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What is a Needlepoint Stand?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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A needlepoint stand is a crafting tool that is used to hold needlepoint canvases in place while they are being worked on. It is quite common for people to use needlepoint hoops that are not connected to a stand when they are working on a needlepoint project. This is because hoops are mobile and can be held closer to the body. A needlepoint stand can be used by people who prefer to have their hands free to work the thread. These stands are also sometimes used by people who are working on large projects and by people who like to present their work while it is in progress.

There are many needlepoint stand models. Some are meant to rest on a table top where the thread worker is completing a project. Others have legs that reach to the floor so that the thread worker can sit in a chair while working on a project. In most cases, a needlepoint stand is made out of wood. The part of the stand that holds the needlepoint canvas in place may be made of wood, metal, or a combination of the two materials.

The part of a needlepoint stand that holds the needlepoint canvas in place may be round or rectangular. Needlepoint hoops can be used for projects that are larger than the size of the canvas that fits within the hoop. The canvas simply has to be readjusted as the thread worker completes sections. One of the benefits of a needlepoint stand is that it allows the thread worker to see the entire canvas at once. This is a benefit for those who are not following a pattern and, instead, are creating a new work from scratch.

For those who are in the market for an attractive needlepoint stand, there are both newly fabricated models and antiques available on the market. Like many pieces of antique furniture, an antique needlepoint stand is a functional object. Some people use attractive needlepoint stands to show off needlepoint art instead of to create it.

For those who are looking for a highly functional needlepoint stand, it is wise to consider new models that come with attachments. There are stands that come with holders for needlepoint supplies. Some also come with adjustable lights. This feature is very useful for people who generally work in areas that do not have ideal lighting for this kind of detailed work.

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Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
In addition to her work as a freelance writer for WiseGEEK, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. Over the course, she has edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter “Sapling,” and The Adirondack Review. Diane holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Discussion Comments

By Azuza — On Oct 18, 2011

@starrynight - I do a lot of different crafts myself, and I know what a pain storage can be. There's tools and supplies, of course. And books! Who could forget pattern books? I personally have a whole separate book shelf for my craft books.

Anyway, I have a needlepoint stand. I have to say, I don't like it as much as I like just using a plain old embroidery hoop. I'm kind of fidgety, and I like to move around and sit in different areas of my apartment. Most needlepoint stands are supposed to stay in one place. Very inconvenient!

By starrynight — On Oct 17, 2011

I cross stitch, but only occasionally. I've had the same set of circular embroidery hoops for years, and they work just fine for my purposes.

However, if I was going to make cross stitch a regular thing, I would probably invest in a needlepoint stand. I can really see the benefit of having your hands free. I think they would also be great if you were working on a very large project, so you could see the whole thing at once.

I would definitely want one that I could fold up and store though. My apartment is already full of books and crafting stuff. I don't need to add another thing that can't be moved into the mix!

By seag47 — On Oct 16, 2011

I have a needlepoint stand made of mahogany that has a circular canvas frame. I got used to working with round cross stitch frames as a child, so this made it easier for me to focus.

I have tried using stands with rectangular frames, but they just create too much of an open area for me. I like to center in on the space I need to fill, and I can’t concentrate when there’s a lot of blank space confusing me.

With the round frame stand, I was able to make a beautiful butterfly. It filled the area to the edges, which served as a guideline.

By shell4life — On Oct 16, 2011

I took a needlepoint class at my local community center. We learned the basics and did a few simple projects, and we each got to use a needlepoint stand.

We sat on stools while working, and we used stand that looked like robots holding frames by their teeth. The base of the stand was a semicircular metal rod, and the leg curved slightly towards what I called the robot head, which is actually the clamp.

When we were done for the day, we folded up our stands and set them against the wall. I will probably buy one for my home, once I learn the technique a little better.

By lighth0se33 — On Oct 15, 2011

My aunt does needlepoint work, but she only does small projects. Rather than buying a large stand that would take up unnecessary space, she bought a mini needlepoint stand.

She can hold it in her lap while working. She never does any projects larger than the space it can accommodate, so this size was perfect for her. She likes to focus on what’s directly in front of her, and large projects boggle her mind.

If she wants to stand up while working, she can place it on her kitchen bar counter and work from there. It so happens to be the right height.

By OeKc05 — On Oct 14, 2011

My grandmother has an antique needlepoint stand that is rather large. It is beautifully modeled after an 18th century stand, so it serves as a decoration as well as a tool for her craft.

It has octagonal posts that run the length of it. It comes with pins to lock the rotating center in place. The center is made of soft wood so that the canvas can be tacked into it with ease.

When she finishes a canvas, she likes to leave it on the stand for awhile. It serves as a frame to her artwork.

By SarahSon — On Oct 14, 2011

I would be lost without my needlework stand. I went for years just using a hoop, but once I purchased a stand, I would not be without one.

The one I have is not too big and it can quickly fold up for easy storage if I don't want it sitting out all the time.

It also holds everything I need for the particular project I am working on, so I can easily keep everything in one place.

I think the best part about it is how flexible it is. I can sit anywhere and move the stand so the position is right for me. This way I can always have the area I am working on right in front of me.

By andee — On Oct 14, 2011

My mom is very skilled at needlepoint and I have no idea how many projects she has completed in her lifetime.

I don't have the patience to sit down and do this, but for her, it is very calming, and is her favorite way to relax.

She doesn't always use a needlepoint frame stand, but has one that is always sitting in her living room. I think it depends on how big the project is she is working on whether she uses the stand or not.

This is a very nice looking, sturdy wooden stand that she can work on while she is sitting in her chair. I think the best part about it is the adjustable light that she can shine on the exact spot she is working on.

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for WiseGEEK, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of Black...
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