Needle in a Haystack: Finding the perfect needle for your project

How to pick the perfect needle for your next project.

Pinoy Stitch

 When you first discover cross stitch, you might try to use in your stash. Later down the road, you will learn that there are different needles that will give you different effects for your cross stitch project. Depending on the size of the needle, your floss can pull and stretch the fabric. If the needle is too small, the floss can get "loss" in the fabric. Since not all needles are created equal, let's discuss some of best out there and what to look for when starting your project.


When it comes to your needle, size does matter. In the average pack of needles, you will find different sizes Your needle size is important to the way the fabric will handle the floss. As a good rule of thumb, these are the needle sizes you will need for aida fabric:

  • Fabric 8-12: Needle Size 22
  • Fabric 14: Needle Size 24
  • Fabric 16-18: Needle Size: 28 

Are you seeing the trend here? The smaller the weave, the larger the needle size (which is actually the skinnier the needle)

Buzy Lizzy's Crafts has an excellent tutorial and information on needle size and which one will work best for your project.Check out the article and don't forget to bookmark it for a handy reference. You might even want to create a little cheat sheet and carry it around with you so when you are out buying supplies, you can refer to it and get the correct size. 

What about the eye of the needle? Does that mean anything? Yes, it does.

A thinner or smaller eye is a great needle for beading. These needles are normally thinner all the way down and use one strand of thread.Seed beads, especially, need a smaller eyed needle . If you are using bigger beads and sequins, you can move up in size.  Cross stitch needles have wider rounder eyes for pulling more floss through.

 Another distinction between cross stitch needles, embroidery needles and sewing needles is the tip of the needle. Cross stitch needles have rounded blunt ends where embroidery and sewing needles have a sharp more tapered ends. You do not need a sharp tip on your needle for cross stitch projects the way you do for embroidery and sewing. You are not going through tight weaved fabric. The only time this is not the case is if you are using waste canvas on fabric and you need to go through fabric that does not have a distinctive weave to it. 

You now have the information about the basic cross stitch needle, but what about those specialty needles? Are they really worth it? Let's see what's out there and you decide. The first specialty needle is a double eyed needle. These are needles with two eyes and are great for blending colors or using two colors close together. It is perfect if you don't want to switch out your floss all the time. If you do not want to park your floss on your fabric then these types of needles are perfect for you. Another special needle is a gold or gold plated needle. This type is perfect for those who have allergies. The gold plated will wear off after time and are a bit more expensive but if you have allergies they are definitely worth it.

There are also specific needlework needles that allow you to better do a certain stitch such as a French knot. Research these types of needles, as they may not be needed. If you practice a certain stitch, you can master it with a regular cross stitch needle. 

Who knew that cross stitch needles had so much depth to them? You can certainly use any type of needle that you want, but if you want beautiful results, choose a needle accordingly. The wrong size needle can stretch out your fabric and make your cross stitches look distorted. Too small a needle and you have extra space between each stitch.Choose the right needle, it could save yourself from a headache down the road.