Match Needlepoint Fibers to Needlepoint Canvas

It's important to match your needlepoint fibers to the needlepoint canvas you are using. If your fiber is too thin for the canvas then you won't get good coverage and you may see the canvas through the yarn. Sometimes this is an effect you want, but if it isn't then you need to thicken your needlepoint fiber or use a smaller canvas mesh.

On the other hand, if the yarn is too thick, the canvas will bunch up under the strain of having too much yarn squashed into the holes. So matching needlepoint fibers to needlepoint canvas size is important if you want your to look stellar!

The table below is a general guide on the common types of needlepoint fiber and the best canvas size to use them on. Remember though, this is just a guide and it's best to test the fiber on the canvas to make sure it gives you the look and stitching experience you want.

Needlepoint Thread Canvas Mesh
Tapestry Yarn. Tightly twisted 4-ply that cannot be stripped. 10 or 12 count.
Persian Yarn. Loosely twisted 3-ply that can be stripped. 12-13 count - all 3 plies.
14-18 count - 1-2 plies.
Crewel Yarn. Loosely twisted 2 ply that can be stripped. Can easily double up to use on larger mesh sizes. 16-18 count - all 2 plies.
Embroidery Floss. 6-plied cotton that can easily be stripped into the number of strands required. 12-13 count - all 6 plies.
18 count - 3 plies.
Perle Cotton. Loosely twisted cotton that comes in different sizes. 14 count - Size 3
18 count - Size 5

Keep in mind that this chart is based on using a needlepoint tent stitch. Using a cross stitch, for example, will mean you need to thin your thread or use a slightly larger canvas. Conversely, stitching a straight stitch e.g. satin stitch will generally mean you need a thicker thread to get the same coverage.

We hope this information helps you to find the right needlepoint thread for your needlepoint canvas.

If you have any questions be sure to contact us as we are always glad to help.

Here's a link to a handy PDF of the chart above that you can print.

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