Choosing the Right Canvas

Below, you will find the definitions of the various canvases available one the market.

Mono:   An even weave canvas with one thread running weft, right and left, and warp, up and down.   Canvas threads can be easily distorted which makes mono a great candidate for techniques such as Hardanger, Pulled Thread or Appliqué work.  This canvas is not recommended for Half Cross.  Mono is also called Uni-mesh, Uni-canvas or Uni.  Sizes:  10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 22 and 24 stitches per inch 


Interlock:  Interlock canvas has one thread running up and down lengthwise.  The cross threads are paired which creates three threads for one intersection.  When you stitch, you cannot split the intersections to create Petit Point.  Because the intersections are created in this fashion, it cannot be distorted as easy as mono or Penelope.  Half Cross stitches can be created with great satisfaction.  Sizes:  3.3, 3.75, 5, 6, 7, 8.5, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 18 stitches per inch


Penelope:   A canvas with two threads running in both directions to make one intersection.  Penelope can be split apart to create combinations of petit point, Trame` and gross point.  Ten-twenty count means the canvas has ten intersections per linear inch which can be divided into twenty stitches per inch.  This canvas is suitable for rugs, chair cushions and other hard wearing objects.  Projects using Half Cross is best if you are using this canvas.  Penelope is also called Double Mesh or Duo.  Sizes:  5, 6.5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 stitches per inch


Congress:  An even weave fabric with sizing.  The texture is a cross between fabric and canvas.   Size:  24 stitches per inch


Silk Gauze:  A very fine, light weight canvas with a count of 24 and higher.  Silk Gauze is used for Petit Point projects.  Fine details can be achieved if appliquéd onto a larger canvas.  Sizes:  28, 32, 40, 48, 56, 66 and 72 stitches per inch


Polysil:  A silk-like gauze which is identical in appearance to silk gauze.  This canvas is made of 100% Polyester with a count of 34 stitches per linear inch.  Polysil is to be used like silk gauze.  Mounted on an acid-free, sturdy mat, this canvas is available from Kreinik.   Sizes:  18, 34, 40 and 54 stitches per inch


Bargello:  Firm durable brown mono canvas with rough threads to set and align the upright stitches.  This is made especially for Florentine or Bargello work.  This is hard to find.  You may discover bargello canvas in a shop with older stock.  Size:  13 stitches per inch 

Soft Congress:  Just like Congress cloth but softer in texture.  This fabric is also known as Congressa.  Size:  24 stitches per inch


Garment Canvas:  This canvas has threads which are interwoven to prevent fraying and distortion.  Because Garment canvas is made without sizing, the canvas is suitable for wearable art.  Garment canvas is available from Kreinik.  Size 18 stitches per inch


Waste:  This is a very fine gauze-like canvas which is meant to be removed after stitching.   To use waste canvas, baste onto fabric and stitch your desired motif through both layers.  When completed, submerse in water and carefully remove the canvas.  Never use waste canvas for any other purpose.   Waste canvas is also called Throw-away or Break-away.  Sizes:  6.5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 ,16, 16, 18 and 20 stitches per inch


Rug:  This canvas has two threads running in both directions for each intersection.  The intersections are not meant to be separated to create smaller stitches.  Rug canvas is heavily starched.  Sizes: 3.3, 3.75, 5, 6 and 7 stitches per inch

Plastic:  A sheet of plastic with square holes to simulate needlepoint canvas.  This is great for three-dimensional and children’s projects.  Various shapes, colors and sizes can be obtained.  Sizes:  5, 7, 10 and 14 stitches per inch