Stitching Dark Colors in Needlepoint

Stitching Dark Colors in Needlepoint

Needlepoint stitchers often complain about navy and black being hard-to-see colors on a canvas. 

Tune in for some tips for stitching dark colors in needlepoint.

This is what dark-colored threads, stitched upon a dark color on the needlepoint canvas, look like when lying upon a dark fabric (in this case, a pair of black pants).

In daylight...

needlepoint dark colors are hard to see

And even harder to see at night when the lamp creates shadows...

needlepoint dark colors that are hard to see at night

 It can end in frustration and mistakes on your canvas.

Here are some "illuminating" tips for stitching dark colors in needlepoint...

Tip 1: Put something white behind your dark needlepoint canvas.

Look what happens when you lay a white cloth beneath the canvas!

stitching dark colors in needlepoint

The cloth reflects light and makes the dark stitches easier to see. You could wear light-colored trousers, spread a cloth on your lap, or hold a white napkin or handkerchief in your non-needle hand as you stitch. All of these solutions will reflect white light up through the holes in your canvas and make it easier to see.

Tip 2: Apply talc to dark areas of the needlepoint canvas.

This is a tip we were sent by a reader. If you sprinkle (unscented) talcum powder onto your canvas before you stitch, the white powder allows you to see the dark threads of the canvas.

talcum powder helps to see dark colors in needlepoint

Talcum powder is harmless to your canvas and threads, and it easily brushes off.

Use a cosmetic or men's shaving brush to brush the talc across your canvas. You will probably need to reapply it each stitching session.

This might sound weird but, remarkably, it works!

Tip 3: Invest in a good table lamp or a clip light.

Daylight is the best thing for illuminating your stitching. However, we can't always stitch in the afternoon (we wish!). 

Fortunately, there are some excellent, inexpensive lamps that simulate daylight. 

hammerhead clip on LED lamp for needlepoint

The Hammerhead clip-on LED light is perfect for travel, as well as stitching in your chair. (And, when you're not stitching it can be used on a book.) 

This light clips on to the frame that supports your canvas and the light is easily directed to where you need it.

Click to view the Hammerhead LED daylight lamp, lamp, priced at $23.00. 

There are plenty of other lamp options that work well when sunlight is not available––find one that works for you so you can start to enjoy stitching dark colors in needlepoint.

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Brenda Stimpson