Plastic canvas, an embroidery canvas, is used as a foundation for needlepoint or other counted work embroidery.
This craft material is made of plastic and has a grid of holes. It is also commonly known as vinyl weave.
Uses of plastic canvas
- Due to its rigidity, it is useful for creating 3-dimensional objects like photo frames, tissue box covers, boxes, doll houses, book marks, purses and handbags.
- It is rigid and does not require the use of a hoop or frame. So it can be used to teach needlepoint and cross stitch to children.
When teaching embroidery to little children, if you are uncomfortable giving them sharp metal needles, they can be given plastic needles. Plastic needles will not be sharp enough to poke through regular fabric so you can either use aida fabric or plastic canvas. Only disadvantage with plastic needles is that, the eye is usually very big to make it easier for kids to thread the needle. So make sure that the eye of the needle will pass through the hole in the canvas.
Choosing the right plastic canvas
Size of holes: These sheets come in many colors and hole sizes.
Just like aida fabric, a number is used to describe plastic canvas.
- A 12 count plastic canvas will have 12 linear holes per inch.
- A 7 count plastic canvas will have 7 linear holes per inch.
So smaller the number, bigger the holes / grid size.
Any cross stitch pattern can be adapted for canvas embroidery but it is mostly used with needlepoint stitches. For the same cross stitch pattern, the size of the finished product will vary depending on the grid / hole size. So choosing the correct canvas is vital.
Yarn is also chosen based on the size of the holes. Acrylic or wool knitting yarn are usually used to stitch on it.
One pack had 6 sheets. I remember paying around 3 dollars for the pack.
Pre-cut shapes and cutting plastic canvas:
Plastic canvas is commonly sold as rectangle sheets (most common is A4 size). Some craft stores also sell them in other shapes like circles, stars, hexagons etc.
This is circle shaped plastic canvas. I remember buying hexagon and star shaped ones but could not find them today.
Most common stitch for filing plastic canvas is half cross stitch.
They can be cut into any shape using scissors. This was done for my daughter Abigail as a nameplate for her bedroom door. I used yarn in different colors as she likes rainbow. Then the letters of her name were strung together with a heart on each side and stuck to her door.
Many different needle point stitches can stitched on this vinyl weave. Don’t forget to checkout the various needlepoint stitches posted in this blog