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Definitions of Needlepoint Canvases

Needlepoint patterns are reproduced in one of five different formats.  When shopping for your next project, it helps if you are aware of the differences as the manner in which the design is reproduced usually defines the price of the item. 


Printed instructions only.  You must purchase the canvas and following the instructions draw or count out your design. A good example would be my Background Sampler pictured here


A line-drawn canvas is like stitching a coloring book.  Following the instructions, you fill in between the lines presented in the instructions.  Rule of thumb:  the line always belongs to the image in front.  For example, the outline of the bunny is covered when you stitch the bunny and not when you stitch the background.


The pattern is artistically painted with Acrylic paints. Notice how the leaf is painted with a nice smooth edge. You as a stitcher have to make the decision which color to use when the colors overlap on an intersection as shown in this example.


Stitch painted is also hand-painted the difference is the intersections are painted in the appropriate colors as the petals on this poinsettia.  Notice how the edges stair-step like pixels on a computer screen.  A Stitch-painted design eliminates any guesswork as which color to apply. The downside is stitch painting requires a considerable amount of extra time, which also effects the final cost of the item. You will find Stitch-Painted canvases under the Hand-Painted category.


The advances of technology have made our lives easier; it has also made reproduction of needlepoint designs also easier. Some designs have begun to have their designs printed.  Unfortunately, some still charge a hand-painted price.

There are two ways to tell if a design is printer generated.  First, the colors are not as intense and the lines are not always straight (like on a house or window).  The easiest way I’ve found is to turn the canvas over and if you don’t see paint coming through some of the holes, the canvas was printer produced.

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