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Candlewicking On Needlepoint Canvas

You may know candlewicking as these bedspreads that were ubiquitous in the 1960's - and are probably trendy again.

candlewicking needlepoint

It's a stitching technique that traditionally uses very soft cotton and creates a tufted pattern. It's probably quite tricky to make a candlewick bedspread, but it's remarkably easy to add some candlewick tufting to a needlepoint canvas.

So easy, you'll wonder why you weren't doing this already. But, before we take you through the easy steps to adding a candlewicking tufting to your canvas, here's a few things to keep in mind:

1. Use a fuzzy or high loft fiber.  The fuzzier the better. We used ...

candlewicking on needlepoint
2. Thicken the thread. For example, we candlewicked on an 18 mesh canvas and Planet Earth recommends using this fuzzy fiber 2-ply on 18 mesh. So we used 3 ply (devils!).

3. Candlewicking on needlepoint works best when it's laid on top of tent stitches and not straight onto the canvas. This is because it's not a very secure stitch and so it will just pull out if laid straight onto the canvas - trust us, we tried it. Also, you don't get good coverage unless there's something underneath - your tufting will look like a cat that has lost most of its fur.

4. You need really pointy scissors.  Like these or even pointier tips.

Apart from that, all you're doing is straight stitches and then cutting them (hence the "not a very secure stitch" warning).

candlewicking on needlepoint
We decided to give it a go on this Fox in the Grass canvas round by adding some tufting to the inside of this cute guy's ears.

fox needlepoint
So, first we stitched them in tent stitch...

needlepoint candlewicking

Then we laid down random straight stitches - candlewicking is traditionally an embroidery technique that follows a pre-set pattern, but we just wanted random tufting so we didn't worry about any pattern and just tried to get the stitches as close together as we could. Here's about what it would look like without the stitches underneath (easier to see).

candlewicking on needlepoint

Then, once we'd secured the ends of our thread we snipped each of the straight stitches and then roughed them up so they formed tufts. It's hard to see what it looks like from the top...

candlewicking on needlepoint

But here's a side view that shows it better...

candlewicking in needlepoint
Candlewicking is a great technique for subtle tufting. And it's so easy. Try it!

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candlewicking on needlepoint

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