Needlepoint is a form canvas work created on a mesh canvas. The threads used may be wool, silk, or rarely cotton. Stitches may be plain, covering just one mesh intersection with a single orientation, or fancy, such as bargello. Plain stitches may be worked as basketweave or half cross. Basketweave uses the most wool, but does not distort the rectangular mesh.

Finished works may be made into pillows or upholstery, or may be displayed on the wall. Typical mesh counts range from 5 to 18 stitches per running inch.

Needlepoint is valued as a soothing activity that creates durable and attractive objects for domestic use. Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Martin, the actress, were all avid needlepointers.