Needlepoint vs. Cross Stitch

When joining two pieces of fabrics together or beautifying the same, you have many kinds of stitches to make use of. The choice of the stitch you use has a bearing on the longevity of the binding as well as the overall beauty of the embroidery altogether.

Two of these stand out. These are the needlepoint and the cross stitch respectively. In our exposition here entitled, needlepoint vs. cross stitch we are going to compare and contrast them in the finest details possible. At the tail end, we hope to equip you to make a choice as wise as can be.


This is a kind of canvas wok or counted thread embroidery that entails the stitching of the yarn via a stiff open weave canvas. It relies heavily on the color changes as it mainly serves the embroidery tasks. The stitch also doubles up as the oldest form of embroidery in place.



Below are the key advantages of the needlepoint stitching pattern:

Flexible to Tackle

It is also quite flexible compared to the cross-stitch. Owing to this flexibility, you are sure to make elegant embroidery and other complex patterns that are way beyond the scope and reach of your alternative stitching. With this flexibility also comes the ability to make for diverse patterns.

Generates Unique Designs

A combination of flexible operations and the ability to embroider the surfaces gives you the power to generate unique designs. If you are involved in large scale embroidery and stitching, this technique will be certain to make your life, on the whole, a lot easier.

Incorporates many Details

You also have the leeway to incorporate more details through the use of this technique. It allows you to tag and incorporate many decorative patterns and techniques in your stitching tasks. This of course opens doors to numerous opportunities that other forms of stitching cannot come near to.

Advanced or Professional Stitching

For your advanced or professional stitching, you have no better companion than this one. It possesses the ability to generate complex patterns also bring on board many other disparate tools and techniques. Given its fairly high degree of uniqueness, it also suits mass production or commercial settings.

Serves as a Hobby

Besides the functional purposes, you may also dedicate the stitch to the matters of hobbies or killing time. The stitch itself is enjoyable to undertake and may also be used to bring about other benefits like developing your brains, cognitive capabilities, and coordination. Choose it to deepen your expertise too!


Below are now some of the downsides of this stitching technique:

Inappropriate for Starters

As hinted above, this technique mainly favors those who have the necessary experience and expertise. Starters or those who are yet to master the tiny details may hence never really find it appropriate for their ends. That means it leaves out a huge chunk of eligible would-be users.

Too Time-consuming

To craft a final outcome using this technique is no walk in the park. It takes a little bit more time and focuses to come up with a final end. That is not good news for someone who has a somewhat squeezed schedule or premature deadlines to meet.

Potentially Confusing

Given its somewhat complicated nature, this technique is indeed potentially confusing. One has to really pay keen attention to the tiny intrigues and details to actualize it. Any errors or negligence may often lead to massive delays. Also, it may mean you starting again numerous times.


A cross stitch is a sewing technique that is largely employed in matters of embroidery. The technique entails marking out X-shapes across a surface of the fabric to give rise to a picture. These crosses are packed in many quantities to form a continuous mass of cross patterns.



We take this opportunity to peek into the advantages of the cross-stitch technique:

Relaxing Hobbies

As is the case with the needlepoint above, this technique may also be used to relax as a hobby. It may also yield forth many of the common ends that come along with the other stitching techniques. This makes it great for someone who simply wants to kill time or beat boredom.

Cheaper to Undertake

Even though may often have to incorporate some machines, this technique is, on the whole, cheaper to undertake. In fact, in many cases, you only have to spend the startup capital. Thereafter, you won’t have to expend any amount as the project itself is self-sustaining.

Lasts Fairly Longer

Unlike the needlepoint above, this technique is a little bit more permanent in nature. Its colors hardly ever fade as is the norm with many of the competing techniques we have around. Because of this, you have it for consideration if you want more permanent and enduring embroidery outcomes.

Less Confusing in the Long Run

Thanks to its straightforward and simple character, this technique is easier to master and is also less confusing in the long run. Even if you have to pause or terminate the stitching for some time, you may be sure that you will easily pick up from where you left and soldier on.

Great for Starters

We have already stated that the technique is somewhat simpler than its needlepoint counterpart. Thanks to this, it is a good one for the starters and persons who have never attempted to stitch before. Consider making it a starting point for all your subsequent stitching tasks.


Here now are some of the possible downsides of this stitching technique:

Too Basic in Scope and Shape

It is too basic in scope and shape. This limits the areas or the extent to which you may apply it. If you want to engage in commercial applications, we can never recommend the use of this technique at all. Also, its outcomes are a bit nondescript as they lack any interesting traits.

Incapable of Accepting other Extras

If you opt for this technique, you can never add any more decorations or extras as is the case with the needlepoint above. This stitch pattern is basic and devoid of the complex extras and attachments that have the ability to up the appearances of the fabrics altogether.

Fewer Design Patterns

With this form of stitching, you can only manage a limited number of design patterns. It is hence inappropriate for mass production and other large scale operations. Indeed, it is only limited and relevant for the small home-based applications such as hand sewing and hobbies.


We examine now the similarities between the needlepoint and the cross stitch patterns:


Both of these techniques are used to either sew two or more fabrics together or etch out some embroidery on the said fabrics altogether. There could be some slight variations in the areas where the same may find a use but on the whole, they both find the relevance on fabrics.


Using either technique you may either sew two pieces of fabrics together or make some embroidery patterns. The exact same areas where you may dedicate them for either end may differ though. That is not supposed to be so much of an issue though as they deliver the stated ends regardless.


You may use these two techniques on common fabric materials. Examples of these are cotton, linen, Nylon, Polyester, and wool. Yet again, the precise fabrics you may use them on may vary slightly from one to another. Nonetheless, they may yield more or less similar ends.


Both of these techniques may be implemented by the use of the hands or special sewing machines. In some instances, it is even possible to use the same machine for both of them at the same time. Stemming from this, you may use the same machine interchangeably.


When deployed for the exact same tasks or pieces of fabric, both of these techniques cost roughly the same amount of money to tackle. Additionally, you may also have to only spend a little bit more money if you opt to switch to another machine or to another stitching style.


Let us now examine the differences between cross stitch and needlepoint but before that, it is important that we find out exactly what they are.

A cross stitch is a kind of a counted thread embroidery that comprises X-shaped stitches. It is mainly implemented on fabrics that bear the open or even weave. Its designs may be traditional or modern or anything in between.

The needlepoint on the other hand is a kind of canvas work. Its design comprises counted threads of embroidery yarn that is stitched through some stiff open weave canvas. It predates the cross stitch and mainly dominates the traditional designs.

– Uses

Even though you may dedicate these techniques to roughly the same areas of applications, the cross stitch is largely handy for the matters of embellishments of the household items like dishcloths, tablecloths, and dollies. The needlepoint on the other hand festoons pillows, belts, and vests alongside other attire.

– History

The cross stitch started much earlier than the needlepoint. It traces its origins as far back as the 6th Century BC. Its competitor on the other hand originated only recently in the 17th Century. Thus, the former has enriched many patterns and households and fabrics for a longer duration.

– Patterns

Owing to the simple nature of the cross-stitch, you can only manage a few and somewhat straightforward patterns. With the needlepoint, however, it is possible for you to craft more complex patterns that have the ability to endure the test of time. In fact, it also finds applicability in mass production settings.

– Fabric

We have already stated before that both of these techniques may be used across all kinds of fabrics. Nonetheless, the cross stitch is mainly used on lighter fabrics like cotton, Polyester, and Nylon. The needlepoint may be used on harsher fabrics like leather and low-density plastics.

– Looks

A cross stitch pattern is more straightforward and less complex than the needlepoint. It also has the undesirable tag of not containing interesting traits and appearances. The situation is further compounded by the fact that it lacks the ability to attach to many other relevant designs.

– Types

Both of these stitches come in various shades and forms. Below are some of the types of the cross stitch pattern:

Spaced cross stitch
Double cross stitch
Double-sided cross stitch
4 long-armed cross stitch
5 Hungarian cross stitch

The needlepoint nonetheless has these main kinds, namely:

Single thread
Double thread


Well, we can never give a definitive stand on which one exactly to pick for the job. The exact choice depends on the piece of fabric you intend to take on, the exact nature of the pattern you want to imbue, your level of expertise, the timeframe you have at your disposal, and the longevity of the pattern altogether.

Choose the cross-stitch technique if you are barely getting started out, want only to give off rudimentary patterns, or work with simpler fabrics. The needlepoint might be a great choice if you have heavy fabrics, want to etch out more complex patterns, and possess a fairly high degree of technical expertise.


YES, you can! The needlepoint technique is more complex and able to achieve the feats that the cross stitch patterns are able to. That of course means you may use it to generate the cross stitch pattern. However, there are some restrictions as to the extent and the scope of its use.

You have to employ the exact materials you would normally use under normal circumstances. That means you may scarcely etch out the patterns on the heavier fabrics like leather. Then, you can only tackle simpler patterns as the cross stitch is not that complicated. That is not to mention the inability to incorporate other extras and attachments.


We wrap up our laborious exposition needlepoint vs. cross stitch there. With the kind of deep insight we have furnished, we now leave it to you to implement the provisions in the best way possible. Feel free to get to us for further support in case you are stuck with regards to the way forward.