Jul 29, 2011

A to Z of Crafts - N = Needlepoint

Needlepoint is a form of counted thread embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a stiff open weave canvas. Although needlepoint may be worked in a variety of stitches, many needlepoint designs use only a simple tent stitch.

The roots of needlepoint go back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians who used small slanted stitches to sew up their canvas tents. Some needlepoint was found in the cave of a Pharaoh who had lived 1500 years before Christ. Modern needlepoint descends from the canvas work in tent stitch that was a popular domestic craft in the 16th century.

While traditionally needlepoint has been done to create a solid fabric, more modern needlepoint incorporates open canvas, techniques which allow some of the unstitched, or lightly stitched canvas to show through. Needlepoint continues to evolve as stitchers use new techniques and threads, and add applique or found materials.

Here are a few great examples of needlepoint work:

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