Needlepoint Yarns, Threads, and Tools

Needlepoint, which is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, is an enjoyable needle work art where yarns or threads are sewn onto a canvas.  

Needlepoint is related to embroidery, and with needlepointers becoming more comfortable with leaving unfilled space on the canvas, the lines between needlepoint and embroidery are becoming blurred.

For more information, please check out our page on the needlepoint for beginners!

Needlepoint work does have its own tools and supplies list.  Needlepoint yarn or thread, a needle, and a needlepoint canvas are the absolute minimum items necessary to needlepoint.

However, there are various other tools such as tapes to prevent fraying, needlepoint stretcher bars, laying tools, and more that can enhance the needlepoint experience!

What type of thread is used for needlepoint?

One basic supply is the needlepoint thread.  There are four different and various types of thread that can be used for needlepoint.

Wool: This is the most popular needlepoint yarn used.  It is strong and long lasting, especially for projects that will receive a lot of wear.

Some wool threads are designed to be used as a single strand, which makes the needlepoint project easy for beginners.  

Others are very light-weight for making details. The threads can be separated in this light-weight yarn as well to provide shading with two or more colored threads through the needle.

Cotton: Like wool, cotton thread is also strong. Perl cotton comes in various sizes and works well for beginners.  Embroidery floss is another cotton thread that can be used, but there are complex techniques involved in using this.

Silk: This thread is not as strong and durable as the two above, but it makes a lovely shine on the finished work.  Silk thread can be expensive as well. When using silk thread, it is important to use a needlepoint tool called a laying tool.

Novelty: To add sparkle and extra texture to needlepoint projects, novelty yarns such as metallics, fuzzy, shiny or matte textiles (to name a few) can be used.  These threads are not as easy to work with as the other threads mentioned but they do make for interesting needlepoint art.

Like silk thread, this type of thread will require the use of a laying tool.

Why is needlepoint so expensive?

When purchasing supplies for needlepoint, it is sometimes a shock to see how expensive these supplies can be.

The wool or cotton for needlepoint is not usually too costly, but it is the hand-painted canvases that push the price of this craft up.

It requires a very skilled artist and takes much time to hand-paint a canvas. Painting just one canvas can take several hours!

Costs can be cut by purchasing plain canvases and painting them at home or working with special charts made for needlepoint and cross stitch.

This page will give many resources for needlepoint yarn, thread and tools to use. There are useful yarn calculators, tips for choosing the best needle, ways to start and end thread, and information on needlepoint stretcher bars.

Scroll down to see all of these helpful hints!

Needlepoint Yarns, Threads, and Tools

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Anchor Thread or Yarn

In this post by Serendipity Needleworks learn two ways to anchor needlepoint thread or yarn - the waste knot or the pin stitch. Serendipity Needleworks

Calculating the Required Amount of Yarn

With simple arithmetic, you can figure out how much yarn you will need To complete a needlepoint piece. Needlepoint Teacher

Choosing the Right Tapestry Needle

This post talks about tapestry needles and guides you to choose the correct one. It also has a handy Stitcher's Needle Guide with the canvas mesh size and the needle size to use. Serendipity Needleworks

Essential Needlepoint Supplies

Just a few easy-to-find needlepoint supplies are all you need to get started with this creative craft. Here is an article with tools and accessories for getting started with needlepoint. World of Needlepoint

How to use a scroll frame

K's Creations, a maker of lap, scroll and floor frame has scroll frame information. K's Creations

Needle Sizes

The size of the needle to use is determined by the canvas size. This page has a helpful chart for determining the right size needle to use. Needlepoint Teacher

Needlepoint Needles

This post will teach you how to choose the right needle for your needlepoint project. The Spruce Crafts

Needlepoint Stretch Bar

How to put needlepoint canvas on needlepoint stretch bars. KC Needlepoint

Needlepoint Stretcher Bar

Learn how to assemble the needlepoint stretcher bar with this video by KC Needlepoint. KC Needlepoint

Needlepoint Stretcher Bars

Do you need them? Read this article to find out. Poppy Monk Needlepoint

Needlepoint Thread

Here are a few techniques stitchers use to start and end a thread in needlepoint. Needlepoint For Fun

Needlepoint Threads and Yarn

There are many different types of needlepoint yarns and decorative threads that can be used. This article explains the most common. The Spruce Crafts

Stitch Needlepoint Projects on Stretcher Bars and Frames

Why and how to use stretcher bars and frames to work smooth, neat stitches. The Spruce Crafts

Stretcher Bars

How to mount canvas on stretcher bars. Needlepoint Teacher

Stretcher Bars?

Should you use stretcher bars? Learn what they are, the purpose and why to use them. Needlepoint For Fun

What Needle to Use?

Learn what needle to use for what canvas. Needlepoint Teacher

Yarn Quantity

How much yarn or thread will I need for my needlepoint project? Find out how to work out how much thread you will need to stitch your needlepoint canvas. Needlepoint For Fun

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