[HNW] linen canvas

Allison263 at aol.com Allison263 at aol.com
Mon Mar 10 14:13:43 PDT 2008


There seems to be some confusion as to what "canvas" is. Canvas is a weave, 
not a fabric. It is a tightly woven, even weave fabric. You can have linen 
canvas, cotton canvas, hemp canvas, etc. Today the word "canvas" is a generic 
terms for any tighty woven, heavy fabric (as in canvas dropcloths or tent canvas 
or artists' canvas) and in embroidery, it is a generic for a specific type of 
even open weave fabric (needlepoint canvas). When the term "canvas" is used to 
describe the ground of a piece of period embroidery, it is usually referring 
to a piece of even weave linen, regardless of the weight. Personally, I think 
the Zweigert line of linen embroidery fabrics are pretty close to what linen 
canvas looked like. 

"Even" weave doesn't necessarily mean "symmetrical" weave, so if you're 
purchasing commercial linen for a counted project, be careful. Also, heavy linen 
isn't necessarily the best ground fabric for some projects. Heavy linen 
available today tends to be quite slubby and stiff, and can fight you throughout a 
project. Slubby linen is bad for a counted design that relies on even spacing of 
stitches to get the motif correct (she says from personal experience). And, 
it's a good idea to make sure the materials work with the ground. Lightweight 
embroidery threads are not going to behave properly or cover properly with a 
heavy ground, and vice versa. 

FYI, Fabrics-store.com sells a nice chemise-weight linen that's very good for 
embroidery. It's the 3.5 oz white, and it usually sells for $5-$6 a yard. 


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