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TIPS: Tapestry versus Crewel Wool Video

TIPS: Tapestry versus Crewel Wool Video

An Overview

I am often asked what the difference is between Tapestry and Crewel Cross Stitch Kits…  so I thought I would try and address this / pass on some advice in this post..

Both of the yarns we use in our kits are 100% British Wool - spun and dyed by Appleton Wool Ltd - the same spinners who created the crewel yarn for William Morris and his historic tapestries.  The difference is in the thickness of the yarn and therefore the finish of the end look.


Crewel wool is much finer than Tapestry. It is 2 ply (has 2 strands twisted to make 1 thread) and we use it folded double to stitch on our 10 count canvas base. This is the wool used by William Morris in his crewel work embroidered tapestries and fabrics, so it is actually fantastic to embroider with. 

 When designing with this wool, the finished kits were always intended to be a ‘cross over’ base, with the ability to still create fine detailed designs – but with a lovely wooly finish and easier to stitch than using evenweave or higher (smaller) hpi patterns.As the wool is finer the end cross stitch work is much finer too, and the patterns that can be created are much more defined. Most of the samplers are worked using crewel and classic designs such as our Original CAMPER RAINBOW and our Samplers in crewel wool on 10HPI.

It is also fabulous for embroidery and we use it in our Embroidered Sweats and other designs.  It is also perfect for DARNING and MENDING and other upcycling projects as it is fine but strong.


Tapestry Wool is much thicker, almost like knitting wool. It is 4 ply (it has 4 strands twisted to make 1 thread) and we use it as a single strand to stitch on our 7 count canvas base. There is no doubt that this yarn is much easier to handle (it is thicker and smoother) and stitch with. Plus the fact that the 7 count canvas is much bigger (almost 25 % less stitches per area stitched) you can see why a lot of my customers, who came from stitching much finer even weave projects, now are addicted to the Tapestry Kits.

It is this popularity and speed of stitching that has led most of the new kits to created using this base, like the super popular Tuck Shop Collection. However there are still those that prefer the detail and pace of the 10 count. Please just remember that you need 2 strands to stitch the Crewel Kits and only 1 strand to stitch the Tapestry Kits – as getting confused in this area will spoil the finished look of the piece and you will run out of wool.

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