Kits, False Economy, and Bargains
Everyone wants to find affordable needlepoint kits. A package that includes everything and that won’t break the bank to buy. But how often is this a false economy and how do you know if you’re getting a good deal?
In this section of All about Needlepoint, you’ll learn about kits, what’s included, the different types, and what to seek to find a great kit.
You’ll also find links to my Kindle book on stitching the high end kit, and links to my eCommerce shop with a selection of great kits.
What’s in a Needlepoint Kit?
Quite simply a needlepoint kits contains everything you need to stitch the project. It will include canvas, with or without the design printed on it, threads, a needle, and instructions. Depending on the project it may include finishing items or a chart of the design.
The quality of these items can vary greatly, with the least expensive kits having poor quality materials and printing.
Quality in Needlepoint Kits
Three components of a kit make the biggest difference in quality: thread, canvas, and design printing. It’s good to know what to look for so that your choices are not cheap, but truly affordable needlepoint kits.
Many kits use low-qulity needlepoint canvas. It’s almost always interlock canvas so it is lighter in weight than the mono canvas typically used for hand-painted canvases. Poor quality interlock canvas has holes that are fuzzy with fibers.
Avoid kits with this kind of canvas. Because the canvas is treated with sizing to make it stiff AFTER it is woven, those fibers are rough and will weaken your threads. It also won’t be particularly comfortable to your hands and may remain distorted even after blocking.
This is a false economy. affordable needlepoint kits use good quality canvas.
When choosing kits look for kits that use wool, cotton, or silk threads, never acrylic. The threads used in your kits should be the same as the threads you would buy to stitch a canvas. Because the biggest factor you put into making a needlepoint kits is your time, the cost savings for poor-quality threads is very little.
It’s another false economy. Affordable needlepoint kits use threads you would buy in a needlework shop.
The method of getting the design on canvas is the most tricky. Virtually all kits have the designs put on the canvas by machine. High-end kits use silk-screening or computer- printing (giclee), low end kits use printing. In either case, the colors will not always be exactly on intersections. This will mean that as you stitch you will have to make decisions about what color goes where. This is because needlepoint canvas varies and machines will always print the same way, even if the canvas isn’t perfectly even.
Low quality kits will have colors that are fuzzy as well as not on intersections, with edges that sometimes “bleed” into the unstitched margins.
Printed canvases are more challenging to stitch, but poor printing will make them even more difficult. I’ve given up stitching more than one kit in frustration at figuring out where the colors go.
Pick a good-quality kit and you’ll have a project you’ll enjoy stitching and a finished piece you’ll love.
Affordable Needlepoint Kits
You can learn the tips you need to stitch a high end (think Elizabeth Bradley or Ehrman) kits with my Kindle book, available here. You can also find a lovely selection of kits in conjunction with Art Needlepoint in my Etsy shop.
Coming soon, my new line of kits with line-drawn canvases, complete instructions, and threads for stitching. The designs will include:
- Ornamentals – small designs to finish to ornaments or tags
- Frame-it-yourself pictures to fit standard small frames
- Stained Glass – replicate the look of Art Glass with my techniques
Watch for these offerings