Bargello embroidery is a counted thread embroidery that is made up of vertical stitches stepping up and down in varying designs.



This type of stitching can be done with a variety of fabrics, but it is most often stitched on evenweave canvas. The large holes allow thick threads like tapestry wool to sit smoothly. In the finished piece, the canvas is not seen.

For beginners, plastic canvas is a great option. It is rigid, so a frame is not needed. It is economical, and is easy to cut to any size desired.

plastic canvas with yellow stitches and title.


The threads you choose will be determined by the fabric base you are using.

For needlepoint canvas, you will want to use tapestry wool or something equivalent.

On plastic canvas, any type of yarn will work well. If you know a knitter, ask them if they have odds and ends left over. They will probably give you some This is a great way to learn a new technique.

Other Supplies

There are only a few other simple supplies for bargello.

If you are using needlepoint canvas, you will need a frame to hold it flat as you are stitching. There are a lot of options for this. You will be able to get this at the same place you got the canvas.

A dull needle should match the size of thread you are using.

You don’t need a sharp needle, because you will not be piercing the fabric. You are pulling the thread through the holes.

yarn needle with thread.

The only other tool you will need is a pair of scissors. Use scissors appropriate for what you are cutting – yarn, canvas or plastic canvas.


These easy bargello designs will get you started.


Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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