The difference between cross stitch and tapestry is mainly the type of stitch used. Tapestry, also commonly known as needlepoint, uses the tent stitch, which is done by stitching a diagonal from bottom left to top right. Cross stitch, on the other hand, involves only one type of stitch, which is stitched in the form of an X.
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What is cross stitch embroidery?
Cross stitch is a type of embroidery that uses stitches in an x to create an image. The finished design is slightly angular in quality, so the cross stitch is an ideal embroidery type to create words or mottos on items. When you use ½, ¼, and ¾ stitches on your cross stitch, you can create smoother lines on your design.
You can use Aida or even weave fabric for your cross stitch. The material can be cotton, linen, a blend of these fibers, or rayon. You can choose different patterns to create either simple designs or realistic final images with. The designs you make depends on the effect that the pattern designer wants to achieve.
Cotton floss is commonly used to stitch the x-shaped stitches on the fabric. Other materials are also used to stitch cross stitches, such as silk, metallics, rayon, ribbon or wool. You can also add embellishments such as buttons or beads on your cross stitch project to express your creativity more.
What is tapestry embroidery?
Tapestry is also known as canvas work or needlepoint in the US. Tapestry is a piece of thick woven decorative fabric. It usually involves tent stitch and its variations. The designs vary from geometric patterns to realistic pictures. The typical designs are flowers, birds, or animals, to name a few. Most of the designs of tapestry completely cover the canvas.
A tapestry is also a form of counted thread embroidery where you work the thread through the stiff canvas using a tapestry needle. Threads used to stitch are wool, silk, rayon or ribbon.
How does a tapestry needle work?
When doing tapestry or cross stitch, you need a special needle that would not ruin your work. A tapestry needle is used to stitch for needlepoint or cross stitch work. It has a large eye to hold the thicker threads and yarns typically used in tapestry or cross stitch. A tapestry needle’s large eye prevents the yarn or thread from fraying as you pull it through the needle.
The tapestry needle has a blunt end that can glide through the openings of the canvas. A needle with a blunt end is also used to stitch on even-weave fabric commonly used for cross stitch.
What size cross stitch needle do I need?
When you are just starting with your cross stitch, you might think that you can use your ordinary sewing needle for your project. But later in your cross stitch embroidery journey, you will realize how important the size and type of needle are to your project. You can find various needles in hobby or craft stores, but you must know which one would be best for your cross stitch project.
- Needle Size
Your needle size is crucial to the way the fabric will handle the thread. You may try these needle sizes that are recommended for these particular sizes of Aida fabric.
Fabric 8 to 12: Needle Size 22
Fabric 14: Needle Size 24
Fabric 16 to 18: Needle Size 28
- Needle Tip
For cross stitch, the needle tips should have rounded and blunt ends. Since the fabric, you use to cross stitch is not tightly woven, you do not need a sharp-tipped needle like the sewing needles. Blunt end needles are used for cross-stitching so the thread can glide easily through the fabric.
- Needle Eye Size
Cross stitch needles have wider and rounder eyes so that you can pull more thread through. You usually need more than one strand of thread for cross stitching or doing embroidery; a wider eye needle would be a big help.
Is cross stitch a tapestry?
A tapestry is a form of counted thread embroidery, and so is cross stitch. Both use a needle and thread to stitch onto fabric. But the similarity of these two types of needlecrafts ends there. In cross stitch, some areas of the fabric are not stitched. With tapestry, the whole of the tapestry canvas is covered in stitching.
The tapestry can combine cross stitch into the canvas design, but cross stitch does not include any of the tapestry stitches. You can say that cross stitch is under the umbrella of a tapestry.
Is there a difference between cross stitch and needlepoint?
Needlepoint, which is also called tapestry, and cross stitch are both types of needlecraft involving stitching thread and needle onto a fabric. But these two needlecrafts are a lot more different than they are alike. Here are some of the reasons why:
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The main difference between cross stitch and needlepoint is the stitch it uses for a project. Cross stitch uses a stitch with the shape of an X, as its name implies. The X stitches form a less fluid design.
The needlepoint stitch is called the tent or continental stitch. It is made by making a diagonal from the bottom left to the upper right. The other needlepoint stitches are based on this concept of the diagonal stitch.
Cross stitch projects mostly use DMC cotton embroidery floss, which you can easily find in craft shops and hobby stores. Needlepoint uses various threads such as silks, cotton, and wools, to name a few.
Cross stitch is most often stitched on Aida cloth. The fabric is woven in a grid pattern that makes it easy to line up your stitches. You can find Aida fabric in different sizes. The size indicates the number of stitches that you can stitch in one square inch. You can choose from sizes 11, 14, 18 and 28.
The most commonly used fabric size is 11 or 14, which gives large spaces for cross stitch. With cross stitch, as you increase the number of stitches, your crosses also become smaller.
Other options from Aida cloth that you can use for cross stitch are linen or fiddler’s cloth. These other fabric choices lack the same wide spaces that you get from an Aida cloth. Cross stitching is commonly used to make decorative items such as wall hangers, coasters, cushions and bookmarks.
Tapestry uses an open weave stiff canvas called Mono Canvas. Needlepoint projects make great handbags, pillows, belts, wall hangings, and upholstery. These finished needlepoint items need to be durable and long-lasting. Mono Canvas is the best material to use for tapestry.
For your cross stitch projects, you will find the designs printed on a piece of paper. The pattern or design is drawn on a cross stitch graph that will act as your guide as you stitch. You can also find fabrics that have the pattern printed on them. You can then use the stamped cross stitch pattern to guide you as you stitch your design.
With traditional tapestry or needlepoint, you cover the whole tapestry fabric in stitching. Cross stitch, on the other hand, has some areas of the fabric that are not stitched. The design of the tapestry is hand-painted or stitch-painted on the needlepoint canvas. With stitch-painted canvas, the designer has already painted each intersection on the fabric to guide you where you stitch. On the hand-painted canvas, you have to bank on your creativity as there are shading and curved lines.
What is a tapestry stitch?
Tapestry is stitched on canvas using varied stitches starting from the basic tent stitch. The tent stitch is a diagonal stitched from the bottom left to the upper right. The tent stitch is the fundamental stitch where the other needlepoint stitches are based.
- Tent Stitch
- Half Cross Stitch
- Basketweave Stitch
- Victorian Cross Stitch
- Random Long Stitch
Tent stitch or Continental stitch is the more commonly used stitch for tapestry. You can make the tent stitch by working in rows alternately from left to right, then right to the left. The fabric’s right side shows half cross stitch diagonals while long diagonal stitches are created at the back.
The half cross stitch is usually stitched from the top right to bottom left. You start by working a loose end at the back. Work your stitches in rows alternately from right to left then left to right, making short vertical stitches through the canvas. Half cross stitch uses less yarn than other forms of the tent stitch. To end your half-cross stitches, pass them through a few stitches on the back of your work.
The basketweave stitch is worked in diagonal lines of stitches. When working your basketweave stitches, make a diagonal from bottom left to top right on the right side of your fabric. From the back of the canvas, come back up below two horizontal threads. Then create another basketweave stitch.
The basketweave stitch is typically used to make tapestry for pillows. Using the basketweave stitch is less prone to distorting the canvas than other forms of tent stitch. The basketweave stitch is good for covering large background areas. It also uses a similar amount of thread as the tent stitch.
The Victorian Cross Stitch, known simply as cross stitch, is stitched by working two stitches over each vertex before moving on to the next. Make sure you overlap your stitches in the same manner.
You can do the cross stitches in two ways. You can work in a row by stitching half cross stitches in one direction, then go back using a second overlapping row of stitches. The second method is to work your cross stitches individually per row.
When you have large areas of your canvas that you need to fill, the random long stitch is your perfect tapestry stitch.
Work your random long stitches by stitching in varying lengths along each row. It is recommended that the longest stitches should not exceed four horizontal threads. If the stitches are too long, they may become too loopy and easy to pull out. Also, it would help if you used a circular motion when stitching the front and back of your canvas.
Keep in mind that different tapestry stitches require different amounts of thread. So, read your pattern carefully to know which stitch you need to use. You would want to make sure that you will not run out of thread in the middle of your work. The type of tapestry stitch you use for your needlepoint project depends on your finished item’s final design and purpose.
Be it tapestry or cross stitch, hand embroidery is a great way to unwind after a long day. Doing these types of needlecrafts is a great way to express your creativity. At the same time, you are making something practical with your creative hands.