Needlework Canvas Information
Our canvas is made by the Zweigart Company. The company was founded in Germany in 1877 and continues production in Germany today. Unless otherwise noted, our canvas is 100% cotton.
Count: Count indicates the number of stitches which can be worked per inch in one of the tent type stitches (like continental or basketweave). If you run a tape measure along one of the threads of the canvas, the count is number of holes you measure per inch along a thread. So a 10 count canvas has 10 holes per inch each way. The larger the count, the more stitches you have in an inch. A higher count allows more detail in the design and also requires more stitches to complete an area. Sometimes, count is also called gauge.
Mono: This is the best quality, strongest type of canvas. It has an over and under weave at each intersection. This enables canvas to be flexible as well as long wearing. It also means that the canvas threads can “unweave” at the edges. Best used for rectangular work with secured edges.
Interlock: The intersections of this type of canvas are intertwined. The warp and weft threads pierce each other. Interlock canvas is lighter weight than mono canvas. It is good for Bargello and other types of needlework in which there are lots of long stitches. It is also preferred for pieces requiring the canvas to be an unusual shape.
Penelope: Double mesh canvas, the intersections are over two threads each way. The count is determined by the larger holes, which is the usual use (sometimes called grow point). This canvas can also be worked over one thread (sometimes called petit point), the count is then double the "big hole" count. The count is usually given as two numbers. For example, a count of 10/20 is 10 big holes per inch, 20 small holes per inch. Also a strong, hard wearing canvas.
Rug Canvas: Usually an interlock weave, made with heavier threads.
How we measure the pieces we sell.
Yard: A yard of canvas will measure 36” long and the width will be the bolt measurement for the canvas chosen.
Half Yard: A half yard of canvas will measure 18” long and the width will be the bold measurement of the canvas chosen.
Fat Quarter: One fourth of a yard, it is cut across the bolt at 18 inches then cut in half again perpendicularly to the first cut. A fat quarter from a 40 bolt width canvas will measure 18" x 20". A fat quarter from a 54” bolt width canvas will measure 18” x 27”.
Determining the Size of Piece Needed: If you are working from a chart, divide the total number of stitches each way by the count per inch of the canvas. If your chart is 120 stitches across and you decide to use a 10 count canvas (120 divided by 10), the finished project will be 12 inches wide. Allow a minimum of 2 inches on each side of the design. A 12 inch wide design demands at least a 16 inch wide piece of canvas.
Tapestry needles are the tool to use for needlepoint. Sizing for needles is a little confusing, but like canvas count, the larger the number, the smaller the needle. The size you choose to use on your canvas will depend on the count of your canvas. This chart will get you started, but notice there is some overlap in size choices. Stitch a bit on some scrap area and see which size suits you best.
Canvas Count Needle Size