Canvas Sizes and Imperfections

Needlepoint comes in different sizes or gauges.  The size refers to the number of threads per linear inch.  When you count the gauge, count the number of threads or intersections (mesh) and not the holes.  A higher number (more threads) will indicate a smaller or finer gauge.  When you go to the shop, you may see #14, number 14, 14/1 or 14 count.  All these indicate 14 stitches per 1 linear inch.  The three main size categories are petit point (16 or smaller), gros point (8-15) and quick point (3-7).     


We spend too much time and effort in needlepoint to waste on poor quality canvas.  When you look at different canvases in the store, they appear to be all alike.  This is not true.  Take a closer look.  Some canvases appear to be hairy while others are stiff or limp.  Good canvas is made of cotton or linen with heavy starch to make a stiff fabric.  Take a minute to pull a canvas thread apart.  It should have four or five plies to one thread.  




Canvas should not have knots

You should never buy a canvas that has slubs or knots in it since these will fray apart in time.  On the bottom of the page, you will also see a picture of canvas with distorted threads.  This can be a sign of inferior quality.