Background Stitches [87 Choices]

Background Stiches

OK, you have finished the main design on your needlepoint canvas.  

Now what?  How are you going to fill out the background?  What stitches are you going to use?

Background stitches for needlepoint is here to solve your problem.  It's here to give you choices.  87 of them.

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I have narrowed them down the number of stitches from hundreds to 87. However, the choice of stitch you make will greatly impact the overall look, feel and impact of your design.

Also, background stitches are ogranized into families of stitches, that is groups of stitches that have common characteristics.

Therefore, background stitches for needlepoint are broken down into the following family of stitches: straight, diagonal, cross, tied, box, leaf, eye and flower stitches.

As a result, when looking at your completed primary design on your needlepoint canvas, you can chose which stitch type would be best suitable to fill out the background of your needlepoint canvas.

Background Stitches For Needlepoint

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I have used different colors within most of the stitch diagrams to demonstrate how the look and feel of a stitch can be changed just by mixing colors within a stitch. 

Any stitch can be worked in a single color but varying the color, texture, and weight of the yarn you use, will produce very different effect on your needlepoint canvas.

Like a Copy of Background Stitches For Needlepoint?

Background Stitches: The Straight Stitch Family

Bargello Stitch

Bargello Stitch

Bargello Line Pattern

Bargello Line Pattern

Beaty Stitch

Beaty Stitch

Brick Stitch

Brick Stitch

Darmstadt Pattern

Darmstadt Pattern

Double Brick Stitch

Double Brick Stitch

Double Hungarian Ground Stitch

Double Hungarian Ground Stitch

Double Hungarian Stitch

Double Hungarian Stitch

Double Parisian Stitch

Double Parisian Stitch

Frame Stitch

Frame Stitch

Framed Pavilion Stitch

Framed Pavilion Stitch

Giant Brick Stitch

Giant Brick Stitch

Horizontal Double Brick Stitch

Horizontal Double Brick Stitch

Horizontal Hungarian Stitch

Horizontal Hungarian Stitch

Horizontal Milanese Stitch

Horizontal Milanese Stitch

Horizontal Old Florentine Stitch

Horizontal Old Florentine Stitch

Click on the link straight stitch to see more options to explore.

Background Stitches: The Diagonal Stitch Family

Alternating Continental Stitch

Alternating Continental Stitch

Arrowhead Stitch

Arrowhead Stitch

Basketweave Stitch

Basketweave Stitch

Byzantine Stitch #1

Byzantine Stitch 1

Byzantine Scotch Stitch

Byzantine Scotch Stitch

Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch

Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch

Diagonal Hungarian Ground Stitch

Diagonal Hungarian Ground Stitch

Diagonal Knitting Stitch

Diagonal Knitting Stitch

Irregular Byzantine Stitch

Irregular Byzantine Stitch

Irregular Continental Stitch

Irregular Continental Stitch

Kalem Stitch

Kalem Stitch

Milanese Color Variation

Milanese Color Variation

Oblique Slav Stitch

Oblique Slav Stitch

Padded Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Padded Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Split Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Split Slanted Gobelin Stitch

Staircase Stitch

Staircase Stitch

For more diagonal stitch choices, click on the link to see your options.

Background Stitches: The Cross Stitch Family

Alternating Smyrna Stitch

Alternating Smyrna Stitch

Alternating Oblong Cross Stitch

Alternating Oblong Cross Stitch

Bound Cross Stitch

Bound Cross Stitch

Checkerboard Cross Stitch

Checkerboard Cross Stitch

Combination Crosses Stitch

Combination Crosses Stitch

Crossed Mosaic Stitch

Crossed Mosaic Stitch

Diagonal Upright Cross Stitch

Diagonal Upright Cross Stitch

Double Cross Trame Stitch

Double Cross Trame Stitch

Fancy Cross Stitch

Fancy Cross Stitch

Fern Stitch

Fern Stitch

Flying Cross Stitch

Flying Cross Stitch

Greek Cross Stitch

Greek Cross Stitch

Herringbone Gone Wrong Stitch

Herringbone Gone Wrong Stitch

Long Arm Smyrna Stitch

Long Arm Smyrna Stitch

Patterned Scotch Crosses Stitch

Patterned Scotch Crosses Stitch

Triple Oblong Cross Stitch

Triple Oblong Cross Stitch

Want to see more cross stitch options to use? Just click on the link to see.

Background Stitches: The Tied Stitch Family

Alternating Wheat Stitch

Alternating Wheat Stitch

French Stitch

French Stitch

Interlocking Parisian Stitch

Interlocking Parisian Cross Stitch

Romanian Couching Stich

Roumanian Couching Stitch

Tied Gobelin Stitch

Tied Gobelin Stitch

Tied Pavilion Stitch

Tied Pavillion Stitch

Tied Star Stitch

Tied Star Stitch

Wheat Stitch x 6

Wheat Stitch x 6

Wicker Stitch

Wicker Stitch

For more tied stitch choices, click on the link to see.

Background Stitches: The Box Stitch Family

Cashmere Checker Stitch

Cashmere Checker Stitch

Diagonal Mosaic Stitch

Diagonal Mosaic Stitch

Dotted Scotch Stitch

Dotted Scotch Stitch

Framed Cashmere Stitch

Framed Cashmere Stitch

Framed Scotch Stitch Variation

Framed Scotch Stitch Variation

Moorish Stitch

Moorish Stitch

Mosaic Checker Stitch

Mosaic Checker Stitch

Mosaic Stripe Stitch

Mosaic Stripe Stitch

Reversed Scotch Stitch

Reversed Scotch Stitch

Staggered Cashmere Stitch

Staggered Cashmere Stitch

Triangle Stitch

Triangle Stitch

Wide Moorish Stitch

Wide Moorish Stitch

Windowpane Scotch Stitch

Windowpane Scotch Stitch

For more box stitch choices, click on the link to see.

Background Stitches: The Eye Stitch Family

Algerian Eye Stitch

Algerian Eye Stitch

Milanese Pinwheel Stitch

Milanese Pinwheel Stitch

Squared Daisies Stitch

Squared Daisies Stitch x 4

There are 14 more eye stitch options for you to explore.  Just click on the link to see.

Background Stitches: The Leaf Stitch Family

Diagonal Leaf Stitch

Diagonal Leaf Stitch

Diamond Leaf Stitch

Diamond Leaf Stitch

Diamond Ray Stitch

Diamond Ray Stitch

Leaf Stitch #3

Leaf Stitch #3

Leaf Stitch #2 x 5

Leaf Stitch #2 x 5

Leaf Stitch #3 x 3

Leaf Stitch #3 x 3

For more leaf stitch choices, click on the link to see.

Background Stitches: The Flower Stitch Family

Alternating Smyrna Stitch

Alternating Smyrna Stitch

Crossed Diamond Stitch

Crossed Diamond Stitch

Diamond Laviathan Stitch

Diamond Laviathan Stitch

Double Cross Stitch #2

Double Cross Stitch #2

Double Straight Cross

Double Straight Cross

Four-Way Bargello Pattern

Four Way Bargello Pattern

Horizontal Elongated Smyrna Stitch

Horizontal Elongated Smyrna Stitch

Long Arm Smyrna Stitch

Long Arm Smyrna Stitch

For more flower stitch choices, click on the link to see.


Like a Copy of Background Stitches For Needlepoint?

Want to change the impact of your background stitches? Use different weight of yarn or strands of embroidery floss. Mix in some metallic thread or add some beads.  Experiment, let your imagination fly!

However, always keep in mind that the gauge of needlepoint canvas you use will greatly determine the amount and type of thread you need to cover your needlepoint canvas completely.   Again, don't be afraid to experiment. 


Recommendations: For Your Bookshelf

I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this post. Please read my disclaimer for more info. 

If you are looking for excellent gift ideas for top needlepoint books, check out the suggestions under recommendations. 


You can find excellent examples of, and learn how background stitches can be used to great effect, at:  ANG's (American Needlepoint Guild), EGA's (Embroidere's Guild of America) and EAC's (Embroiderer's Association of Canada) websites.

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed going through these background stitch variations for canvas work. As you can see, there are almost endless varieties you can explore.

Share it with your friends and encourage them to try some.

Cheers!

Val

About the Author Valerie Woods

Mad about research and passionate about all types of Needlework. Determined to bring you the best!

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