A few weeks ago we listed out some of the best known cross stitch needle brands and gave them reviews based on a lot of factors. However, despite allowing us to work out who the best cross stitch needles were made by, we got a few people asking about different types of needles. In that post, we only focused on your standard needles, and we made comment on their range, but didn’t go into why you would want a specific type of needle.
Well, in the same way we helped to find the best cross stitch scissors for you we’re doing the same with needles!
The standard cross stitch needle for anyone who picks up a cross stitch kit, and for everyone that follows standard cross stitch needle size for aida count tables. The normal needle works well. It’s been perfected for literally hundreds of years (in fact, we covered this in our history of the cross stitch needle). However, it doesn’t mean its the perfect needle for you.
Yes, it works fine, its easy to pick up in a variety of materials, and you can pick them up for pennies if you’re looking to save money in cross stitch. In reality, needles like this tend to wear heavily, which was why we wrote about getting rid of your old needles.
So why would it be perfect? Well, simply put, you either want an easy needle that you don’t have to think too hard about, or you prefer a longer needle.
Of course, petite needles are basically the same as a normal needle, but they’re smaller. This isn’t much of a bonus if you want a longer needle, however petite needles allow you to move through the aida fabric with much more ease. In reality, a size 24 needle (standard for 14 count aida) is slightly larger than the whole it goes into. With a petite needle, you can drop it through the whole with ease.
However petite needles give you a lot more variety with stitching too. I prefer to use a smaller needle, rather than a petite. I use a size 26 for 14 count fabric. It has the same impact as using a petite, but is much easier to get hold of, and usually cheaper.
So why would it be perfect? You want a smoother stitching experience.
The next set of needles to look out for are gold needles. Now, most people expect that to mean a whole needle in gold, and sometimes that is the case, but you can also get gold eyes. The reason some only have gold eyes is to put the price down. The widest part of the needle is the eye, so if you wan make that area slip through the material better, it improves the whole needle experience. Essentually, that’s the purpose of a gold needle. Gold is slightly smoother than nickel, so moves through the fabric better. Now, gold does comes off. In fact, the reason to stop using gold needles is the plating has come off, and that means gold needles rarely have a long life span, however they do move smoothly through fabric, and so can be a good idea if you can’t find a petite.
So why would it be perfect? You want a smoother stitching experience, but like a larger needle.
Easy Guide Needles
Next up, we have a little needle that not that many people know about. Instead of a rounded tip of a normal cross stitch or tapestry needle, easy guide needles have a small ball. This allows you to get a lot better control over your tip, but still allows you to traverse the fabric without punchering it. For many, control isn’t much of an issue, however those with a slight shake can find a massive benefit in using easy guide needles.
They do have a small downside though; they are very hard to get hold of, and don’t come in many sizes. We pick ours up from Etsy.com however even then they can be hard to find.
So why would it be perfect? You want greater control.
Self Threading Needles
For many, the worst part of cross stitch, is trying to get the dang needle threaded. I know many people who use needle threaders however the same issue always comes up; they break. They break ALL the time. There are needle threaders that don’t break, but for many, a needle threader is something else to loose in their cross stitch kit. So instead, there are self threading needles.
Now, there are loads of different self threading needle types, and due to this, they can cause you issues in your cross stitch experience. For many self threading needles aren’t worth it, but for those that struggle with threading the needle, they can be a life saver (if an expensive one).
So why would it be perfect? You struggle to thread the needle.
Finally, we have the double needle. Many don’t even know it exists, and when they see one, they often think its a crazy needle for a machine or something. Now, you do have to change the way to cross stitch with a double needle, but it allows you to cross stitch faster.
They are fairly hard to come by, and they don’t come in gold. They break often, and they’re weird to use. But they increase your speed by an insane amount. If you value speed; these are the needles for you.
So why would it be perfect? You want to speed up your cross stitching.