Needlework refers to the various types of craft that use a combination of needles and either yarn or colored floss to stitch, mostly on pieces of fabric. While this craft rotates around a single concept, various types of needlework exist; each of these has different characteristics that set it apart from the others. The most common kinds are embroidery, crochet, knitting, tapestry and quilting.
This is probably the most common type of needlework aimed at creating beautiful artefacts and involves decorating fabric and occasionally, other materials, with yarn or thread. Embroidery is however a lot versatile and may use coats, hats, blankets, golf shirts and stockings.
Even though almost entirely automated, embroidery still employs blanket and buttonhole stitches as well as chain, running, satin and cross methods of stitching as the fundamental skills applied.
Crochet involves making fabric from yarn by creating interlocking loops using crochet hooks. These small hooks are made from wood, metal or plastic. Crochet is a lot similar to knitting only that in crochet, each stitching process concludes before proceeding into another. Knitting may have several numbers of stitches open at a particular time.
Crochet mainly serves the purposes of decoration and applies five types of stitches. These are chain stitch, which is the most basic and slip stitch. Others are single crochet stitch, half-double crochet and double crochet stitch.
This refers to the process of manipulating yarn to make either fabric or textile. Of all types of needlework, knitting relies on stitches, which are many loops of yarn and as such has many consecutive rows of yarn that interlock. Knitting may use either machine or hand processes.
Tapestry is more of artwork on textile than it is a kind of needlework. It however applies the basic principles of needlework making it sensible to lump the process in the needlework category. It involves weft-faced weaving that hides all warp threads and ending up with decorative images. Tapestry has been around for quite some time now. Items believed to belong to Greek artists date as far as the 3rd Century BC. The best-known historic samples of this kind of needlework however coincide with the industrial European renaissance of the 14th century.
This decorative kind of needlework involves applying a pattern on the surface of another piece of fabric. This process is as old as the days of rudimentary needlework. It however has evolved and alongside hand-made process, machines to can now make appliques.
Most artisans use the process extensively in quilting. Ordinarily, applique pieces have edges folded under and are then attached using straight stich, satin stitch or reverse applique.
Quilting refers to the process of making thicker, padded materials or quilt garments. This method uses needles and yarn to join two or three layers of fabric. Traditional quilting technique however, involves three layers; upper layer, which is the quilt top, backing material and the insulating or batting material contained within the two covers.
On paper, quilting appears rudimentary. The process however incorporates other craft processes like designing, piecing, applique as well as binding. Like other types of needlework, quilting too has many component styles. The most common of these include foundation piercing and Ralli quilting.