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Avoiding Canvas Confusion: Understanding Needlepoint Canvas For Beginners

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If you are just getting started with needlepoint, you are probably excited about mastering a new hobby and anxious to get to work on your first project. Needlepoint canvas will be the foundation for every project you undertake and can vary in quality. Learning a few important things about needlepoint canvas will get you off to a great start and have you stitching like a pro in no time.

Quality matters

There is nothing more frustrating than spending precious hours stitching a needlepoint piece, only to have the canvas tear before you finish the piece. Poor quality canvas tends to feel limp and may have scanty sizing, which can make it less stable to work with. Always check your supplier to make sure they sell high-quality needlepoint canvas that is properly sized.  

You can spot high-quality needlepoint canvas by its polished look and feel. It will be firm but pliable enough to work with easily when stitching. The sizing will be evenly distributed throughout the canvas.

Project pointers

When it comes to needlepoint canvas, one type of canvas does not fit all. Knowing which canvas works best for specific projects can save you a lot of hassle. Basic needlepoint canvas is manufactured in single and double thread.

Needlepoint canvas comes in several colors. If you are stitching a project that consists mainly of light threads, you should choose a white or ecru colored canvas, so the canvas does not show through your stitching. Darker-colored canvas is best reserved for projects with dark or rich colors of thread.

Common canvas types

Interlock canvas is an excellent choice for beginners. It holds its shape well and does not fray.  It is a good option for small projects, such as coasters or trinket boxes.

Mono canvas is a popular style for use in upholstered items, such as pillows or chair covers. It is a good choice if your design includes pulled stitches. Bargello designs are usually stitched on mono canvas.

Penelope canvas is a fun option if you want to make pieces with intricate details, such as flowers or faces in your project. It's durable and will stand up easily to everyday wear and tear.

Understanding how to look for quality needlepoint fabric is the first step to achieving success with all your needlepoint projects. Laying a good foundation for all your projects by choosing the best needlepoint fabric will help you create beautiful pieces you will be proud to use for yourself or to give as gifts.