• What are the different types of in threads and flosses that I can use?
    • There a number of wonderful embroidery flosses available to use in your projects: threads made of fine linen or silk, cotton, and rayon. There are specialty metallics and even fuzzy threads! Typically found in 6 strands in a loosely twisted bundle are cotton, silk and rayon. Rayon has the most sheen. Linen embroidery floss rarer and is especially suited particular for making authentic period pieces. There are also wonderful over dyed products on the market. These require a bit of extra knowledge to get the effects you desire. A few basic hints for stitching with over dyed threads: When you stitch large areas with over dyed threads divide the area into small sections and stitch each section completely. This will group colors together rather than having the colors change in lines or diagonally. Think of stitching a group of blocks with a a single over dyed thread color. Stitch each block individually, rather than along a line of canvas threads, thus avoiding the diagonal effect. Additionally, when working with over dyes you may want to complete a color faster than the threads allow with standard stitching. To adjust this, stitch leaving extra thread on the back of the piece and consider burying a length of thread now and then, which will help you to get through a color run a bit faster. You can also cut several lengths and then rotate through. Be sure not to double an over dyed thread in your needle and make sure that when you separate your over dyed thread you put the same color ends together or you will mismatch the run of the color!
  • What types of fibers should I use?
    • There are a variety of fibers that are suitable for needlepoint. The choice of your fibers will provide various textures and looks to your needlepoint piece.

      Take care to be sure that your fibers are colorfast! You don't want your fibers to bleed and ruin your design. Materials commonly used are Tapestry yarns, 3 ply Persian Yarns, Perle cottons of various weights, 6 ply flosses and silk and metallic yarns. Do Not use Knitting Yarn!
  • What sizes of needlepoint canvases are there?
    • Needlepoint canvases come in a variety of sizes from 5 to 24 counts. The count is the number of mesh holes per inch. Popular sizes are 10, 12, &14. Sizes 16 and greater are fine and are referred to as Petit Point.
  • What types of needlepoint canvases are there?
    • You may find canvases that are blank, charted, printed or hand painted.
  • What type of needles should I use for needlepoint?
    • To avoid splitting your threads and yarns, you should use tapestry needles. These needles have a rounded rather than sharp pointed tip. They come in various sizes to accommodate the various sizes of canvas. Be sure to use the appropriately sized needle for the canvas you are working.
  • What type and styles of Punch Needles are there?
  • What types of embroidery hoops are there, and which do I use?
    • There are many options available on the market today. You can still find the basic wooden or plastic hoops in a variety of diameters. These have less grip and your fabrics may lose some of their tightness and you will need to re-stretch and re-tighten occasionally. There are also several non -slip varieties that will keep your fabrics drum tight as well as a selection of great frames that snap together and also are super great for keeping your fabric or needlepoint canvas stretched tightly. Keeping your fabric stretched evenly and securely is very important. One should be sure and use the style that best fits the particular project. For example, always use a non-slip style hoop when doing a punch needle project as it is extremely important to have the fabric very taut when working this technique.
  • Why tape the canvas edges with masking tape?
    • The function is 2 fold, to prevent possible unraveling of a canvas, and to keep from catching your fibers on the edges as you work. Be sure and take the time to do this, you won't be sorry!
  • Do I need to use a frame?
    • The purpose of the frame is to minimize distortion of your canvas as you work it. Also work to keep your stitches at an even, not too tight tension. This will also help keep the canvas from distorting.
  • How do I get help with a specific problem or question?
  • There are a number of excellent Guilds that are devoted to specific needle arts. All of them are dedicated to the growth and education of these wonderful crafts. Please consider investigating which one (or ones) may be of interest to you. You can find them on the web at the following websites:

 American Needlepoint Guild - www.needlepoint.org

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