The Tapestry Kit Collection

The Tapestry Kit Collection

Needlepoint Stitches

This page gives instructions on how to stitch the five main stitches used in needlepoint tapestry: Half Cross Stitch, Continental Tent Stitch, Basketweave Stitch, Victorian Cross Stitch and Random Long Stitch.

To see which stitch is recommended by the manufacturers of a kit click here.


Half Cross Stitch

Half Cross Stitch uses less yarn than other forms of tent stitch.

Work over a loose end at the back when beginning. Work in rows alternately from left to right and then right to left, making short vertical stitches through the canvas. It doesn't matter which direction the stitches slant so long as you don't mix them, although, top right to bottom left is most usual. When ending a length of yarn pass it through a few stiches on the back of the work.

Continental Tent Stitch (also known as Continental Stitch or simply Tent Stitch)

Continental Tent Stitch uses more yarn than Half Cross Stitch but less than Victorian Cross Stitch.

Work in rows alternately from left to right and then right to left, making long diagonal stitches through the canvas.

Basketweave Stitch (also known as Basketweave Tent Stitch)

Basketweave Stitch uses a similar amount of yarn to Continental Tent Stitch. It is good for covering large background areas as it is less prone to distorting the canvas than other forms of tent stitch.

Basket weave stitch is worked in diagonal lines of stitches. When working a line of stitches down the canvas make vertical stitches through the canvas under two threads. When coming back up the canvas on the next line make horizontal stitches under two threads.

Victorian Cross Stitch (also known as Cross Stitch)

This is a very hard wearing stitch and is often used for stitching rugs, however, it uses twice as much wool as half cross stitch.

It can be worked as individual stitches (see diagram - top) or in rows (see diagram - bottom).

When working individual stitches work two stitches over each vertex before moving on to the next. Ensure all your stitches overlap in the same way.

When working in rows work half cross stitch in one direction and then return using a second overlapping row of stitches.


Random Long Stitch

Random long stitch is ideal for filling large areas of canvas quickly.

It is a vertical straight stitch worked parallel to the canvas threads. It is stitched in varying lengths along each row with subsequent rows interlocking. Use a circular motion when stitching to cover the front and reverse side of your canvas. Alter the lengths of stitches in accordance with changes of colour in the design and to give a pleasing texture and appearance. It is recommended that the longest stitches are worked over no more than four horizontal threads as this ensures that the stitches do not become loopy and easy to pull out.




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