Needlepoint, cross stitch, hand embroidery, and machine embroidery serve the same purpose. And that is allowing you to express yourself artistically. But these four forms are very different with regards to the fabrics used and final effects. So it’s time to settle the debate between needlepoint vs. cross stitch.
Just remember that there’s no right answer here. The goal is to help you figure out which one’s more suitable for your projects.
So how about we get into the details to understand the topic of needlepoint vs. cross stitch better?
Different Kinds of Embroidery
You know what embroidery is. And you also know that there are two options in this category. They are hand embroidery and machine embroidery. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.
So to find out what these are, please keep on reading.
1 Machine Embroidery
Wanting to buy the best embroidery machine is not uncommon anymore. These types of machines now rank as important tools to create complex designs. The computer software of the machine generates and creates the embroidery design.
Apparel that comes with the brand’s logo has been subjected to embroidery machines. That means there are many commercial embroidery machines available. But you can easily buy one for your personal use as well. It also has the ability to create complex designs. The current market offers both embroidery-only and sewing-plus-embroidery machines.
The method of machine embroidery uses zigzag sewing and manual design. The commercial kind uses link stitch type embroidery. This is how it controls patterns, which enables you to customize the results better.
Computerized machines capable of embroidery allow you to input and store patterns. And just because you can store them, it becomes easier to recreate similar pieces.
With a computerized program, you can pretty much transform any image into an embroidered design! Such machines feature multiple threads and heads too. And this paves the way for more complicated patterns.
Embroidery machines use a higher stitch count. This works best for polyester and wool. Along with quilting cotton!
To sum it up, use an embroidery machine to embroider items like jackets, t-shirts, and tote bags. Plus placemats and quilts! But only if these are built using sturdy and thick fabrics! That can withstand the heavier stitch count.
1 Hand Embroidery
Photo credit: instructables.com
Here’s where you’ll understand the differences between needlepoint vs. cross stitch. Since both are hand embroidery techniques!
Hand embroidery involves using the thread and needle to create your design. By hand! With such an embroidery, you can select multiple fabrics, threads, and stitches. In fact, you also get the opportunity to use different threads and multiple stitches. On the same workpiece that too!
Since the machine part is eliminated, hand embroidery works best on delicate fabrics. Such as felt, canvas, cotton, weaver’s cloth, and quilting cotton.
With hand embroidery, you get more mobility. As compared to machine embroidery! The former makes way for a more personalized touch. And that makes it an excellent choice for wedding gifts and baby showers.
Smaller-scale projects like pillowcases, napkins, and towels are also more manageable as well. But that doesn’t mean you cannot hand embroider larger items. Like tablecloths or bedsheets.
Now let’s settle the debate between needlepoint vs. cross stitch. By getting to know each style of hand embroidery individually!
Cross Stitch Hand Embroidery
Photo credit: artsanddesigns.com
Cross stitch uses stitches that are X-shaped. Along with tiled patterns for the creation of the image! This is the reason why cross stitch embroidery looks boxier and less fluid. In comparison to regular embroidery!
Cross stitch has a slightly angular nature. Which makes it ideal for embroidering mottos and words. And when smaller cross stitches are used, they tend to produce smoother lines. As small as 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 stitches!
The method of stamped cross stitch creates a pattern on the material. And it’s this pattern that helps you finish your project. But with counted cross stitch, you have to count the stitches from the middle of the material. In order to achieve even results!
Aida cloth, Lugana, waste canvas, Jobelan, and evenweave. These are all perfect for cross stitch. In short, woven fabrics are an ideal choice. The kind that offers an even vertical and horizontal thread count! The higher the count, the smaller the stitches.
Here are some of the most common cross stitch home projects:
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to learn the cross stitch patterns first. Since there’s only one basic X-shaped stitch you have to get used to! No need to learn multiple methods of stitching here. Plus, mastering the X-stitch is no difficult task.
This answers the question, what is easier cross stitch or needlepoint?
Needlepoint Hand Embroidery
Photo credit: napaneedlepoint.com
Needlepoint stitches are surface embroidery patterns. In simple words, this type of hand embroidery covers only the top part of the material. And just like cross stitch, it has a boxy design. But the difference here is that needlepoint makes use of multiple stitches.
The most common and basic of the needlepoint stitches is tent stitch. It’s a slanted, diagonal stitch with an angle of 45 degrees. The stitch has the ability to cross over both horizontal and vertical threads. The multiple variations of tent needlepoint stitches are as follows:
Then apart from these common ones, there are also:
Needlepoint stitches also include cross stitch patterns and brick stitch patterns. This means you can just as easily add beadwork to your piece.
You can either buy needlepoint materials. That already come with a stamped image and pattern. Or you can work on blank canvases as well.
So what is harder cross stitch or needlepoint?
The latter is easier when used to create the following projects:
Needlepoint vs. Cross stitch: Which One Should I Use?
Are you new to the work of embroidery? If yes, then cross stitch patterns seem like a more appealing choice. Because all you have to do is become proficient at creating one basic stitch. And that, by the way, allows you to hone your skills to produce needlepoint stitches.
Since you’re a newbie, this video might help:
But are you keen on completing more realistic and complex images instead? If so, you should opt for needlepoint hand embroidery. Needlepoint stitches allow you to complete a single project with different textures. And beads!
Now how about choosing between machine embroidery and hand embroidery?
Pick the former if you want to achieve:
As for hand embroidery, it works best for:
Crafting offers tons of mental health benefits. Like relieving symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and other such disorders. In fact, some enthusiastic sewers and crafters compare it to meditation as well. As the activity allows you to enter the flow of your work, forgetting about life stressors.
My opinion on the subject is pretty much the same. And I’m quite certain that yours is too!
I hope I made it clear for you to choose between cross stitch and needlepoint. If there’s anything you would like to add to the post, please do so. The comments section is at your disposal.
Thank you for reading. Happy Hand-Embroidering!
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