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Difference between Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

Difference between Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

There is a big difference between needlepoint and cross stitch, and you should choose the type of stitching project you want to do based on the effect you are hoping to achieve. Needlepoint creates a raised, textured surface, while cross stitch creates a much more subtle effect.

What is Needlepoint?

Needlepoint is a type of stitch that is often used in decorative embroidery. It is worked by passing the needle in and out of the fabric at regular intervals, often following a pre-printed pattern. Needlepoint can be worked in a variety of different fabrics, including canvas, woven cloth, and even plastic mesh. The choice of fabric will usually be determined by the design of the finished piece.

For example, a needlepoint design that includes a lot of small details is likely to be stitched on canvas, as this fabric provides a firm surface that is easy to work with. In contrast, a design that features large areas of solid color is better suited to woven cloth, as this type of fabric is more forgiving and easier to manipulate.

What is Cross Stitch?

Cross stitch is a form of embroidery that dates back to the sixth century. It is created by stitching small crosses in a line or pattern on fabric, using thread of a contrasting color. The earliest examples of cross stitch were found in Coptic tombs in Egypt, and the craft was likely introduced to Europe by crusaders who came into contact with it during their travels. Cross stitch became particularly popular in the medieval era, when it was used to decorate religious texts and tapestries. Today, cross stitch is still widely practiced, and it can be used to create intricate patterns on a variety of fabrics. While it takes some time and patience to master cross stitch, the results can be truly stunning.

Difference between Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

Needlepoint and cross stitch are both forms of embroidery, but there are some key differences between the two.

  • Needlepoint is worked on a much stiffer fabric, such as canvas or buckram, using a thicker thread. The stitches are also much larger than in cross stitch, and they are worked in a variety of directions to create a dense, textured design.
  • Cross stitch, on the other hand, is typically worked on a lighter weight fabric, such as linen or even paper. The stitches are small and uniform, working in just two directions (over one thread and then back again).

As a result, cross stitch patterns tend to be more open and airy than needlepoint designs. So whether you’re looking for a delicate pattern or a more robust design, needlepoint or cross stitch may be the way to go.


Although needlepoint and cross stitch are both popular stitching crafts, they have some key differences. Needlepoint is typically worked on a harder surface, such as canvas, while cross stitch is often worked on fabric. Cross stitch also uses different stitches than needlepoint, which can affect the overall look of your project.

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