Using Overdyed or Handpainted Threads

using overdyed threads needlepoint
Threads that have been over-dyed, or handpainted with different hues from the same color family, can be useful in needlepoint.

An over-dyed thread has different shades painted or dyed along the length of it. This can be useful for adding texture and variety to an area of needlepoint canvas. For example, sky might seem like it's all one shade of blue but in reality it has subtle color changes. Stitching it in an over-dyed thread can add these subtle color changes easily, thereby avoiding a large expanse of one color.

The trick to using over-dyes is to avoid diagonal lines. For example, basketweave is laid down in a diagonal direction, and as you can see in the image below where the canvas has been stitched in basketweave, there are diagonal lines of color appearing in the stitching,

using overdyed threads needlepoint

This is because the color changes on the thread occur on the canvas as diagonal lines and this is not something you see in nature. The solution is to stitch in Continental stitch, or a decorative stitch which will break up the line.

With this Mosaic stitch, which was stitched horizontally across the canvas, the lines have been broken up and you’re left with a nice, textured effect.

using overdyed threads needlepoint

Rivers, sky and grass are features on your canvas that might benefit from an over-dye to break up the monotony. Tree trunks are another, but if using a continental stitch you should stitch it vertically rather than horizontally.