How to Start a Tapestry


How to Start a Tapestry

In this blog post we are going to look at the basic accessories required for tapestry work.

To start a tapestry, you will need the following:

  • DMC Thread (Wool or cotton), or Appleton
  • Tapestry/needlepoint Canvas 10 or 14-count Mono or Penelope (Duo) Canvas
  • Design that will be either painted onto the canvas or a chart to follow
  • DMC Tapestry Needles size 18 or 22
  • DMC Embroidery Scissors
  • DMC Needle Threader
  • 5cm (1”) Masking Tape

A Little About Tapestry/needlepoint Canvas

Tapestry/needlepoint is worked on an evenweave mesh canvas.  Canvas is available in two styles, the most common and versatile is a single weave Mono.  One stitch is worked over each intersection of canvas for a half cross stitch or tent stitch while other decorative stitches can be worked over any number of intersections on the canvas. Your canvas is your groundwork for tapestry/needlepoint and is often referred to as the ‘ground’. Many tapestry/needlepoint designs are painted directly onto the canvas, but there are also tapestry/needlepoint designs that are charted, similar to cross stitch with each square in the chart representing one single stitch.

Preparing the Canvas

It is recommended that you bind the edges of your canvas with Masking tape before you begin stitching. This will prevent the canvas from unraveling and from catching the threads as you stitch. Simply cut a piece of tape the length of one side of the canvas. Apply the tape over the canvas edge, with half of the tape on the front side and half on the back side. Repeat on all four sides of the canvas.

You can attach your canvas to scroll bars or mount it on a frame.  Scroll Bars and frames will help keep your tapestry/needlepoint square and your canvas taut and easier to work. The two main types of tapestry frames are scroll frames and stretcher bars. The frames can be held in your hands and either rested on a table or in your lap. If you find it more comfortable you can use a tapestry stand to hold the frame for you. You can also stitch tapestry/needlepoint canvas without a frame at all. You might find this easier if it is a small design or if you intend to carry your canvas around with you on the go. Use whatever feels comfortable for you and enjoy!

To thread your needle, use a DMC Needle Threader.



Tapestry/needlepoint Stitch Guide

There are many different stitches you can use for tapestry/needlepoint. A half cross stitch or tent stitch are the easiest beginners’ stitch to learn.  In our next newsletter we will provide a few illustrations and instructions so that you can learn the most common tapestry/needlepoint stitches.



Until next time – Happy Needle Working

Best Wishes

The Needle Woman Team

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