Have you always wanted to learn needlework but never had the time or the motivation? 

Although it may seem like a pastime that might take a lot of time and effort to master, there are, in fact, lots of different types of needlework available, with options to suit all levels of skill and commitment. 

Whether you would like to try your hand at needlepoint or you have always wanted to try embroidery, the below guide will tell you everything there is to know about how to learn needlework including: 

  • What is needlework? 
  • What are the different types of needlework? 
  • What is the easiest type of needlework to learn? 
  • How to learn needlepoint 

Ready to get started? In just 4-5 minutes, you will be a needlework pro! What is needlework? 

In its simplest terms, needlework is any project that is carried out using a needle other than basic sewing. There are several different types of needlework, all of which we will explore in more detail below. 

You can create your own needlework or buy decorative needlework for your home or office online from someone that specializes in needlework. 

A great pastime for people who love arts and crafts, anyone can learn needlework, no matter their age, gender, or experience. 

What are the different types of needlework? 

As briefly mentioned above, the term needlework refers to many different types of crafts that involve the use of a needle and either colored floss or yarn. 

Some of the most popular types of needlework are: 

1. Cross-stitch 

Cross-stitch is one of the most popular types of needlework and involves the use of x-shaped stitches to create a design or picture. 

There are two types of cross-stitch that you can learn: counted cross-stitch and stamped cross-stitch. 

Historically, this type of needlework was used to add embellishments to items such as tablecloths, table runners, and napkins. However, today, cross-stitch is used for a whole host of different crafting projects, including pillows and wall art.

2. Needlepoint 

Needlepoint is another popular type of needlework that is often learned by crafting beginners. The simplest form of needlework, needlepoint, involves a series of stitches that are created on a stiff open-weave canvas.

Needlepoint is fairly stiff once finished, making it a good choice for wall hangings and ornaments. 

3. Embroidery 

Embroidery refers to an embellishment made on a piece of fabric with thread and needle. There are many different stitches that you can try when learning how to embroider, with some being more difficult than others. 

Custom embroidery is often used on items of clothing such as t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and pants. Sometimes people also add embroidery to home accessories such as pillows, dish clothes, and wall hangings. 

While embroidery is a fairly inexpensive pastime, it is harder to master than needlepoint and cross-stitch, mainly because there are several different stitches to learn. 

4. Plastic canvas 

As the name suggests, plastic canvas involves stitching yarn onto a plastic mesh canvas. Typically, designs are stitched from a gridded chart, similar to cross-stitch. 

You can use plastic canvas to create both 2D and 3D creations, such as wall hangings and coasters or pencil holders. 

5. Crewel embroidery 

Crewel embroidery is very similar to standard embroidery, except instead of embroidery floss or thread being used, you embroider with wool yarn instead. Crewel embroidery is also typically carried out on a piece of linen fabric. 

This type of embroidery is often used on pillows, curtains, and wall hangings. What is the easiest type of needlework to learn? 

Although everyone is different and each person learns at different paces, cross-stitch and needlepoint are widely regarded as the easiest forms of needlework to learn. 

Therefore, if you are new to the art of needlework, it can be a good idea to start with one of these crafts and gradually work your way up to embroidery. 

How to learn needlepoint? 

As mentioned above, if you would like to get started with learning needlework, then needlepoint is a good place to start. 

Find out below our top beginners’ tips for learning how to needlepoint: Pick your canvas 

The needlepoint canvas that you choose is the ground fabric that you will work on, so it is important that you pick the right type. There are many different types of canvas for needlepoint to choose from, including very fine canvases and more coarser crisp fabrics. 

You also need to make sure you choose the right size canvas for your first project, with beginners most commonly opting for smaller pieces of fabric. 

Learn basic stitches

Tent stitches are the most basic stitches used in needlepoint, making them the perfect place to start for beginners. A type of stitch that is worked diagonally across the canvas, nearly all needlepoint diagonal stitches are derived from one of the traditional tent stitches. 

The three most basic tent stitches that you should try to learn are half-cross, continental, and basketweave. 

Choose your thread 

Not all types of thread and yarn are suitable for needlepoint, so you need to make sure that you choose the right ones for your first project. 

That being said, there is an abundance of threads and yarns to choose from, including novelty yarns and textured threads. 

Select a needle 

When selecting a needle for needlepoint, you need a blunt-tip tapestry needle. These come in a variety of different sizes, depending on the type of thread and canvas you have selected. 

It is vital that you pick the right needle as this will help to ensure that your stitches appear smooth and even. 

Pick your pattern 

There are so many beautiful patterns and charts that you can download online, with many options for beginners right through to intermediate needleworkers. Make sure that you start with a simple pattern and then gradually work your way up to more complex ones. 

And there you have it! Our complete guide on how to learn needlework. Have you recently completed your first needlework project? 

Please share it with us here! We love to see our customers’ creations!