What is Needlepoint Thread?

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  • Written By: S. McNesby
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2019
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Needlepoint thread is used by crafters to create a colorful design on painted canvas. Needlepoint thread is available in a wide variety of fibers, textures and colors, so it is possible for the right thread to be found for any project. Needlepoint thread can be purchased on its own or come as part of an entire kit. Needlepoint kits are great for beginners because everything is supplied, but more experienced stitchers might prefer to buy needlepoint thread and canvases separately so that they can fully customize a project.

The most commonly used fiber for needlepoint thread is wool. Needlepoint wool can be found in skeins or in long individual lengths, so a customer can buy exactly the amount of yarn needed for a project. Needlepoint yarn is different from embroidery thread. Embroidery thread is meant to be separated into individual strands and worked over a background. Needlepoint wool is used with all strands together, and when the piece is done, the canvas background will be completely covered by the thread.

Specialty fibers are available wherever needlepoint supplies are sold. Specialty needlepoint threads include silk, linen, alpaca and cashmere. Metallic, furry and nylon fibers also are available and add a bit of sparkle to a holiday or festive project. Some wools are also considered specialty if they have been hand-dyed or hand-painted by a fiber artist.


Needlepoint accessories can make working with threads easier. Simple accessories such as needle threaders, yarn sorters and project caddies allow needlepoint supplies and projects to be kept well organized. Most stitchers end up with leftover yarn after a project is completed, so small, scrap-style needlepoint canvases and patterns are handy as well.

Craft stores, knitting stores and needlecraft stores all have needlepoint thread, accessories and other supplies that can be purchased. Needlepoint supplies also can be purchased online or at shows and special events. Individual needlepoint artisans offer one-of-a-kind and limited-edition threads and canvases for sale online as well.

The price of needlepoint thread ranges from less than $1 US Dollar (USD) for individual threads to more than $5 USD for specialty or hand-painted fibers. Stitchers can save money by buying needlepoint kits or by purchasing individual strands instead of full skeins. Saving leftover threads and supplies allows needlepoint crafters to save money by reusing them.

Needlepoint thread can be used for projects other than traditional needlepoint, thanks to the range of colors and textures available. Any of the yarns used for needlepoint can be used for knitting, crochet weaving or embroidery. Needlepoint wool and other animal fibers can be used for felted projects as well.


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Post 3

@spotiche5- I also love working with alpaca thread when I do needlepoint, but I have found that the soft texture can be challenging to work with. Sometimes it gets knotted or tangled, and these issues can be difficult to correct in the middle of sewing.

If you have your heart set on using alpaca thread, you might want to consider thread that is made of an alpaca blend. Since it is part alpaca combined with another material like nylon, it isn't as fine and soft as pure alpaca thread. This feature makes it easier to use for sewing needlepoint projects.

Post 2

@spotiche5- I have done needlepoint with alpaca thread, and I love it. It makes wonderful clothing, accessories, and even rugs. Since it is so soft though, you just have to make sure that you have the right needles for the best results with this type of needlepoint thread. Small, sharp needles work best with alpaca thread, in my opinion.

Post 1

Does anyone know what is it like to do needlepoint with alpaca thread? I like the fact that it seems to be very soft, but I'm wondering if this makes it difficult to use for certain needlepoint crafts.

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