top 5 Finishing Questions

Top 5 Finishing Questions

In this blog post we go over the top 5 Finishing questions from our customers to give you a bit more detail on how our process works!

Pick Our Favorite Threads

Pick Our Favorite Threads

When you are shopping for a canvas on our website, you will notice an option to pick threads. The choices are Silk/Silk Blends, Cotton, Wool/Wool Blends or Pick Our Favorites....

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

Incorporating Sparkly Threads in your Canvas -Sparkle and metallic specialty threads offer a great opportunity to add some pizzazz to your next canvas.  There are many wonderful options to choose...

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

The basic needlepoint stitches for beginners are simple to learn. Don’t hesitate to try this fun and exciting hobby that’s starting to trend again.

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content Creation

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content C...

Hello! My name is Katy, and I am the Graphic Designer & Product Stylist at Needlepoint.Com. In fact, you see me weekly in your inboxes - our email marketing is...

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Uncover the most common needlepoint mistakes and how to avoid them. Be aware of ways that your needlepoint projects can become distorted and damaged.

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

Find out how to incorporate needlepoint in your home décor and display your hard work. You can include needlepoint in every aspect of your life.

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginner’s Guide

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginne...

Find out what to bring to a needlepoint retreat. This beginner’s guide to needlepoint retreats will help you figure out your first stitching experience.

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Benefits

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Ben...

You’re never too old—or young—to get started with needlepoint. If you’re a beginner, starting with a kit will take the guesswork out of completing a project. Knowing what needlepoint kits...

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

The Elizabeth Bradley collection of designs is growing with the addition of seven Starter Kits, four Millefleur Kits and a Tips and Techniques Video that you can access anytime at...

All about our Online Classes!

All about our Online Classes!

If you’re new to needlepoint or you’re a visual learner looking to explore new stitches, our online classes are perfect for you. Here’s a few things you need to know…

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, ...

Know the differences between needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. You can start a new hobby anytime you want with the right knowledge.

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitcher Should Know

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitche...

The key to cleaning your needlepoint tapestry kits is to follow these three tips every stitcher should know. Find out how to clean your needlepoint from home.

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Should Know

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Shoul...

Discover a brief overview of needlepoint and what you should know to begin this craft. You don’t need many supplies to try your hand at needlepoint.

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting Started

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting St...

If you are new to needlepoint, a quick guide to getting started will teach you everything you need to know. Uncover the basics about how to do needlepoint.

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needlepoint

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needl...

Enjoy the health benefits of needlepoint when you find a group of stitchers: learn new skills and share your art. Find out why needlepoint is good for you.

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

When you incorporate decorative stitches into your project, there will almost always be a spot where you cannot complete the entire stitch. When this happens, you will need to compensate,...

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for 2021

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for...

Discover millennial needlepoint: three on-point projects for 2021 you should try. Spice up your home and wardrobe with these trendy needlepoint projects.

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

At Needlepoint.Com we strive to keep the needlepoint community connected as best we can! For the past 5 years now we have bee doing our “Sunday Stitch Along '' as...

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The world of needlepoint is full of thousands of canvases, multiple thread lines, assorted beads, helpful accessories, and curated kits. These kits are designed to remove all guesswork and create...

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Guides!

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Gui...

When you choose a needlepoint canvas, you probably imagine what it will look like completely stitched. Some people like to experiment with stitches as they go, while others like to...

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the right sized project for you!

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the r...

The Needlepoint To Go line of kits is expanding this month with five more designs coming out just in time for beach and poolside stitching. You’ll enjoy these precision stitch printed canvases...

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

Like many people who used the past year to clean out closets, we spent some time improving the shop . The most notable change is the drastic increase of our...

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

The Merry Wishes Tree is a spectacular example of the artistic collaboration between Vernon Kirk and Nancy Young. Vernon, of Kirk and Bradley Design, and Nancy of Needlepoint.Com, have been...

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

You may be familiar with one of our favorite lines from designer Kirk & Bradley, the travel rounds!  Their design team formulated this idea back in 2015. Debuting with Rome, Paris,...

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

Many new and seasoned stitchers made it a goal in 2020 to stitch 20 new projects. While we were all stitching the days away in the comfort of our home,...