Modern Cross-Stitch Design

What Is The Difference Between Cross-Stitch, Embroidery, And Needlepoint?

Julie Hayes | 22 October, 2023

            What Is The Difference Between Cross-Stitch, Embroidery, And Needlepoint?

I'll admit this topic confuses me somewhat, and it definitely confuses my friends and family. When I tell them about my cross-stitch, they always respond with a question about why that isn't needlepoint or embroidery. So what are the big differences and does it really matter?


There are some key differences between cross-stitch, embroidery, and needlepoint:

- Uses an x-shaped stitch on a woven fabric with an open weave like Aida or linen
- Follows a charted pattern with symbols representing each color
- Popular for making designs, pictures, and sayings using different colored threads

- Uses a variety of stitches like satin stitch, chain stitch, feather stitch on any woven fabric
- More freeform and artistic compared to following a chart
- Great for decorative accents on clothing, linens, and more

- Uses tent stitches on a stiff open-weave canvas
- Commonly makes geometric patterns, designs, and images in tapestry-like techniques
- Results in sturdy, durable pieces that can be framed or used as furniture coverings

So in summary - cross-stitch follows charts, embroidery uses decorative stitches, and needlepoint creates tapestry-style pieces on stiff canvas. All three techniques use a needle and thread creatively!

Turns out that it does matter what you do in terms of the finished product! Each craft has its devoted following and, although, some stitchers will cross lines to do more than one of these needlearts, most stick with their chosen form.


Top Lap Stands for Stitching