Tent stitch

Tent stitch

Tent stitch is a small, diagonal embroidery stitch that crosses over the intersection of one horizontal (weft) and one vertical (warp) thread of needlepoint canvas forming a slanted stitch at a 45-degree angle. It is also known as Needlepoint stitch and is one of the most basic and versatile stitches used in Needlepoint and other Canvas work embroidery. When worked on fine weave canvas over a single warp and weft thread it is known as Petit point in contrast to stitches, such as Gobelin, worked over multiple warp and/or weft threads.

"Petit point" comes from the French language, meaning “small point”.

Tent stitch variants

Basketweave tent stitch
Continental tent stitch
Half cross tent stitch

There are three types of tent stitch, all producing the same appearance on the front of the canvas but each worked in a slightly different way and having particular characteristics, uses, benefits and drawbacks. These variants of tent stitch are known as basketweave, continental and half cross tent stitches[1]:

  • Basketweave tent stitch
    The basketweave form of tent stitch is worked in diagonal rows up and down the canvas. The yarn on the back of the canvas has a typical basketweave appearance, with alternating horizontal and vertical stitches. Basketweave is the best stitch to use for covering large areas of canvas as it does not distort the canvas as the other two forms of tent stitch do.
  • Continental tent stitch
    Continental stitch is worked horizontally or vertically across the canvas. On the back of the work, the stitches appear diagonally across two threads. This method uses more yarn than half cross stitch tent stitch but is more hardwearing.
  • Half cross tent stitch
    Half cross stitch is worked horizontally or vertically across the canvas. On the back of the work, the stitch appears vertical or horizontal, not diagonal, and crosses only one thread. This method uses less yarn than other stitches but is not very durable as coverage on the back of the canvas is a little thin.


  1. ^ Fasset, Kaffe Glorious Needlepoint 1987 London,Century Hutchinson ISBN 0712630414

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tent stitch — tent′ stitch n. clo a short, slanting embroidery stitch • Etymology: 1630–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • tent stitch — n. [< ? TENT1] an embroidery stitch that forms a series of parallel slanting lines …   English World dictionary

  • tent stitch — noun a small diagonal needlepoint stitch • Syn: ↑petit point • Hypernyms: ↑sewing stitch, ↑embroidery stitch * * * noun : a short stitch slanting to the right that is used in embroidery and canvas work to form even lines of solid background… …   Useful english dictionary

  • tent stitch — /ˈtɛnt stɪtʃ/ (say tent stich) noun a series of diagonal stitches thought to resemble the shape of a tent …   Australian English dictionary

  • tent stitch — noun Date: 1619 a short stitch slanting to the right that is used in embroidery to form even lines of solid background …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tent stitch — a short, slanting stitch used in embroidery. Cf. gros point (def. 1), petit point (def. 1). [1630 40] * * * …   Universalium

  • tent stitch — noun a series of parallel diagonal stitches …   English new terms dictionary

  • tent-stitch — …   Useful english dictionary

  • tent-work — tentˈ work noun Work in tent stitch • • • Main Entry: ↑tent …   Useful english dictionary

  • tent — 1. n. & v. n. 1 a portable shelter or dwelling of canvas, cloth, etc., supported by a pole or poles and stretched by cords attached to pegs driven into the ground. 2 Med. a tentlike enclosure for control of the air supply to a patient. v. 1 tr.… …   Useful english dictionary