Is Needlepoint The Same as Cross Stitch?

Sewing in general has a lot of different ways to express your creative talents. You can use a variety of sewing subcategories to make beautiful designs. You can also sew by hand or use a machine. Sewing is an excellent hobby to get involved with.

Is Needlepoint The Same as Cross Stitch? No, but the two are often confused with each other as they both produce very creative and fine-looking designs. One of the big differences between the two sewing methods is that needlepoint uses a variety of stitches while cross stitch uses the X stitch pattern.

To learn more differences between the two sewing methods, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know to understand that the two sewing methods are not the same.

Difference Between Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

One of the differences between the two sewing methods is that needlepoint is a surface design. It doesn’t go through the material but stays on top of it. Then its most common stitch design is the tent style which is not the same as an X stitch pattern used by cross stitch.

A third difference is that cross stitch is done on a more angular basis than needlepoint. If you want an even result with cross stitch, you need to count the stitches from the middle going outward.

On top of those differences, needlepoint uses a stiffer canvas to help you create your favorite designs. The canvas is an open weave that is a little heavier and has large enough holes for the thread to pass through easily.

That is not all when it comes to differences. The pattern for needlepoint is often painted on the canvas so you can follow it without worry or wondering which color to use next. The painted pattern gives the color of thread needed and spares the sewer the task of counting threads.

Finally, needlepoint uses wool thread for the most part but it can use cotton as well. Cross stitch’s commonly used thread is cotton floss but that can be substituted with rayon or nylon.

Needlepoint vs Cross Stitch


One of the factors in this debate about needlepoint and cross stitch is the difficulty factor. Which one is more difficult to do? Some people may find that cross stitch is easiest for them while others may take the needlepoint side and claim that is the easiest sewing method.

In accordance with the experts, needlepoint may be far easier to do than cross stitch. The reasoning behind that is that you don‘t have to make half the X doing needlepoint. This speeds up your sewing time considerably as well.

But there are some more aspects to needlepoint that makes it a lot easier than cross stitch. First, you don’t have to count your stitches. This lets you concentrate more on your performance instead of being distracted by the thought you may be uneven in your work.

Also, the printed pattern on the needlepoint canvas gives you the color to use. This advantage keeps you from being slowed by trying to find the right color for your cross stitch project.

Another factor that makes needlepoint a little easier to do, is that you do not have to set up a hoop and get the canvas just tight enough. Needlepoint, you pick up the canvas and get to work.

Stamped Cross Stitch vs Counted Cross Stitch

Stamped cross stitch may be confused with needlepoint because this sewing form comes with a pattern already stamped on the cloth. There are also instructions that come with the kit to make sure you get started on the right foot and finish on the right foot, or stitch.

The kit also comes with the floss needed to do the job right. The only issue with a stamped cross stitch option is that you have to join the stitches at the X or the finished product will not look filled in. You may have a little extra work here that makes this style of sewing a little more difficult than needlepoint.

On the other hand, counted cross stitch doesn’t come with all the help and aid you get when you buy a stamped cross stitch kit. The trick to counted cross stitch is to make sure you know how to count to 6 and the method should be a lot easier for you.

The fabric is usually included with your purchase but don’t look for a printed design. It is not there. That is the other difficulty with counted cross stitch that makes it a little tougher to do than stamped cross stitch.

Is Stamped Cross Stitch Easier Than Counted


When you look at the fabric you are about to create, it is easy to see that stamped cross stitch should be a little easier to do that counted cross stitch. While both styles of sewing have the same concept, the squares have a designated switch and color to fill them in. That is about where the similarity ends.

As to which one is easier, that depends on your preference. Some sewers think that printed cross stitch is boring because there is little challenge to it and everything is basically outlined for you.

Also, counted cross stitch just needs you to be able to count the number of stitches available and then choose your color and go to work. The stamped cross stitch method may be easier because you can eliminate the counting and the color is already laid out for you. Your work goes faster and you may be able to get more things done in a shorter time.

For some people in the debate they will not take sides as the two sewing options are too close together to be able to say which one is easier than the other. As we said, it will depend on your preference and how much of a challenge you like to have.

Can You Needlepoint a Cross Stitch Pattern

It is possible but you may have to do some work to convert a cross stitch chart to work with a needlepoint style of sewing. The two key issues you have to watch out for is you need those patterns that do whole stitches only.

The second aspect to look out for is that the chart or pattern should have a minimal backstitching. Other factors to consider are:

  • How big is the fabric being used.
  • How many colors do you have to fill in.
  • ​How many quarter or half stitches do you need to create.
  • How detailed are those color changes.

The easiest conversion to make is when the fabric in the cross stitch is very close to the fabric used in needlepoint. These fabrics also have large areas of the same color while cutting out as many of the non whole stitches as possible.

If you cannot get away from those half and quarter stitch charts, then you should turn to a penelope fabric. The reason for this is because it comes with the same stitch count as a mono needlepoint fabric. Also, two threads need to be covered by 1 stitch.

There are other canvas options to help you convert cross stitch charts to needlepoint. A little research should get you the right style for you.

Is Cross Stitch The Same as Embroidery


You could say that they are almost the same style of sewing but there are some differences between the two. Hand embroidery lets you work with all sorts of fabric, including very delicate ones.

This style also lets you add monograms, or work on smaller items like napkins and handkerchiefs. One of the differences is, of course, the stitch pattern. Cross stitch uses an X pattern while you can use multiple stitches with hand embroidery.

You can also use different threads and fabrics. Then cross stitch uses a box style framework which can be viewed as less fluid than embroidery work. With its angle style, cross stitch is usually the preferred method to writing names, words or phrases.

Plus, the cross stitcher uses a hoop with stretched fabric while embroidery does not. What really holds back cross stitching as being seen as similar to embroidery is that it is basically limited to one stitch. That one stitch can be used in a 1/4, 1/2 or whole style, that flexibility still doesn’t make it equal to embroidery.

We haven’t even begun to talk about sewing machines that can embroider for you. That is a debate for another time and place.

What’s The Difference Between Cross Stitch and Embroidery

As we pointed out a little earlier, the biggest difference between the two sewing methods are the stitches. Cross stitch uses the cross stitch or the X style. This X style can be done in a 1/4, 1/2 or whole method making your patterns look really gorgeous.

Unfortunately, that is the only stitch style you can use when doing cross-stitch. Embroidery expands your sewing world and lets you learn and master different stitch styles to make your designs look even better.

Another difference will be in the size of fabric you are using. Embroidery works well with smaller items like napkins etc., These projects do not require a lot of work even though they may be very detailed.

Cross stitch works better when you have mottos to add to your design. The lettering stands out better and are easier to read. A lot will depend on your project and your skill level when it comes time to decide to use embroidery or cross stitch as your preferred sewing method at the time.

Which is Easier Embroidery or Cross Stitch


The answer to this challenge is going to be a depends answer. It may depend on your fabric size, the type of project you are working on and if you have mastered other stitch styles.

If you haven’t mastered more than the X stitch pattern, then embroidery may not be that easy for you to do. Embroidery usually demands that a lot of detail is involved and you may not be up to the extra work.

The easiest sewing method between the two is when you choose to use an embroidery sewing machine. Then the machine does all the work for you and you just make the selections. Machines generally make any project go a lot faster and are easier on you.

They also may take the fun out of embroidering something for your family. If you do not have a lot of time on your hands due to a very busy work and home life, then machines lets you stay in touch with your roots and make wonderful items for family and friends.

Difference Between Needlepoint and Tapestry

A main difference between the two sewing styles is that needlepoint is filling a pattern with a lot of stitches that can be seen. Tapestry has the design woven into the fabric.

Also, the tapestry creation is done on a loom and not with needle and thread. Needlepoint has an open weave pattern where you fill in the holes with your thread and great art talent.

Unfortunately, tapestry is often misidentified as needlepoint in places like Europe and Britain. But as you can see the two sewing styles are very different and are made in totally different ways.

Some Final Words

Sewing is more than just putting two fabrics together and binding them with thread. They are a great way to make interesting designs for your family and friends to enjoy. There are lots of creative outlets where you can apply both needlepoint and cross stitch.

These outlets may seem similar but as you can see, each sewing method comes with its own quirks and unique aspects. The end results can be beautiful no matter which sewing style you choose to use.

As to which style is easier, that is up to you. You may find one style easier to do than another and that is okay. There is no right or wrong answer to this discussion.

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