Preparing the Canvas
An important first step in learning how to do needlepoint is preparing the canvas. It keeps threads from snagging and protects the canvas edges from fraying.
- Find the top and bottom of your canvas. Selvages are always on the left and/or right edge.
- If there is no selvage, unravel one vertical and one horizontal thread. The more wavy one should be the vertical direction.
- On interlock canvas, the direction with two threads winding is vertical (although this is less important). Mark “top” at the top with a permanent, waterproof marker made for fabric.
- Make an arrow going from lower right to upper left in the top left corner for reference.
- Use tape (artist’s tape works well) or seam binding to cover edges.
- Cut a piece of tape long enough to cover one side.
- Lay it stitcky side up on a table. Put one edge of the canvas partly over it.
- Fold the remaining tape to the other side of the canvas. Press along the edge with your finger to make it flat.
- Cut off any edges which go beyond the edge of the canvas. Repeat the process for the other sides.
For seam binding, the process is the same but sew the binding down.
Now the edges of your canvas are protected and you can start to stitch.
Some Tips & Hints
Using a bone folding tool (from rubber stamp & scrapbook shops) makes it easier to smooth the edges.
Many shops will prepare canvas for you, be sure to ask when you buy some.
With your canvas properly prepared, now you are ready to learn how to do needlepoint.