Needlepoint Stitch Directory

Needlepoint is a needle work art that is enjoying a newfound resurgence.  The oldest form of canvas work, needlepoint is related to embroidery.

In needlepoint, wool yarn is stitched through a very stiff and open weave canvas, with the designs covering the entire canvas piece. 

Because the canvas is stiff, needlepoint projects are somewhat limited compared to other projects made with softer, more pliable backings.

Once the basic tent stitches have been mastered, to find free needlepoint patterns and projects, take a look at our free project page.

Basically needlepoint has three stitches central to its work: continental stitch, half stitch, and basket weave stitch.  However, many more stitches are formed by combining these three basic tent stitches.Needlepoint Stitch Sample

What is the easiest needlepoint stitch?

The continental half stitch is considered by many to be the easiest needlepoint stitch. However, once the three basic tent stitches have been practiced and are mastered, needlepointers can learn to combine them to create hundreds of other stitches.

When working on a needlepoint project, it is important to make sure that the canvas does not stretch.  That is why many needlepointers prefer the basket weave stitch.

Since the basket weave stitch is done by skipping and staggering the alternating rows on the diagonal, it creates a woven pattern on the back of the canvas and holds the mesh threads.  This ensures that the canvas does not stretch and maintains its shape. 

Another important stitch is the mosaic stitch.  When all portions of this stitch are complete, a square shape two stitches high and two stitches wide is formed on the canvas.

The stitch is worked on the diagonal and is made of three stitches that form a square, starting with a small stitch going over one canvas thread, then a longer stitch one going over two canvas theads, and then a final diagonal going over one canvas thread.

The mosaic stitch is very versatile and can be made with many variations, changing the look of the needlepoint work with very little stress and new stitch knowledge.

This page is full of tutorials, videos, and guides to teach you the various, and beyond-the-basics combination stitches. Using these stitches enables the finished work to look clean, finished, and completed by a professional.

Scroll down to see our complete needlepoint stitch directory.  You will be well on your way to creating interesting and professional looking needlework.

Needlepoint Stitch Directory

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 Needlepoint Stitch eBook

Needlepoint Stitch eBook #ad

In this leaflet, you will find 18 decorative stitches that will be useful in many types of projects to add dimension and texture to your work. Affiliate Link to Leisure Arts

 Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory

Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory #ad

Over 100 creative stitches and techniques for tapestry embroidery. by Emma Homent - Paperback - Published 2022 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Basketweave Stitch

Learn how to do the perfect basketweave needlepoint stitch by reading this post. Poppy Monk Needlepoint Kits

Basketweave Tent Needlepoint Stitch

The basketweave stitch is a needlepoint filling stitch that is worked diagonally down the canvas and then diagonally up the canvas. Learn it with these instructions. The Spruce Crafts

Binding Stitch

The binding stitch is a handy stitch to add to your needlepoint toolbox, particularly when it comes to self-finishing projects. KC Needlepoint

Brick Stitch (Video)

A video tutorial on how to do the brick stitch in needlepointing. By Needlepoint Now. You Tube

Bullet Stitch

This is a star stitch. It's made up of one horizontal stitch and a cross stitch. KC Needlepoint

Bullion Knot (Video)

A bullion knot (bullion stitch) tutorial video by Needlepoint Now. You Tube

Byzantine Mosaic Stitch

With this illustration learn how to stitch the Byzantine Mosaic Stitch which is made up of a combination of Byzantine Stitches done over two canvas threads and Mosaic Stitches in alternating diagonal rows. KC Needlepoint

Cashmere Stitch

The cashmere stitch is a universal stitch that is a cousin to the mosaic stitch. This illustration shows how to make it. KC Needlepoint

Chain Stitch (Video)

A video on how to do the chain stitch when needlepointing. By Needlepoint Now. You Tube

Continental (Tent) Stitch & Half Cross Stitch

Instructions and illustrations. Thread Needle Street

Continental Stitch

Continental Stitch

This video explains how to do the continental stitch on plastic canvas. The continental stitch is a type of tent stitch. This stitch is also used in needlepoint.


Couching is the technique of laying thread on top of the needlepoint canvas so it adds texture and outline to a feature. Needlepoint For Fun

Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch

Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch is a highly decorative stitch. It's a composite stitch meaning that it is made up of more than one part. Learn this stitch with this illustration. KC Needlepoint

Horizontal Brick Stitch

There are so many variations on Brick Stitches. This version of the stitch is worked as a horizontal straight stitch that spans over two canvas threads. KC Needlepoint

Ming Stitch

Ming Stitch is a wonderful stitch for larger background areas. It is made up of groups of five horizontal stitches. KC Needlepoint

Moorish Stitch

The Moorish stitch is a combination diagonal stitch meaning that it is made up of two or more simpler stitches combined together into one more complex stitch. KC Needlepoint

Moorish Stitch- Reverse

The Moorish stitch is made up of two or more simpler stitches combined together into one more complex stitch. KC Needlepoint

Mosaic and Smyrna Pattern

Here is an example of arranging simpler stitches together to make one more ornate pattern. KC Needlepoint

Mosaic Stitch

Drawings, photos and written description showing two variations of this simple yet complicated looking stitch design. Threadneedle Street

Needlepoint Stitch Directory

Use this stitch library as a handy resource for how and where to use a variety of needlepoint stitches. Needlepoint for Fun

Reverse Mosaic Stitch

Here you will find a drawing, complete with photos, showing three variations of the reverse mosaic stitch. Create Needlepoint

Rhodes Circle Over 4

Here is a Rhodes Circle tutorial over four canvas threads. KC Needlepoint

Rhodes Circle Over 5

This illustration shows how to do the Rhodes Circle over five canvas threads (both vertically and horizontally). KC Needlepoint

Rhodes Heart

This Rhodes stitch illustration is on doing the Rhodes heart. KC Needlepoint

Rhodes Square 4 over 4

Rhodes stitches are layering stitches. Here is an illustration on doing the Rhodes square. KC Needlepoint

Rice Stitch

The Rice Stitch is a square stitch. It makes a beautiful border on a canvas. Learn this stitch using the illustration here. KC Needlepoint

Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Learn how to make the slanted Gobelin stitch. This is a diagonal stitch which can be used in needlepoint and plastic canvas projects. This stitch can be worked over two to five diagonal threads and one or two lengthwise threads.

Star Octagon Stitch

The Star Octagon Stitch is worked in two parts - the octagon portion first and then the Smyrna cross stitch. Learn how to make this stitch here. KC Needlepoint

Stem Stitch (Video)

A video on how to do the stem stitch when needlepointing. By Needlepoint Now. You Tube

Tent Stitches - Three Tent Stitches

Three tent stitches - Half cross stitch, continental stitch, basketweave stitch. These stitches are used in plastic canvas crafts and needlepoint crafts. Needlework Tips and Techniques

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