As like any other craft, needlepoint requires some materials. In this blog post we will delve into the tools and accessories used in needlepoint, what they are and how they work.
The type of needle used in needlepoint is a tapestry needle, with a blunt point, and a big eyelet, so it allows for thicker threads like wool to fit through. The needles we use with our kits are the John James Tapestry Needles nº18.
There are many types of threads that can be used for needlepoint, like cotton, silk, wool, acrylic, etc. The most common are cotton, wool and silk and some of the most used brands are Planet Earth Fiber, Rainbow Gallery, Appletons and DMC.
DMC Soft Cotton is a light and maleable thread, with a soft texture and matte finnish. It is very versatile and easy to use. This is the type of thread that we use in most of our kits, because it offers a big range of colors to choose from, and we love the soft finish, and how easy it is to stitch with.
Appletons Tapestry Wool is a sturdier thread, with more texture. It has a very durable finnish, perfect for wearable projects, and for stitching during the colder months.
These are some of the threads we use in our needlepoint kits. Both of them come in a big variety of colors, and are premium quality!
Like the threads, there are many canvas options for needlepoint. As long as it is an open canvas (it has holes), it can have many different mesh sizes/ hpi (holes per inch), dimensions and even colors. Another variant is how the lines of the canvas are intertwined. It can be in the royal or interlocked variation.
HPI (holes per inch): The hpi or mesh count of a canvas refers to the number or holes in a line, in the measurement of an inch. This dictates the amount of holes a canvas has, and therefore, the size of the stitches (and the space in between them). The most common mesh sizes available are 10, 12, 13, 14 and 18 hpi.
Royal: This is a type of canvas with a mesh of single vertical and horizontal threads, that are layed over or under each other.
Interlock: This is a type of canvas with a single horizontal thread wrapped by two vertical threads, 'locking' the mesh at intersections. This is the type of canvas that we use in most of our needlepoint kits! We love how it performs when stitched, and how resistant it is.
The canvases can also be mono or double, meaning the mesh is made of one or two threads on each direction.
Other tools: scissors, frame, etc
Here are some other needlepoint tools and accessories that are useful when practicing this craft. Browse our Needlepoint Accessories collection to find some of these items:
- Scissors: sharp embroidery scissors are a must when working with needlepoint threads;
- Frame: a needlepoint frame is an accessory that can help handle the canvas, and maintain an even tension. You can read more about doing needlepoint with or without a frame on our blog post about it!
- Needle Threader: this is an accessory used to pass the thread through the eyelet of the needle with ease;
- Needle Minder: A needle minder is a magnetic pin that helps you always keep your needle safe, and stuck to your canvas.
- Pins and clips: these are a staple and versatile accessory that can be used for many different purposes.
- Iron: An iron is a common tool used when blocking needlepoint, because of the steam, that is used to soften the fibers. Read more about needlepoint blocking on our blog.