Types of Needlework – How to Recognize
Eli asked me to make a post about the different types of needlework so when you are out thrifting you can recognize what to buy and what keywords to use when listing to sell on the different platforms. I have done better on eBay with selling needlework kits of every type because of the international buyers.
I will also cover in another post the best types of needlework kits or patterns to buy.
First I will cover what is used with what looks like a sewing needle. This leaves out Crochet, Knitting and other forms using other needles. Â I will cover those in another post.
1 Counted Cross Stitch – Counted Cross stitch today is known mostly as cross stitch. Â Cross stitch is done on a fabric with squares. Â The pattern is on a piece of paper and you count the squares from the pattern to the fabric. (sounds hard but it is really easy). Â Kits come with different counts of fabric. Â Aida is from 10 to 18 count (squares per lineal inch) Â Hardanger is 22 count. Â Linen is used in cross stitch and most of the time is stitched over two threads (example 28 count linen stitched over two threads would make the stitch count 14). I love the look of Linen over aida because you don’t see the squares. Â NOTE: Make sure you read our next blog about buying completed finished needlework and what to look for. Â
2. Stamped Cross Stitch – Stamped is cross stitch that is traced onto fabric, usually a cotton poly blend nowadays. Â There are squares you that you cross over with the floss. Â These squares are normally mixed in with lines to embroidery. Â You can do fancy stitches or straight stitches.
3. Embroidery – Embroidery is stitched on fabric that has had the design traced onto it. Â You can do a number of fancy stitches. This is what you see on dish towels. My grandmother had towels for every day of the week. Â I always checked to see if she changed them daily….. and SHE DID. Â Embroidery is stitched with six stand floss. You separate the threads into one or two strands depending on the look you want.
4. CrewelÂ Embroidery Â orÂ Crewelwork –, is a decorative form of surface embroideryÂ that uses wool yarn (acrylic is used sometimes)Â and a variety of different fancy stitchesÂ that follows a design on the fabric. Â Crewel is usually stitched on a linen or canvas so that the wool does not pucker. Â Make sure if you have kits that have part of the canvas silkscreened that you point this out. Â (Photo 3 is silkscreened partially)
5. Hardanger – this has been called Hardanger embroidery but it is a counted form since you are still working in the blocks of the fabric. Â Traditionally is it worked on white cloth with white thread but today I see it in all colors. It is worked on even blocks counting and using drawn thread techniques. Â If you see any finished … just grab and send to me.. I collect it. Â You will see this in doiles, tablecloths, runners etc. Â It is really elaborate and if you find patterns they usually are good sellers but not big money. Â The art is still so limited on who has the patience to do it.
6. Needlepoint – Needlepoint is stitched on a mesh canvas that is painted on the canvas. Â You will be doing a half cross. There is also counted needlepoint where you would have an empty canvas and use patterns on paper to count similar to cross stitch. Â You will see Mesh 12 or Mesh 14. This is how many squares are in a lineal inch. Â (Needlepoint is my least favorite of any of the needle arts.) It is usually done with yarn. Â Many new designers are using smaller mesh like 18 (squares per inch) and using floss for a different look. Â I like the smoother look as it is not as bulky.
7. Petit (Petite) Point – Petit Point and Needlepoint are very similar in that they use canvas to stitch on and the same format but they are very different. Â Petit point is just that…. you make tiny tiny stitches and usually stitch on single threads of Penelope Canvas or fine needlepoint canvas or Congress cloth which is 24 squares per inch. Â Many people use Petit point to describe very fine cross stitch but since you are not crossing the full cross the term is used incorrectly.
8.Â Plastic Canvas – Plastic canvas is basically needlepoint done on plastic mesh. Â You will see this used to make 3-d type items such as doll houses, magnets, photo frames etc. You cut out the designs after you have stitched and either attach to the edges to sew them together or finish off and cut the plastic so it i is not seen.
9.Â Smocking – I am covering smocking here because there are a lot of kits out there to make pillows with smocking. It is basically pleating and can be seen in the tops of dresses and on bonnets. There are two different types, English and Modern.
10.Â BrazilianÂ Embroidery – This is the one art I cannot tackle well. It is stunning and gorgeous but I don’t have the patience. Â It is mostly flowers done in silk or Rayon Threads.
NO COUNT CROSS STITCH is the design silk screened on aida or linen with openings to do stitching to embellish the design. Â This is different from Stamped Cross stitch where on stamped you have the design on the plain fabric in little blue squares and you stitch those squares.
There are other forms of needlework that include drawn thread, schwalm, blackwork etc but the above types are what you are going to see the most of in kits when you are shopping.