When you first discover cross stitching, you might try to use needles 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 "lost" in the fabric. Since not all needles are created equal, you should know the best types 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 to 12: Needle Size 22
- Fabric 14: Needle Size 24
- Fabric 16 to 18: Needle Size 28
Are you seeing the trend here? The smaller the weave, the larger the needle size.
Eye and Tip of the Needle
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 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 tightly woven fabric. The only time this is not the case is if you are using waste canvas on fabric and you need to go through the fabric that does not have a distinctive weave to it.
- Double-eyed needle: This needle with two eyes is 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.
- Gold plated needle: This type is perfect if you 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 do a certain stitch better, 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.