Needlepoint Vs Cross Stitch – Which Is Better For You?

All embroidery has its merits and downfalls, but there are a few things to consider when deciding which type of embroidery will suit your needs best. In this article we’ll talk about needlepoint vs cross stitch and help you make an informed decision about the project at hand.

Needlepoint uses thicker yarns than cross stitch so it’s usually faster, more durable, and easier to work with in tight spaces because the stitches are tighter together. But it also means that less detail can be seen in the finished product than what is possible with cross stitch since the strands of thread aren’t as far apart from each other. This makes needlepoint perfect for stitching patterns where detail isn’t super important or for creating pieces that will be hung on the wall.

Cross stitch is very popular among crafty types because you can create detailed pieces that stand out, even if they aren’t framed behind glass. Stitching on Aida fabric means there are more holes than yarns so cross stitches show up really well and it’s possible to create both very simple and very complex pieces that still appear delicate. This makes cross stitch perfect for stitching pictures to hang up on the wall or give as a gift, especially if there is a lot of fine detail involved.

So needlepoint and cross stitch both have their benefits and downsides depending upon what you need from your embroidered creation. It’s good to know the difference so you can pick the option that works best for your project!

The Origin Of Needlepoint And Cross Stitch

Needlepoint and cross stitch are two needlework crafts which have been around for centuries. However, the origins of these two crafts are often debated.

The debate is generally split into three camps: those who believe that needlepoint originated in China, those who think it was invented in Italy, and those who claim that both crafts were created simultaneously in each country.

However, there are no records to prove any one theory definitively correct or incorrect. What is known about the history of these two crafts points to their simultaneous creation by Italians living in China during the 13th century.

What Is Needlepoint?

needlepoint vs cross stitch

The craft of needlepoint has been around since the early 1800s. The name “needlepoint” comes from the long, thin sewing needles that are used to stitch threads together.

Needlepoint is becoming more popular now because many people are able to find pictures of their favorite cartoon characters, animals, or places on the internet and transfer them onto a canvas or wood panel for embroidery.

Needlepoint is done by following a pattern with one thread using a needle and thread, usually woolen yarn. The canvas you are stitching on usually has lots of holes in it which you will fill up with stitches after following the pattern.

The craft of needlepoint has been around since the early 1800s. The name “needlepoint” comes from the long, thin sewing needles that are used to stitch threads together.

Needlepoint is becoming more popular now because many people are able to find pictures of their favorite cartoon characters, animals, or places on the internet and transfer them onto a canvas or wood panel for embroidery.

The History Of Needlepoint

Needlepoint is the name for a type of embroidery that was started in the 1500s and is still used today.

The history of needlepoint goes back over 500 years. Hem stitches and other types of embroidery were all traditional forms before needlepoint became popular. The first person to use this type of embroidery was Luisa Maria Guzman Y Zuñiga De De la Cerda who lived in Spain around 1560.

It has been speculated that she may have picked it up while living in an Italian convent and the style was introduced to England when she married King Philip II of Spain.

The art of needlepoint resembles the lace maker’s work in that it uses a needle to weave threads or yarn together, but there are no knots. It is believed to have originated in Russia during the 1700s when women would spend hours at home while their husbands were away at war weaving intricate embroideries on stretched canvas for permanence. The word “needlepoint” derives from needle, which refers to the long slender sewing needle that is threaded with yarn, and point, which refers to one of many decorative techniques employed in the process.

What Is Cross Stitch?

needlepoint vs cross stitch

Cross stitch is a type of embroidery made by means of stitching. The object is to make a pattern by stitching an even series of such small close stitches.

Cross stitch is the process of making a design on a surface by stitching back and forth in rows. The pattern can be represented using symbols, or it can be drawn onto the fabric.

The patterns are usually geometric, sometimes with the addition of written alphabets and words. The stitchery counts the threads in coarse canvas or linen in order that the stitches may be regular and even: this is called “counted work,” and is common in cross stitch and black work. Embroidery patterns are printed on the fabric, often at each end of a cross-stitch line; otherwise the stitchery works from diagrams or oral instructions.

The example here shows an open mesh band which is easily counted as one has only two colors per row, and they alternate: the progress of the pattern is easy to follow.

The History Of Cross Stitch

The first known charts date back to the 16th century. They were used for samplers, which were embroideries of geometric or floral designs. Early cross stitches were only straight lines with two knots at the end. These early stitches looked more like hatchings than crosses.

The first recorded use of the word “cross stitch” was in 1789, though it may have been used earlier. The first published cross stitch book was produced in 1757 and was designed by J. Murphy who wanted to revive the craft of mezzo-perspective cross stitch embroidery. These types of geometric patterns are popular today on clothing and household linens.

Many historic examples of cross-stitch have been found in Europe dating back as far as the 1500s. It was soon adopted by other European countries, where it remains especially popular today. Cross stitching gained great popularity in Asia throughout the 1900s and continues to be an essential part of Eastern culture today.

Needlepoint And Cross stitch – Which Are Similarities?

Both needlepoint and cross stitch are needlework methods where the design is constructed on a frame. A needlepoint work will have vertical stitches running across the fabric in different colors, while a cross stitch work will have stitches traveling horizontally in one color.

Cross stitch works are worked in rows, with each row being worked into for a period of time before starting the next row.

Needlepoint works are also worked in rows, but the individual stitches are not short like cross stitch. Some of the lines may be done all at once while others may be crossed over one another to create more of an image.

Needlepoint And Cross Stitch – Which Are Differences?

At first glance, you might think that needlepoint and cross stitch are very similar to one another. You may even consider them to be the same thing. However, there are some differences between these two types of textile arts. These are the main differences you can expect to find between needlepoint and cross stitch:

  • The work involved in needlepoint is typically more detailed than in cross stitch because it is made with embroidery floss or other thread.
  • Needlepoint work often has a three dimensional effect and does not have clear boundaries like most cross stitch will have. This is because there is no underlying fabric to provide the desired structure.
  • Cross stitches do not require any hoop or frame to help them maintain proper shape. In contrast, needlepoint must be situated inside a frame or hoop in order to hold the project in place and keep it from becoming misshapen.
  • Cross stitches usually take less time to complete than many designs of needlepoint because they are generally simpler and do not include as much detail. There is no worry with cross stitches about how the work will fit inside a frame and they do not require as much allowance for the stitching process.
  • Cross stitch designs leave behind less waste because they are completed on one single piece of fabric. In contrast, needlepoint projects require multiple pieces of fabric to complete the design. This is because needlepoint requires at least two fabric patches to be stitched together on the back.
  • Needlepoint has a tendency of showing the thread more than cross stitch does. This is because needlepoint is made with embroidery floss, which has larger gaps between the individual strands of thread. Cross stitches are made with yarn or stranded cotton, which results in tighter stitches that are less visible.

Now, we will go through some specific differences:


needlepoint vs cross stitch

The Needlepoint Canvas is a synthetic fiber that is used in the needlepoint craft. The Needlepoint Canvas has long been made with wool, but in more recent years they have been made with acrylic fibers. The reason for this switch from wool to acrylic is because the wool fibers have a good memory which means that they will spring back into place. However, some people do not like this about them and prefer the more flat look of the canvas made with acrylic fibers. The other reason why canned makers went with using acrylic is that it is cheaper than wool and easier to work with than the wool canvas.

Canvas of Cross Stitch is a boutique that offers cross stitch fabrics, patterns, frames, and more. They have an online store that also includes instructions for how to do different types of stitches.

A canvas of cross stitch is an embroidery pattern created by stitching crosses in a grid pattern and it usually consists of X’s and squares.

They offer over 3,000 designs for sale which are split into the following categories: Seasonal/Holiday, Everyday/Wedding/Anniversary, Baby Girl /Boy Birth Announcement, Pets and Animals, Garden, Quilts by Designer.

In summary:

The canvas is a rectangular, usually square, surface on which an image is projected. It is often stretched over a frame and used as a support to prevent the image from being distorted.

Needlepoint is a form of hand-knitting which originated as a way to strengthen the fingers by moving them in different directions. In modern times it has become a form of needlecraft which uses wool yarn with woven canvas to create pictures or textiles.

Cross stitch is a type of embroidery that creates a design on fabric by making stitches that crisscross each other in one direction, then going back and filling the gaps with another set of stitches in the other direction. It was first used as an embellishment for clothing during the Middle Ages. Today it can be used to produce needlepoint and other types of embroidered pictures.

One difference between Needlepoint and Cross Stitch is that cross stitch requires a square or rectangle, while needlepoint uses a diamond shape for stitching. While cross stitch also uses different stitches to build up certain areas, this works differently from needlepoint. In cross stitch, people work with a thread that has been pre-cut into the right length and then do their own threading to achieve this. In contrast, in needlepoint you have to create your own thread by using a hook which is a pointy part on an oblong handle used for stitching through fabric.


Needlepoint is pleasant in that it can be made to look like any surface you want, because there are no rules when it comes to stitching in this technique. You can stitch upholstery or create mountains. The shape of the needlepoint stitches is very similar to the shape of the cross-stitch.

Cross-stitching, however, follows a set pattern and will only produce the same thing if repetition is done after repetition. Fabric can make a big difference when it comes to stitching with these two techniques. Needlepoint uses much heavier fabric than cross-stitch does. Needlepoint fabric is traditionally a twill weave, but it can be made with a tighter weave to allow for easy stitching.

Cross-stitch fabric used to come in different colors and materials even before the Victorian era. Cross-stitched items have been found where the material used was not only cotton or linen, but also silk, which is a much finer fabric. Cross-stitched pieces can be placed in a frame to make beautiful samplers, which was a practice that started out as an occupation of the ladies of the house.

Needlepoint uses heavy fabrics, thus it’s more suited towards bigger projects, such as a wall-hanging or an afghan.


needlepoint vs cross stitch

Threads are one of the most important aspects of any cross stitch. Thread is the only thing that attaches the fabric to the back of the needle. Most cross stitches recommend using an all-purpose thread for this, but there are some who swear by DMC cotton floss. All threads used in cross stitch should be held together with a large needle called an embroidery needle. The thread typically flows over two different arms on the needle, though some people use three or more strands on their needles to make it stronger.

A few things make up the difference between needlepoint and cross stitching. One of these is that needles are not required for cross stitching; another is that fabrics can be used in needlepoint but not cross stitch. Cross stitches use needles and fabric to create a pattern on the cloth, while needlepoints use canvas with yarn threaded through it to create designs for stitching.

Another difference is that cross stitching is limited to certain shapes of stitches such as X’s and half crosses, though there are more than these stitches available. Some of the stitches available for cross stitching include half stitch, quarter stitch, three-quarter stitch, backstitch and satin stitch. Needlepoint works with any shape of stitches including the ones listed plus more complex patterns like brickwork.

Threads, also known as DMC, are the most widely used cross stitch thread. Threads come in all sorts of colors and types.

Threads for needlepoint come in many different sizes. The size of the needlepoint thread is relative to the size of the stitches that you will be making with it. Threads for needlepoint are typically in skeins or in cones. The strands are wrapped around in twisted loops called skeins that contain 100 yards or more of thread each.


Cross stitch and needlepoint are a lot of the same thing. The main difference between the two of them is that cross stitch is done with a needle, while needlepoint is done on a canvas. Cross stitch also has a thicker, more uniform fabric. It is most commonly used in needlepoint.

Stitches can be one of the more difficult stitches to master, but it has its fair share of rewards. Sometimes the stitches are called “running” stitches.

There are two types of stitches: Needlepoint and Cross Stitch. They both use a needle and yarn and one of the most common things they’re used for is creating fabric pictorials. The needlepoint stitch is worked with a large-eyed needle and is often used for tapestries or canvas work. It tends to give you a lighter fabric than cross stitch does, which makes it great if you’re looking for something that’s not as stiff.

Cross stitch, on the other hand, is done with a shorter needle that can be threaded. This makes for a tighter fabric which is perfect if you plan on using your finished product to make something like a pillow or wall art.

Type of stitch

There are a few differences in type of stitch and needlepoint and cross stitch. Needlepoint is much more like an illustration in that it can be done in much finer detail. It also uses a much finer thread than cross stitch. But the main difference is using different weight threads for the ground and fabric in needlepoint. It is also much easier to do needlepoint on a warp-weighted or even weave fabric than on a weft-weighted or plain weave fabric, which is what you use for cross stitching.

Mode of stitching

needlepoint vs cross stitch

Mode of stitching is a technique in needlepoint and cross stitch. The primary difference in needlepoint versus cross stitch is that in needlepoint, you use a single thread to weave an embroidery pattern on the fabric. This means you only need to work one side of any given fabric square at any given time. Cross stitches are made by using two threads for each stitch. This technique works more quickly but it has less detail than needlepoint.

Needlepoint and cross stitch are both methods of stitching, but there are many differences between the two. The first major difference is that needlepoint uses a tapestry needle and cross stitch uses a blunt-tipped tapestry needle. Secondly, you need to use different types of threads for each method: cotton for cross stitch and wool thread for needlepoint. Lastly, the fabrics that you’re sewing onto can be lined up differently: sewn side to side for needlepoint or sewn as strips for cross stitch. 

Finished Product

Needlepoint is a type of embroidery where you use a row of stitches to form the design. The loops are created by either using a needle with a blunt point or by going behind the fabric. There is no specific stitch that is used in this process, but it does require a good amount of time and patience. Cross stitch is where you create a cross-shaped “X” on the material with thread. This is done on both sides to form the design. You can then use different colors to complete the design. The difference between needlepoint and cross stitches is that needlepoint requires more time than cross stitch, making it difficult for those who are new to embroidery.

Needlepoint Vs Cross Stitch: Which is Better?

Many people like to work on needlepoint and cross stitch for their craft. Both of these crafts can be finished in a variety of ways and with different materials. The most popular method with either or is that they both can be framed or framed and hung on the wall. There are many enjoyable aspects of needlepoint such as the group work which makes it more interesting, and the ability to design your own patterns. Needlepoint is not only practiced by older generations but is popular among younger generations as well.

Cross stitch, on the other hand, has a few advantages over needlepoint. It’s a little easier because you don’t have to pull any loose threads while stitching because there aren’t any. You also have a better control over the size of stitches which make cross stitching a little faster. This is why it’s used to make designs onto clothes where needlepoint is not as flexible.

In the end, these two crafts are fairly similar and people always enjoy doing both of them because they take time to complete and can be very relaxing after a long day at work or home. If you are new to either craft, it is best to start with the easier of the two so that your first experience doesn’t turn into frustration.


Needlepoint can be a difficult craft to master, but the satisfaction of completing a beautiful piece is worth it. Cross Stitch may seem like an easier alternative because you don’t need as much patience or hand-eye coordination, but needlepoint has its own set of challenges that make it more rewarding in the end. If you are interested in either one of these crafts, we encourage you to try both and see which one suits your personality better!

Read also:
Cross Stitch Vs Embroidery: What Are The Differences Between These Two?
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