- Why are your canvases so expensive?
The needlepoint that we choose to sell is "hand-painted" which means that each canvas is painted one at a time by an artist with a paintbrush. The amount of time this takes means the canvas will cost more than a canvas that is mass-produced by screen printing or another technique. It also means you tend to get canvases with more distinct colors and with more exact details (for example, straight lines are painted perfectly straight). Hand-painted designs also tend to be more sophisticated or to come in a broader variety of subject matters than mass-produced designs. In effect, you are buying a piece of art (that becomes even more beautiful after being filled in with your stitching).
- Isn't a screen-printed canvas just as good and a lot less expensive?
A screen printed canvas can be beautiful in its own way once stitched, but many of the very inexpensive ones have indistinct, muddy colors, poor alignment of lines on the threads of the canvas, etc. This can make stitching them much more difficult and more frustrating than if you had a hand-painted canvas. There is a place for this kind of needlepoint, but it is just not something that we stock.
- Can't I buy a graph of these canvases and count the design myself?
With very few exceptions, no. Most designers who produce hand-painted canvases are interested only in producing hand-painted canvases, and that is the only form their designs take. A very few designers will sell both hand-painted needlepoint and counted cross stitch (but even then, there may be variations between their needlepoint version of a design and their cross stitch version).
- Are your canvases one of a kind?
No. Although they are produced one at a time, they are not one of a kind. Once in a while a designer will produce a limited edition where only a certain number of one design will be produced, but this is rare. It is more common for a design to be retired or discontinued, in order to make room for new designs (many of you have experienced the "I should have bought it when I saw it" syndrome!)
- Are your canvases "stitch-painted"?
Some are, and some aren't. Stitch painting is a more exact and time consuming method of hand painting, and is more likely to be done by companies that produce smaller or simpler designs. A stitch painted canvas means you get the accuracy of a counted design, without the counting. With a stitch painted canvas, all color changes are clear and distinct (no gradual shading from one color to another) and perfectly fit the weave of the canvas. However, some of the most beautiful needlepoint designs available are not stitch-painted. Some companies always stitch paint their designs, some companies never do - and frequently you will find a canvas that is stitch-painted only in important areas such as when it contains stripes, squares, and other very geometric areas that need to fit perfectly on a canvas thread.
- Which canvas designers produce totally stitch-painted designs?
Among the designers we carry, the following produce totally stitch painted designs:
Canvas Connection, Design Gallery, Fancy Carole, Kathy Schenkel, Needle Graphics, Oak Tree, Painted Pony, Point of It All, Sandra Gilmore, Shelly Tribbey, Stitch Its, Susan Roberts, The Collection, Treglown Designs, and Trish Gunning.
- Do your prices include thread/yarn?
No, hand-painted canvas prices do not include thread. This allows you to use threads you may already own. It also allows you to select threads you like to use and avoid threads you don't like to use, to decide whether to use less expensive or more expensive threads, and to in some cases change colors (if you choose to change a color, be sure that your thread will cover the canvas adequately so the underlying changed color does not show through).
- May I return a canvas if I decide I don't like it?
Sorry, hand-painted canvases are not returnable. This is for a variety of reasons. One of them unfortunately is due to people who do not respect copyrights and think it is all right to copy (in whatever form) a design and return the original. A benefit to you is that when you buy an expensive hand-painted canvas, you are buying a new canvas in pristine condition that has not left our store (and been slobbered on by a dog, dropped on the floor, squished and creased and mushed...). If you need additional information to help you decide whether or not to purchase a canvas, we are happy to help.
- What does "mesh" mean as in 18 mesh?
The mesh count tells you how many horizontal and vertical threads are woven into one inch. An 18 mesh canvas will have 18 canvas threads in an inch, a 14 mesh will have 14 threads to an inch, etc. Another way to think of it is the higher the number, the more threads per inch, the smaller the canvas count. With a smaller count, you will make more stitches in a square inch, you will use a smaller thread to fit the smaller holes, and for some of you, it will be more difficult to see the holes (requiring you to use magnification, or to select a different design on a larger count).
- I like a design that you sell, but it is on 18 mesh and that is too small for me. Can I buy it on 13 mesh? (or I like a design you sell on 13 mesh and I prefer to work on 18 mesh, can I buy it on 18 mesh?)
In most cases, a designer offers a given design on only the canvas mesh listed. There are times when the same design is offered by the designer on a choice of 2 different canvas meshes, sometimes at a higher price for one than the other, and sometimes the actual size of the design will be larger when offered on the larger mesh than when it is offered on a smaller mesh. We are happy to check the availability, size and pricing of a design on a different mesh for you but most of the time, it will only be available as shown on our website.
- Is the size listed that of the design or the piece of canvas?
We list only the approximate design size, not the actual canvas size. Most canvases are about 4" larger overall than the design size, but some will have a larger margin, and others will have a smaller margin.
- Will you pick threads for me to use on my canvas?
Picking threads can be a very personal thing, and it is always best if you can participate in the process, but sometimes this is not possible. If you would like our assistance in picking threads, keep in mind that this takes extra time (because we have a lot of possibilities to consider and try very hard to make good choices), and it is helpful if we know threads you like to use, threads you like to avoid, and an idea of what your budget for threads is.
- I see a canvas on a designer's website without a price, how much would it cost?
Designers rarely list prices for their canvases, because different stores charge different prices (we consider our prices to be very fair, and often they are less than other needlepoint stores choose to sell the same design for). If you need a price quote, just let us know the name of the designer and the name and number of the canvas you are interested in.
- Do you have the canvases on your website in stock for immediate sale?
If it is a canvas listed on our website under the category "In Stock Needlepoint Canvases", it is most likely in stock. An exception would be if we have sold the canvas, and not yet had time to update our website to indicate that it is sold, but may still be special-ordered - or in a few (hopefully rare) cases, we have simply forgotten to note it as sold. It is not our intention to show canvases for sale that we don't actually have. Please note that if you have found a canvas on a canvas designer's website, it will often NOT be a canvas that we will have in stock, but would need to order for you. If you don't have a large computer monitor or a large "window" opened in your web browser, you may need to scroll to the right to be able to see if a canvas is listed as sold or not.
- I would like to order a canvas that you say has been sold, but may be special-ordered. Will I pay the price that is shown?
It depends on whether the canvas designer has raised their price to us since the canvas was first listed on our website. In some cases, the price will be the same. In other cases, the price may have gone up since we originally got and listed the canvas (this comes under the heading of "All prices are subject to change without notice"). Most price increases are not very large, but by all means, if you wish to have us special-order any canvas for you, you may wish to confirm the current price of the canvas prior to placing an order.
- How long will it take to get a special-order canvas?
There is no way for us to know without checking with the canvas designer to find out if they have the canvas in stock. Some designers are very quick to send orders, some are not very quick even when they have the canvases in stock, and others will not have canvases in stock for immediate sale, but need to have more painted. Delays of a few weeks to get special-orders of canvases are not uncommon.