Needlepoint

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What is needlepoint?

A type of embroidery that uses yarn and canvas

What determines the degree of detail in needlepoint?

The thread count of the underlying mesh fabric

What is the oldest form of canvas work?

Needlepoint

What is the most common stitch used in needlepoint designs?

Tent stitch

What are some common uses for needlepoint?

Eyeglass cases, holiday ornaments, pillows, purses, upholstery, and wall hangings

How is needlepoint canvas kept taut during stitching?

Stretched on a scroll frame or tacked onto a rectangular wooden frame

What are the different forms of commercial designs for needlepoint?

Hand-painted canvas, printed canvas, trammed canvas, charted canvas, and free-form

What types of thread can be used for stitching in needlepoint?

Wool, silk, cotton or combinations, such as wool-silk blend

What famous historical figures were known for their needlepoint skills?

Mary, Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth I, and Princess Grace

Study Notes

Needlepoint: An Overview

  • Needlepoint is a type of canvas work, a form of embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a stiff open weave canvas.
  • The degree of detail in needlepoint depends on the thread count of the underlying mesh fabric.
  • Needlepoint is the oldest form of canvas work, and its roots go back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians.
  • Needlepoint designs completely cover the canvas, and many needlepoint designs use only a simple tent stitch.
  • Common uses for needlepoint include eyeglass cases, holiday ornaments, pillows, purses, upholstery, and wall hangings.
  • Needlepoint canvas is stretched on a scroll frame or tacked onto a rectangular wooden frame to keep the work taut during stitching.
  • Commercial designs for needlepoint may be found in different forms: hand-painted canvas, printed canvas, trammed canvas, charted canvas, and free-form.
  • The thread used for stitching may be wool, silk, cotton or combinations, such as wool-silk blend.
  • Needlepoint continues to evolve as stitchers use new techniques and threads, and add appliqué or found materials.
  • Royal needlepointers include Mary, Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth I, and Princess Grace.
  • The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen contains 436 stitches and 1680 illustrations in 560 pages and has been continuously in print since 1976.
  • Needlepoint backgrounds were used most famously on the long-running game show, Family Feud from its premiere with Richard Dawson in 1976 to the end of the Ray Combs era in 1994.

How much do you know about the ancient art of needlepoint? Test your knowledge with our Needlepoint: An Overview quiz! From its roots in ancient Egypt to its modern-day uses, this quiz will cover all aspects of needlepoint. Discover different types of needlepoint designs, the thread used for stitching, and the famous royal needlepointers throughout history. Take the quiz to see how well you know this timeless craft!

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