All of our posts detailing the best cross stitch, best products to use, or just the best places around to get your cross stitch fix.

Great Cross Stitch Gifts Under $25/£20

Cross stitchers buy threads in their ever reaching aim to own all 500 DMC threads, we buy aida and other cross stitch fabrics through the year, but the little things that don’t cost the earth and are super useful never seem to get purchased. So why not spend a little on yourself ($25 or £20) and improve your cross stitch game.

Aida Identification Cards – from $5

Cross Stitch Gauge and Rule by Yarn Tree (Source: Stitched Modern)

When it comes to the sheer usefulness of cross stitch tools, an aida identification card, or aida gauge is right up there. I know it might not seem glamorous, and many people are unsure if aida gauges are worth getting at all, and so don’t buy one. But they are frankly one of the most useful things in my cross stitch kit.
People’s hesitance is somewhat understandable, as its rare that you find yourself asking what count is that fabric. But for $5, when you do ask yourself that question (and you will at some point, trust us), you need to get an answer you can trust. These give you a 100% sure answer, 100% of the time. After all, it’s a few dollars that will stop you from having to throw out that unlabeled piece of thread/needles.

Frogging Scissors – from $5

Making a mistake in cross stitch sucks, but its a pain that cross stitcher knows. However, there is a tool that makes frogging easy. It might not be the most glamorus pair of embroidery scissors, but it sure is one of the most useful.

Scissor Sheaths – from $5

Scissor Sheaths (Source

Scissor sheaths might not be the first thing that comes to mind…. well, in any situation to be honest, but scissors are one of the most important tools for a cross stitcher to have.
Every cross stitcher probably owns multiple sets of embroidery scissors and like most, one is always kept handy, out on display, getting stuck into things/people all the time. So to avoid stabbing yourself, and to keep them safe and sharp; scissor sheaths were invented. Coming in a whole host of designs, they’re sure to brighten anyone’s cross stitch kit whilst also providing a protective layer that will keep your scissors perfect for years to come!

Easy Guide Needles – from $7

Easy guide cross stitch needles (Source:

Not much happens in the world of cross stitch and tapestry needles, however one recent new addition, the easy guide needle, is like a breath of fresh air. By adding a small ball to the tip of a sharp needle, you keep the blent edge, but get a better point for more controlled stitching.

Canary Micro Snips – from $7

Canary Micro Scissors in a palm (Source:

Stepping up the price slightly, we reviewed these micro snips from Canary a few years ago, and we simply can’t stop singing their praises!
They’re a fantastic pair of scissors in their own right, which are not only fast and easy to use thanks to the finger hold that avoids all those hoops (and are left-handed friendly!) but are fully TSA compliant for plane travel.
We now use these as our main pair of scissors for cross stitch, they are that good! With a micro form factor, and a protective little sheath, they’re great for travel kits too. We even attach them to our keys, so we’re never away from a pair of scissors!

Thread Shade Chart – $20

We simply cannot advise every cross stitcher out there to get a shade card enough. They are a super valuable tool. Sure, we have a copy of the DMC shade card on our site to see at any time, but there is nothing like seeing the real threads sat next to each other, to get the best out of your threads, and mae the best patterns. Still aren’t convinced? Check out our post on why you need a DMC thread card.

DMC complete thread card


A Good Cross Stitch Book – $20 to $25

Criss crossing paris book by fiona sinclair and sallyanna hayes cover small (source: amazon)

With cross stitch patterns being found online in their masses in places like Etsy, however that doesn’t mean those are where the best patterns are. In fact, cross stitch pattern books are still on the rise, and are normally the only places you can get official patterns from people Like Disney. You check our run down of the best cross stitch books out on the market to find one for you.

The Best Cross Stitch Accessories & Notions

When it comes to cross stitch and tools, there are a whole bunch. From random laying tools to something as simple and widespread as a thread shade chart. As a result, many cross stitchers ignore news of new accessories and notions, expecting them to be worthless.
However, this isn’t always the case! It is sometimes though. As a result we scoured online cross stitch stores, forums and facebook pages to find the best accessories and notions for cross stitch.
We’ve not included anything you might already have, like needle threaders, needle minders or anything like that. We’ve also only included things under $20 in price, so why not treat yourself?

Fray Check – from $5

Sealing Evenweave Fabric Edges with Fray Check (Source:

Fray check is one of those odd brand names you’ve heard of in cross stitch, but never bothered with. And why would you? After all, if you’ve not had issues with your fabric fraying, there is no need for it, right?
I would argue, that’s not correct. Whilst Fray check does stop your cross stitch fabric from fraying, there are other reasons to use it. By adding it to the edge of your fabric it forces it to hold its shape much better than without, meaning when you wash and iron your work, it should be nice and square.

Aida Identification Cards – from $5

Cross Stitch Gauge and Rule by Yarn Tree (Source: Stitched Modern)

Can you recognize 18 count aida from 16 count? Or your 22 count hardanger from your 24 count? Most people can’t, and whilst this seems like an insult, why would you be able to? The difference between counts is tiny, and unless you’re fantastic about labeling, most of us are going to be stuck scratching our heads over it at some point in our stitching lifetimes. That’s where cross stitch identification cards come in. These handy little fellers allow you to check your fabric counts or needle sizes. And whilst we believe aida gauges are worth getting as they make storing your cross stitch fabric well there are many people who *shudder* still just pile it all up! If you’ve ever found yourself questioning fabric count, this is a great little tool to pop in your kit.

Easy Guide Needles – from $7

Easy guide cross stitch needles (Source:

You already have needles in your kit, I know. You might have even checked out our guide on the best cross stitch needles so you might even have a favorite brand (kudos if you did by the way), however these needles are different.
Imagine mixing a tapestry needle and a sewing needle together, then you have easy guide needles. Their long tip gives you greater accuracy, but their ball tip allows you to carry across the fabric just as easily as a tapestry needle. Now, I will say, these aren’t cheap, and I wouldn’t even suggest using them for every cross stitch. But in those times when you’re using a smaller count than normal, or you need to do petit point, or maybe your eyes are aching (there are ways to avoid eye strain in cross stitch btw), these needles will help you keep your cross stitching edge.

Canary Micro Snips – from $7

Canary Micro Scissors in a palm (Source:

I have a near-obsession with cross stitch scissors (and I talk about them at every opportunity), but trust me with this; these scissors are awesome!
There are a whole bunch of small, to even folding scissors out there, and these are similar in many ways, but their real worth comes from two design elements most scissors don’t have. Firstly, these things are the easiest scissors to hold ever! Drag them with a finger and thumb and you’re golden, no shoving your fingers into the loops and inevitably getting them stuck (it happens, admit it), just easy cutting. They’re also some of the only cross stitch scissors allowed on planes so go traveling with ease!

Thread Conditioner – from $2

Beeswax thread conditioner (source: Etsy)

From beeswax to specialist thread conditioners like Thread Magic, there are loads of little pots out there that most class as “Thread Heaven alternaitves“, and whilst Thread Heaven is the best known of the conditioners, that doesn’t mean the loss of the company should mean no longer using thread conditioners.
I personally hate thread conditioners, I know, it’s still on my list, bear with me, but I ALWAYS use them with metallic threads. Thread conditioner helps make things go a lot smoother when using using specialty threads and is our number one tip on how to make stitching with these threads a breeze.

Center Finding Rulers – from $9

Clear center finding ruler (Source: Amazon)

I know a ruler might seem like the weirdest object to include in this list, however since we found out about center finding rulers, we’ve fallen in love. In short, it helps find the center of your fabric. This might seem a little basic, but let’s be honest, we’ve all been in the situation where we’ve managed to stitch something in the wrong place and uh-oh, you’ve run out of fabric. That is no longer a problem.

Quilters Square n Blocker – from $20

June Tailor Cushioned Quilters Square n Blocker (Source: Walmart)
We’re jumping up with the price here, and its right at the top end of our price limit, but a Quilters block, or ironing block, its a foam block you can iron on. However, the reason I’ve included it here isn’t its ironing prowess (although it does mean I don’t have to get the ironing board out), instead I’ve included it, as you can use it to pin your work on when it drys. Let’s face it, no one wants a warped cross stitch, and this baby will let you wash, block and iron your work all in one. Now, how’s that for handy?

The Better DMC Metallic Threads: Diamant Threads

The question of how to use DMC’s metallic threads often raises its head. They aren’t as nice to use as the normal cotton range, but they give your project a little something more. No wonder cross stitchers look for a way to cheat the system, or at the very least, try to avoid all the pain and heartache.
But there is a better solution. A solution that has actually been around since 2013 when the sub-brand launched; DMC Diamant threads.
Unlike their metallic 6 ply cousins, the Diamant range is a viscose sheet wrapped with a metallic polyester coating and then covered in a thin layer of silicone. The advantage of this production method is that the thread at the end is smooth and supple. I’m going to repeat that in words a little nicer to hear; they aren’t like scratchy hard to use metallic threads.
Sadly, for a long time, these Japanese made threads were only really sold in Europe, but lately we’ve been seeing more and more of them in the US and Australia. And we propose, they’re better than any DMC metallic you can find.

DMC Diamant Threads in Presentation Box (Source:

The Benefits

The real benefit of Diamant threads is that they are a smooth thread. They act much more like a standard cotton thread (although slightly stiffer), and therefore, don’t have the same issues that normal metallics or light effects do.
Metallics tend to behave a bit like a wire with thorns all over it, whereas Diamant acts more like a thread that’s been starched too much. You can use smaller needles, it doesn’t catch on the needle or fabric, it glides through the fabric much easier, and it’s by far a nicer stitching experience.

The Negatives

Whilst I’m making out the Diamant threads to be amazing, there are two negatives to speak about.
The first is a simple size or gauge issue. Diamant thread is larger than the standard embroidery floss of DMC. This changes how you use the thread rather drastically, and we’ll cover that later, but just know that Diamant isn’t like standard

thread. But then again, DMC metallics aren’t really either.
The second big issue is the color selection. When Diamant first came out, it only had 4 colors, and whilst these have expanded into 14, there still isn’t a great deal of choice. Most are various shades of metal, which are nice, but limited in their use, with a black and white, red and green to round off the set. This doesn’t stop them offering a Diamant color card though. To me, the metallic range is much deeper in choice. I think this might change as more and more people use Diamant threads, but for now, its a little unloved.

DMC Diamant Threads (Source:

How To Use Them

As I’ve already stated above, there is a different way to use Diamant threads. But before we say how, we need to talk about the two types of Diamant thread. Diamant, and Diamant Grande.
I want to be super clear here; you want to use Diamant thread; NOT Diamant Grande. In essence, the difference is that Diamant Grande is twice the thickness of Diamant thread. For cross stitch, it’s just not suitable.
So, with that out the way, let’s talk about how to use it. So Diamant thread is slightly thicker than a standard floss of thread. In fact, it’s twice the size. This means that when you normally stitch with 2 threads of floss, you will only use one thread of Diamant. Thankfully, Diamant flattens more than normal threads,

meaning the overall look will be very similar to using two threads anyway.
All the other ways to make cross stitching with metallics easier still apply, but with Diamant, it’s much easier from the get-go.

Different thread weights. Kreinik Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Blending Filament combined with floss, just floss. Source: Kreinik Threads (source: Kreinik)

The Alternatives

It would be remiss of me, in a post all about metallics, to not speak about alternatives. And whilst the metallic thread world at first seems narrow, there are some good alternatives that don’t get as much focus as they should.

DMC Metallics

We start with the standard for most cross stitchers when choosing metallics, with DMC’s range. We’ve compared the Diamant threads to these in the post above, but they aren’t all bad. Sure, they can be hard to use, they knot, twist weirdly, break needles, pull and cut fabric and feel rough in the hand. But they come in colors.

The biggest negative about Diamant threads is the lack of colors. I think as time goes on DMC might change the range to include more depth, but right now, it doesn’t have any. Therefore, if you want a colored metallic, DMC metallics are a good starting place. But maybe not the best option.

The DMC Golden Skein

Another option, all be it extremely unlikely, is the limited edition DMC golden skein. I used this thread on my Golden Zelda Cartridge cross stitch and I can tell you that it’s great to use. Sure, it costs an absolute bomb, its limited edition, and it looks the same as any other gold thread, but we like to cover our bases.

Kreinik Threads

However, the best option in my mind, by far, is Kreinik threads. This isn’t to say I’m a Kreinik fanboy or anything, in fact, I actually own more DMC metallics than I do Kreinik threads. The reason I’m saying Kreinik is better is down to their options, which you can see on our Kreinik color chart. Kreinik deals exclusively in specialty threads. This means that they not only produce a great product itself, but they understand the differences each project can bring. This means they offer different thicknesses of almost all of their threads, meaning you can do a straight swap, blend or even blend different metallics together. I’ve used a whole bunch before, and I can you from my Skyrim ruined lexicon cross stitch that a subtle addition can really make a big difference.
If you’re looking for a Diamant alternative from Kreinik, the best I could see was either Kreinik Metallics #4 Very Fine Braid or Japan threads #5.
Have you tried Diamant threads? What do you think?

Where To Download The Best Free Cross Stitch Patterns?

Wanting to get your hands on a cross stitch pattern for a low cost, or even free is something we all feel. However, getting your hands on both a quality cross stitch pattern, but also a cross stitch pattern that isn’t copyrighted can be very hard when your budget is low. But that doesn’t mean its impossible. So today, we round up the best places to get free cross stitch patterns, and the places you should avoid.

Places To Get Free Patterns:

Finding free patterns really isn’t that hard on the internet, but finding quality free patterns is a different ball game. We reached out to our social media followers for their suggestions and we checked out the quality of the patterns ourselves to make sure they’re the best of the best.


Unlike many other suggestions on this list, we’re being very specific in the place to go here. DMC threads launched a section on their website about 2 years ago now with over 1000 free patterns. They’re a combination of DMC made patterns, designer collaborations, and paid patterns that they are now making available for free. They’re constantly adding more, and they range from small motifs to large cross stitch patterns.

Selection Of Free Pattern Previews From DMC Threads Website (Source:

Designers Websites

Slightly less specific is our suggestion to go to your favorite designers’ own websites. Whilst you can pick up a branded pattern from a whole host of retailers, designers often give out free patterns on their own websites. The reason for this is that they’re either too small for a chargeable pattern, or they just want to get people onto their website. We could list a whole raft of designers that choose to offer free patterns, but award-winning designers such as Caterpillar Cross Stitch and Tiny Modernist are on the list.
You do need to have a favorite designer for this to work, but if you don’t right now, you can search any of the retailers out there for patterns you like and look up the designer (they should always be listed).

Online Stores

Just because designers offer free patterns on their own websites, that doesn’t mean online stores don’t have free patterns as well though. Major retailers such as Heaven & Earth Designs have free patterns on their site. These patterns are to the same standard as their other patterns, but they have an agreement with the designer to offer them for free.
We should note though, that you need to make sure they’re a quality retailer.

Places To Avoid:

Sadly, for every great place to get free patterns, you can also find ten that are not so great.


The first on our list is Etsy. Whilst we’ve spoken about Etsy in the past and how its a force for good in cross stitch that doesn’t mean its perfect. More often than not Etsy features copyrighted patterns for sale. However, a recent trend is charging a few cents for up to 20-30 patterns, effectively making them ‘almost’ free. These pattern packs are always filled with copyrighted patterns, so stay clear!


Another site with cross stitch pattern copyright issues is Pinterest. Whilst the site does offer many free patterns that are fine to use, it contains lots and lots of patterns that are direct copies of designers works, or in breach of copyright. However, we would say that you can find some great free cross stitch alphabets on the site!

Free Cross Stitch Fonts On Pinterest (Source: Pinterest)

The Best Cross Stitch Gifts Guide (Updated for 2020)

Christmas is nearly upon us, and we all know how hard it is to buy gifts for hobbies we don’t know much about. So here’s an updated holiday gift guide on what to buy the cross stitcher in your life. They’re arranged by price from lowest to highest.


Cross Stitch Gifts Under $25/£20

Aida Identification Cards – from $5

Cross Stitch Gauge and Rule by Yarn Tree (Source: Stitched Modern)
One of the most under-rated cross stitch tools out there is a simple card. Many cross stitchers out there are unsure if aida gauges are worth getting and in many cases, simply don’t buy one (even though they’re only a few dollars each).
However, a time will come when you mix up some needles, or find some unlabeled aida and need to identify one from another. This seems like a simple task, but the difference between a 14 count and 16 count aida is small, and the difference between a size 14 and 16 needle is basically impossible (even if you have others you ‘know’ are correct on hand!). That’s when these cards come in handy.
Easily identifying the different size aidas, hardangers, needles, and a whole bunch of other things a cross stitcher uses with 100% accuracy every time.
With something so simple and easy to use, I’m a total convert! And at under $5 you can’t go wrong!

Frogging Scissors – from $5

Every cross stitcher has had the hell that is frogging invade their life. Not only do you feel a goof for counting incorrectly, but taking the stitches out is painful. That is, until now. We found out about surgical scissors a while ago and they make frogging easy. Trust us on this, get yourself a pair as you’re bound to need them in the future.

Fun Needle Minders – from $5

Charizard Needle Keeper by MyWifesAVelociraptor (source: Etsy)

Christmas is mostly about fun gifts you might not buy yourself, and something many cross stitchers always want to add to their collection (but refrain from spoiling themselves on) is buying a fun needle keep. Getting one that is personal to your giftee, without breaking the bank not only shows that you understand them, but care for their hobby too!
You can get them in thousands of different designs, and there are a lot of custom made ones out there, like this 3D printed Pokemon charizard from places like Etsy that cover pretty much every topic you can think of. They’re a little bit fun, and you can combine other things together, so if their other favorite hobby is reading, get a book based one, etc.
There are a lot of options here, so we also made a guide on inding the perfect needle minder that you might find helpful!

Thread Conditioner – from $5

Thread Magic (source:

Sadly a few years ago we lost one of the most beloved cross stitch companies; ThreadHeaven. For those who don’t know, they produced a fantastic thread conditioner/moisturizer that makes cross stitching MUCH easier.
Whilst you can no longer get your hands on ThreadHeaven, in the space they created, many great alternatives have sprung up. So many in fact that we put together a list of ThreadHeaven alternatives.
These small pots give all threads (but particularly hard to work with threads like metallics) a smooth texture so they go in and out of the fabric with ease. The gift of easy stitching is one every cross stitcher will appreciate!

Easy Guide Needles – from $7

Easy guide cross stitch needles (Source:

A cross stitch needle is just a cross stitch needle, right? Wrong. We not only found out that not all cross stitch needles are made equal, but there are a bunch of cross stitch needle types to choose from. Our favorite is the easy guide needle, which adds a small ball to the tip of a sharp needle, allowing for more controlled stitching.

Canary Micro Snips – from $7

Canary Micro Scissors in a palm (Source:

We are seriously passionate about scissors, but these micro snips from Canary are super tiny scissors that can fit on your keychain, are super easy to use, and are TSA compliant for plane travel.
If that wasn’t the best thing you’ve heard all year, I don’t know what is. These scissors are not only super easy to use thanks to their finger pads (and no handles to get stuck in), but they give a really detailed and easy-to-use snip to those thread ends.
As time goes on there are more and more mini scissors entering the market, and yet these snips not only topped our list of the best cross stitch travel scissors, but have become our go-to pair for cross stitching whenever out, or even when at home!

Thread Shade Chart – $20

We have a copy of the DMC shade card on our site to see at any time, and we know that a lot of people use it on a day to day basis, however on-screen images aren’t always that reliable, and having the read threads in your hands are a much better alternative. As a result one of the best tools I’ve ever picked up is a cross stitch thread card. We’ve even detailed why you need a DMC thread card. DMC (the most common thread company) do a version with thread samples ($20) including the new DMC threads, which is far superior. Think about getting a metallic shade card from Kreinik too ($36).

DMC complete thread card


Scissor Sheaths – from $5

Scissor Sheaths (Source

There’s nothing fancier than covering the sharp ends of your scissors with a nicely made scissor sheath, and let’s face it, we could all do with a little bit more fancy in our lives!
Scissors sheaths are an often overlooked tool, they look nice, but there’s a whole ream of benefits to using them too. Their practical benefit of keeping the scissors covered means the scissors keep sharper much longer, by reducing dust build-up, nicks and moisture. They also have the added benefit of stopping you from stabbing yourself with the tips when they fall off your desk (or is that just us?)
You can pick up a nice cover for under $5, so consider combining this with a nice new pair of embroidery scissors too.

The Perfect Frame – $12 to $30

Easy Clip Cross Stitch Frame (source: amazon)

I know a lot of people think cross stitch is a bit simple, but in reality, RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is a real issue, and using a good cross stitch frame can save your back from getting sore.
There are loads of different styles on the market, from handmade ones using plumbing parts, to massive wooden standing frames. The best one in my mind to get is an EasyClip frame ($20), which has many of the benefits of more expensive frames without the high price tag. It’s also a great place to start as there are many companies selling accessories such as standing parts, pattern holders, magnetic strips, etc which give your frame an added boost. However we’ve also rounded up the best cross stitch frames out there so you can find the perfect cross stitch frame for your budget.

A Good Cross Stitch Book – $20 to $30

Criss crossing paris book by fiona sinclair and sallyanna hayes cover small (source: amazon)

This year has seen some of the best cross stitch books ever published, and I would personally buy all of them (in fact, I have brought most of them). However, for the cross stitcher in your life books offer both patterns and a fresh look at the hobby. With topics ranging from traditional to absurd and everything in between. But they also offer unique ideas and ways of stitching that you might not be aware of.
The recently released “A Bitch In Time: 30 Sarcastic Stitches For You To Stitch was truly a delight to behold, and even gave me ideas and inspiration on future stitches.
You can find our rundown of the best cross stitch books out on the market but we suggest checking out amazon or your local bookshop as there are more books releasing by the day (there have been more cross stitch books released this year than any other year on record!).

Cross Stitch Gifts Under $50/£40

Travel Cross Stitch Kit – $30

Altoids Tin Travel Cross Stitch Kit (Source:

This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for gifts for cross stitchers, however many stitchers either stitch when they travel, or wish they could. Finding a great, small, cross stitch kit featuring everything they need is a great gift, and probably not something they’d think of (so you get brownie points). You can either buy pre-assembled kits, or make one yourself. A pair of Canary mini snips, needle minder, needle tube and a seam ripper are all you need. And you can fit them all into an Altoids tin.

Magnifier – $30

Clip-on magnifier by 123stitch

A magnifier might seem like something an old person might want, but when it comes to cross stitch, a magnifier can be a massive help. In fact, we detailed why magnifiers are worth getting a few months ago; we’re big fans of the benefits. You can seriously damage your eyes cross stitching and magnifiers help keep that at bay! And for those sadists that choose to stitch super small designs are in serious need!
Magnifiers are a seriously good long term investment, and even if the stitcher in your life doesn’t use it everyday, it will get used whenever they need to thread a needle, frog a section, fix a mistake or just get a little closer to their work.
You can get a whole set of different options here, from ones that light up, to ones that click onto your embroidery hoops. I would try to get one with a 2.5x zoom as this is the most useful for cross stitchers.

A Good Pair Of Scissors – $30

Cross Stitch Japanese Style Scissors (source: ebay)

Scissors might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a cross stitcher, but you send a lot of time snipping things, and frankly, a poor pair of scissors get blunt quickly, and give you nasty frayed ends. Get a nice pair of ‘snipping’ scissors, or ones like the image (a Japanese embroidery scissor), or another specific pair for embroidery/cross stitch or cutting fishing line and you’ll see the difference straight away.
Or you can even get a super awesome pair of frogging scissors, which solves the worst thing about cross stitch (frogging is incorrect stitches that need to be removed).
If you’re not sure what type of scissors to buy, check out our guide on picking the best cross stitch scissors, but you may be shocked at just how many there are out there.

Magazine Subscriptions – $20 to $50 a year

CrossStitcher Magazine Cover Issue 317 (source:

Magazines are fantastic for both giving you patterns, giving you inspiration, finding out about all the new products, reading up on all the happenings of the cross stitch community and finding out some sweet bits of cross stitch history.
What’s great about these is that there are frankly a shocking amount available, from traditional styles to super modern takes on cross stitch like the Xstitch Magazine, (which we create patterns for a write for) so its best to pick one or two you like the most or pick your stitching style. But with most offering cancel anytime policies, you can quickly swap and change until you find the one(s) for you.
You can find our cross stitch magazine reviews here, and get a subscription to those with some nifty discounts. Prices vary from $20 to $50 a year depending on print/digital versions and the country being sent to.

Monthly Subscriptions – $20 to $50 a month

Cotton and Twine Cross Stitch Subscription Box (Source:

Christmas is all about getting great stuff (let’s be honest), but nothing is quite like getting a gift in the post month after month, stuffed full of awesome cross stitch prizes. It’s basically Christmas all year round!
Cross stitch subscription boxes are a weekly/monthly/quarterly box that includes stitchy gifts all year round. They can be as narrow as unique threads, to a series of hand-crafted kits, to a whole smorgasbord of cross stitch gifts including needles, threads, fabric, patterns, tools, notions, kits, sweets, teas, and even DVDs to watch while you stitch!
You can pick up a whole load of different monthly subscription boxes with prices varying from $20 to $50 a month. We’ve rounded up the best cross stitch subscription boxes so you pick the best out there!

DMC Thread Cones – $40 – 70

500g DMC thread cone in 310 Black (Source:
Most us of buy thread in skeins, and whilst this is great for 90% of our needs, colors like black and white are constantly on our “to buy” list.
But with a DMC cone, you can buy DMC thread like a pro. These cones come in 500g weights and are equal to about 257 skeins. If you do the math, that’s only 27c a skein, which is a lot cheaper than anywhere in the world. Trust me, we know how much DMC skeins cost across the world.
They come in a 35 colors, but in most cases you won’t need anything other than black and white (310 and B5200). But these cones of thread will not only keep your stitcher filled to the brim for years to come, but they’ll avoid the inevitable trip to the store to find them running out of the only two colors you need!

Full Set of CXC Threads – $40

CXC threads (source:

CXC is a fairly new brand to the world of cross stitch, but they’re making massive moves. They produce threads, which match the DMC colors exactly (excluding their 35 new threads), however they make them using a polyester blend. This helps them reduce costs considerably, which is a saving they pass down. In fact, you can pick up their full range of 447 threads for under $40, compared to $400 for DMC threads!
But don’t let the price fool you, CXC threads are just as good as more expensive brands in our tests, and in many situations are better. They’re less likely to knot, less likely to lose their color over time, and less likely to bleach in the sun. These threads are soon to be just as popular as DMC…

DMCs New 35 or Etoile Thread Packs – $40

New DMC Mouline Etoile Threads In Silver Box (source:

This year has been big for DMC threads (the most used cross stitch threads). Not only have the new 35 DMC threads started to be used in commonly found kits and patterns, but they also launched a sweet new set of DMC etoile threads, which are super sparkly threads and perfect for seasonal stitches. Most stitchers are yet to get their hands on them though.
You can pick up these new threads in fancy packed sets for under $40, or pick up the threds separately for $30.

Great Cross Stitch Software – $50

PCStitch Cross Stitch Software (source:


The natural progression for a stitcher is to go from kits, to patterns, to making their own patterns. Most choose online programs, but they all have their own limitations, so spend $20-$200 on the perfect one. I would personally suggest WinStitch/MacStitch or PCstitch for $35-50. Or you can check out our cross stitch pattern generator comparison page.

Cross Stitch Gifts Under $100/£80

Tracing Pad – $30 – $50

Tracing pad (source: Amazon)

A tracing pad might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of cross stitch, but we think that every cross stitcher should have a tracing pad and there are two great reasons to get one. Firstly, any addition light will help you keep your eyesight while cross stitching, but secondly, and most importantly, it cross stitch on black aida by lighting under your work. You can keep it on your lap or table depending on how you stitch, and they don’t get hot!

Day Light Lamp – $50 – $100

Daylight Slimline Table Lamp (source: Amazon)

We can tell you, for sure, that day light lamps do make a difference to cross stitch. Not only do they add a massive amount of light to the area you’re working in, which can be super helpful when working with black or dark aida but they help your eyes deal with the intense focus you’re putting them through. We believe that everyone should have a well-lit cross stitch area, and daylight lamps, or bulbs are the best way to get that necessary light.


All The Threads! – $100

My full set of DMC threads ordered by number

The only thing better than owning a thread shade card is owning the threads themselves. I always kept using the threads I had on hand, and until I got the whole set, I didn’t realize just how much I was making compromise; my colors have definitely got better. You can see how much a full set of DMC threads has helped us with our blog post about our journey to a complete set of cross stitch threads.
Not the cheapest thing in the world, wait until you can buy a whole set in one go on an offer. The price can drop from $450 to $200. Just don’t be tempted by those cheap Chinese deals to see on eBay.

7 Ways To Stop Your Cross Stitch Fraying

When it comes to starting a cross stitch, other than gridding, most people just start. But if you’ve found your fabric fraying whilst stitching, you probably mean to do something about it next time; but never do. Stopping fabric fraying, especially aida and evenweave, seems like a daunting task, but we have 7 ways to stop that fabric fraying, regardless of what cross stitch fabric you’re using.

Hand Sew The Edges

The first thing for many when it comes to fraying is to stop it using some type of sewing method. For most people, this is the blanket stitch, but honestly, any edge stitching (or even backstitch) will stop fabric fraying. The one issue is that it takes forever. This is twice as bad if you sew on a large piece of aida, and then cut it down once finished, meaning you have to stitch it twice.

Blanket Stitching Aida to Stop Fraying (Source: wikihow)

Machine Sew The Edges

However, sewing machines exist for a reason. Lots of cross stitchers also have other hobbies like machine sewing, and therefore a sewing machine at hand. This can be super useful for winding bobbins but also stopping fabric edges fraying. It’s super-fast and generally works better than hand-stitching anyway.
The most common stitch is a zig-zag, but many sewing machines can also do edge stitches specifically made for this. And if you have a serger, even better!

Fray Check

But what about a no-sew method? We start with a commercial option, fray check (other brands available) which is like a thick glue. It sticks the edges of the fabric together, giving you a stiff edge to your fabric, that will never (and we mean that) fray.

Sealing Evenweave Fabric Edges with Fray Check (Source:


But the commercial glues do cost a lot of money. And so there are two options using less expensive options.
The first is a thick super glue (note; you can get different thicknesses) which is basically the same as fray check. Fray check tends not to stick to human skin as easily as super glue, but it works just as well and is much cheaper if you can avoid sticking it to yourself.
The second option is PVA glue, or ‘craft glue’ as its sometimes called. This requires you to wait for it to dry, but PVA glue will hold the edges of your fabric just as well. It doesn’t stick to skin, it’s non-toxic (although we’d suggest never eating glue), and if the worst happens, you can just wash it off.


The way I personally prefer to edge my fabric, however, is tape. If you wanted the cheapest option, sellotape works, but masking doesn’t leave any residue. It’s fast to apply, is super cheap, and works just as well (if not better) than the other options on our list.

Masking Tape aida edges to stop fraying (Source: youtube)

Pinking Shears

Next up, we have pinking shears. That might sound like a fancy new term to you, but in all likelihood, you’ve received aida with pinked edges. Simple little shark teeth like cuts. Thankfully a pair of scissors does this for you, meaning all you have to do is cut your fabric out. We should say however that whilst this is a common method used to stop fraying, it doesn’t actually stop it. Instead, it reduces the impact of fraying. If you intend to really get hands-on with your fabric, this technique might not work too well.

14 Count Aida and 28 Count Evenweave (source:


Finally, we have fringing. This technique works wonders, and the fact that it’s been around for hundreds of years is a testament to that, but it’s also very visual. More often than not it’s used as a decorative edging rather than to stop fraying. However, if you don’t like the look of fringe, you can crochet the edge.

Fringed Edges of Evenweave Fabric (Source:

The Best Online Cross Stitch Stores

The cross stitch community is fantastic at supporting local cross stitch suppliers, however sometimes they don’t carry the thing that you want, the prices are a little steep, or you just want a larger range. For most, going to a larger store like Hobby Lobby or Joanns, but thanks to big halogen lights, your threads can be damaged before you’re brought them!
That’s where online stores come into play, which offer home delivery, fantastic service and ranges, but also you can find fantastic cross stitch thread deals. We’re rounding up the best online stores.
All stores were suggested by our social media followers, they all had to supply needles, threads and aida of multiple types and had to pass a few delivery tests. We are not affiliated with any of these stores and do not get kickbacks. Updated April 2020.
Jump to United States
Jump to Canada
Jump to United Kingdom (UK)
Jump to Australia
Jump to Rest Of World

Best online cross stitch stores – US


Whilst many think of Etsy as a great palce to get cross stitch patterns, its also a fanastic place to get threads and tools. With hundreds of small stores across America, they offer great prices, and you always get impectable customer care.

123Stitch is by far the best place to get cross stitch supplies online in the US. Finding cross stitch items online isn’t hard, but 123stitch offers two things that others don’t. Firstly, value; a skein of DMC thread will cost you only 56c! The second is the sheer volume of items available. If you want it, they’ve got it.
Fast shipping, great customer service, and an unbeatable price mean they are the top dog of online stores.

EverythingCrossStitch says everything you need to know about it with their name; they have everything you need for cross stitch. Sure, there isn’t a lot of tools that aren’t purely for cross stitch (no magnifiers and the like), but they have boatloads of everything else; including the largest selection of cross stitch threads of any online company in the US or elsewhere. Prices are just as cheap as others on this list, and postage is also excellent. The one thing I would say is they suffer from a lack of aida brands; they don’t stock Zweigart for example, however that really is the only negative that can be said.

CrossStitchWorld really tries to offer the best out there in the cross stitch world, that much is clear as soon as you step on their site. They have stock of pretty much anything you can think of, and whilst the prices aren’t rock bottom, they’re pretty good too. Sadly CrossStitchWorld doesn’t get as much focus as it should, as it’s far better than the big craft stores.

Our number one online store is Lakeside Needlecraft, and we’re not alone, it is by far the largest UK based online retailer out there. And there is a good reason for this; they’re excellent.
They have a gigantic range of everything you can think of, they supply to your door super fast, they have great customer care, they have a points program, and they’re really good value for money. To give you an idea, you can pick up a DMC skein for 69p, a good £30 cheaper than stores.
Their website can be a little annoying to find your way through, however, their search is superb. They also have a huge selection of patterns from large and small designers and have even started putting their own cross stitch pattern books out.

ABC Stitch (or ABC Stitch Therapy as its currently know) doesn’t have a modern site. But they have everything else. They’re one of the longest-running online stores, and they stock frankly, an overwhelming amount of stitchy supplies, so much that you will never get bored of looking through their catalog. Prices are pretty good, although a DMC skein will set you back 69c.

Best online cross stitch stores – Canada


Thanks to Etsy’s worldwide shipping you can get your hands on tools and threads from across the border, meaning on average everything will be slightly cheaper.

At 69c per DMC skein, StitchItCentral were suggested to me for a great value website, however, that would be unfair to them; they’re more than that. With a frankly astonishing range of cross stitch supplies, including magazines, something often forgotten about by other retailers, they’re a great resource for everything cross stitch. The only downside is browsing can be a bit of a pain due to their depth of range, but so long as you know what you want; they can supply it.

59c per DMC skein is a super great deal. However, Herrschners isn’t just about cut-price cost. Around for over 120 years, Herrschners has developed relationships with every single supplier of anything cross stitch, meaning they have a crazy level of stock. They also have great customer service, including project assistance (which is worth trying just for the novelty!) and a quick dispatch process. They do run adverts on their site as well, which is a little annoying, but that’s the only negative to say.

Best online cross stitch stores – UK


Our number one online store is Lakeside Needlecraft, and we’re not alone, it is by far the largest UK based online retailer out there. And there is a good reason for this; they’re excellent.
They have a gigantic range of everything you can think of, they supply to your door super fast, they have great customer care, they have a points program, and they’re really good value for money. To give you an idea, you can pick up a DMC skein for 69p, a good £30 cheaper than stores.
Their website can be a little annoying to find your way through, however, their search is superb. They also have a huge selection of patterns from large and small designers and have even started putting their own cross stitch pattern books out.

Need to find that special edition thread? A DMC thread shade chart, or another hard to find tool? Etsy is the place to go. With loads of worldwide sellers, finding the item you need has never been easier.

Stitcher is not a website I knew about until recently. I had always been a SewAndSo shopper (before they went out of business) however the other big player was Stitcher. They have a more simplistic website design and it hasn’t really kept up with the times, however, that doesn’t stop them having a great selection and great prices. So much so that their trustpilot score is the highest I’ve ever seen!

Previously known purely for their large modern pattern and kit selection (which they still have a load of), Stitched Modern has started moving into the traditional cross stitch retail space lately. What really makes them stand out from the crowd is the quality of their products. They only choose quality items that they themselves use to design and stitch. Not only that, but they have products that other retailers don’t, like my much loved cross stitch travel scissors.

I personally love Cross Stitch UK, however, I don’t buy everything from them. It turns out that many of our social followers do the same. It’s not that they’re bad in some aspects, although they don’t sell DMC threads, it’s a case of doing a little bit of everything, and we really mean everything. Other retailers on our list stop after the basics, but if you want pins, a magnifier, or even scissor keeps, this is the place to go.

Hobbycraft is the largest craft retailer in the UK, and therefore, it’s no surprise that they’re also one of the best online stores. Hobbycraft have always looked to build their online shop at the same time as their stores, but their preference is on supplying low-cost products. This often means that they have a lot of too-good-to-be-true products, however, if you ignore these, they still have a great selection, and actually boast a better selection than others on this list; but you do pay a premium, and postage is high.

Best online cross stitch stores – Australia

Threaded Needle doesn’t sell a lot of items, and in fact, they basically don’t sell patterns or kits at all. But they’re known for quality, low price basics. You need threads, they have them. You need needles, they have them. You need fabric, they have them. But if you need that specific type of needle or that rare brand of thread or that specific color of aida; they aren’t a great place to go.
This all sounds rather negative, however, ThreadedNeedle is one of the best places you can shop for the basics you need. So long as you aren’t doing something cutting edge or crazy, they’ll have what you need, meaning they’re a trustworthy supplier, with great customer care.

More than just a cross stitch store OzStitch supplies a bit of everything. Closer to a brick and mortar store than any other online store OzStitch has a great direct relationship with suppliers meaning they never run out of the usual suspects (although they often have out of stock cross stitch kits listed on the site), giving you a great place to stock up from, even if they’re a little expensive ($1.10 per DMC skein).
In addition to its great stock, its one of the only online stores anywhere in the world, that will let you come and visit their facility. What makes this more impressive is that its a family business and you visit their family property. If that isn’t a sign of honest and open practices, I don’t know what is.

We all know DMC threads can cost a lot in Australia, however, ItchyStitchy is stepping in to help out. At 99c a skein, they are the cheapest online seller of DMC skeins we can find anywhere in Austalia. This doesn’t mean that’s the only thing they do though. A somewhat small online store compared to others on this list (and very young too) they supply everything you need at great prices, and they put customer care first. No confusing price points, great communication and a small team you can really get behind.

Best online cross stitch stores – World

Whilst we aren’t going to hit on all countries in this guide, most of them do ship internationally. However, even if they don’t ship to you, there is another option; Etsy. It’s a market place made by thousands of sole traders, and they sell everything you could ever want (not just cross stitch). As there are loads of people wanting your trade, it drives costs down, and as a result, you get some great deals.
What makes this even better is they have patterns that are only available through Etsy, and they do have copyright issues, but we did a deep dive and found that Etsy was a good thing for the cross stitch world.

Whats The Best Cross Stitch Aida Brand?

Since I started stitching I’ve only really used two brands of aida. A no-name brand that came free with a magazine (and was TERRIBLE quality) and a well-known brand. However thanks to my local sewing store being shut, I picked up someone else’s aida. The problem was the aida was completely different. In the past, we rounded up the best cross stitch needle brands and we decided its time to round up the best aida brands too thanks to me having to try them all out!
Over the last 4 months, we tried 180 aida sheets from a variety of brands, with a selection of colors to see who has the best! We chose a series of factors to test including how starched they are, the uniformity of batches, the range, price, and overall quality. We also ignored things like the uniformity of color and possible bleed; if we found any of these things (and we did) we’ve chosen to not even review them here.

Big Box Store Aida

Finally, the next brand we have on our list is the big box store. What do we mean by that? Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Hobbycraft, Joann’s, Michael’s, etc. These are the own brand aida that lots of stores sell. We actually know they all come from the same factory and we do know the brand name, but it’d just confuse things, so far now, we’ll call them “big box store” aida.
I’ll start with the positives here; the price is great. Its dirt cheap, and frankly for the price, you get a good product, even if the quality itself it’s super. In addition, the range is basically white or black, meaning so long as you don’t want anything fancy, they have you covered. In addition, the volume they produce aida means that you’re likely to get the same aida for a good 6 months which all comes from the same batch; however, the black does differ wildly from batch to batch. That, it’s all there is to say about this aida. It’s cheap, and it’s OK. Sure, it’s not the best (by far), but it’s a great place to start, and by no means worthless. Just maybe not the nicest.

Starch – 3/5
Quality – 2/5
Batch consistency – 2/5
Price – 5/5
Range – 1/5
Total – 2.5/5


DMC Aida

DMC aida is generally a brand most have used at least once. It’s a good aida, and I won’t try to convince you otherwise, however, there are some downsides. The first is that DMC aida is stiff; which isn’t too big of an issue, but makes it less pleasant to use. They also suffer from issues with batch consistency (specifically with their pale blue and cream aida). But they are good! However, as one of the most expensive options on this list, I’m not sure they’re the best choice.

Starch – 2/5
Quality – 4/5
Batch consistency – 3/5
Price – 3/5
Range – 3/5
Total – 3/5


Permin Aida

Permin aida is fantastic, let’s get that’s straight from the outset. However, there are two important things to know. The first is that Permin aida is very soft; which can be great, but for those who freehand stitch (without a hoop) it can be a pain. The second is that whilst Permin used to have a massive selection of aida, they’ve reduced their colors drastically in the last few years with their range mostly being made up of pale colors.

Starch – 1/5
Quality – 5/5
Batch consistency – 4/5
Price – 2/5
Range – 3/5
Total – 3/5


Zweigart Aida

Zweigart is the brand of choice for me. It’s a medium amount stiff, which for most is good, it’s extremely consistent with its batch colors and its a good price. It might not be as nice to use as brands such as Permin, but its consistency, its range and the fact that it’s everywhere make it the best to pick up. They also include a red stripe along the border, meaning you always know when you get Zweigart aida.

Starch – 4/5
Quality – 4/5
Batch consistency – 4/5
Price – 4/5
Range – 5/5
Total – 4.5/5


Charles Craft Aida

Charles Craft Gold Standard aida is a brand most people tend to ignore. I think they’re hard to get hold of most of the time, however, if you ever get a chance to use some; give it a go. Without a doubt, they are the best quality aida on this list. Its starch level is stiff but smooth, they have fantastically bold colors, a great range, and a nice price tag. The price is on the expensive side, but its far from prohibitive. They also take a lot more risks with their colors than other brands, giving you a great choice like grasshopper (which is just gorgeous)!

Starch – 4/5
Quality – 5/5
Batch consistency – 5/5
Price – 4/5
Range – 5/5
Total – 4.5/5

And there you have it, our round-up of the best-known cross stitch aida brands out there which will hopefully help you pick out your next fabric supplier! We should say though that there are lots of smaller brands out there which we haven’t included, but are great. has a great supply for example.
If you wanted to know, our choice is Zweigart aida. Its great quality, but thanks to its fancy orange border, we’re always 100% sure we’ve got the right brand, and someone isn’t trying to pass a poorer quality aida off to us.

Zweigart aida (Source:

What’s the Best Cross Stitch Needle For You?

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!

Normal 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, it’s 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.

Cross stitch needles; rounded and sharp (source:

Petite/Small Needles

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 hole 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.

Gold Needle

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 want to make that area slip through the material better, it improves the whole needle experience. Essentially, that’s the purpose of a gold needle. Gold is slightly smoother than nickel, so moves through the fabric better. Now, gold does come 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 the 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.

gold cross stitch needles (source: eBay)

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 puncturing 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 however even then they can be hard to find.
So why would it be perfect? You want greater control.

Easy guide cross stitch needles (Source:

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 lifesaver (if an expensive one).
So why would it be perfect? You struggle to thread the needle.

Spiral Self Threading Needles Close Up (source: Etsy)

Double Needles

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.

Double ended cross stitch needle (source: reddit)

Who Makes The Best Cross Stitch Needles?

We love cross stitch needles here at Lord Libidan. In the past we’ve covered the suprising history of the cross stitch needle and how cross stitch needles are made in length, but a recent post about time to ditch your cross stitch needle led us into interesting territory; some cross stitch needles last longer than others. And that got us thinking, what’s the best cross stitch needle manufacturer out there?
Thankfully, over the last 6 months, we’ve tested over 130 needles from the 6 biggest brands to rate needles. We chose to include durability, plating, quality, range, and price as factors but chose not to include availability (although we do make comment on this in the reviews). We chose to ignore stuff like self-threading needles, so we’re looking at purely common cross stitch needles.

Milward Needles

A lot of people know of Milward needles thanks to sewing, and honestly, they make great sharps, however, their tapestry needles seem to suffer from a few manufacturing issues. They tend to have a weak eye (at least in our tests) and the plating doesn’t last as long as the likes of John James needles. However, the price and overall quality of the needles are OK. For a single project needle, Milward does a good job. Once again though, the range is an issue. No gold needles, no petite needles, and you usually have to buy in packs of multiple sizes. Milward gets a big thumbs down from us.

Durability – 2/5
Plating – 2/5
Quality – 3/5
Range – 1/5
Price – 3/5
Total – 2/5


Hemline Needles

Hemline produces some OK needles. They last a long time, the plating tends to stay on for a long period of time, they don’t go blunt often either. However, there are two big issues with Hemline. The first is the range; they have standards, but no petites, and if you want gold plated, the price jumps a very long way, making them some of the most expensive needles on the list. This makes them a little too much effort for their price, and we’d suggest others on the list that can be quite cost-effective.

Durability – 3/5
Plating – 3/5
Quality – 3/5
Range – 1/5
Price – 2/5
Total – 2.5/5


DMC Needles

Most of the time, when we hear of issues with needles, it turns out to be a DMC needle. This is probably due to many picking them up in kits, however, our testers rated DMC needles the worst in durability and how fast the plating comes off across all the brands we’ve tested, normally with the eye breaking. However, DMC needles do have something going for them. Firstly, they are easy to pick up, they come in a massive (but not exhaustive) range, and they are really cheap. As a way of testing out needles like petites and gold plated, they are a great place to start, but I wouldn’t use them as a standard needle.

Durability – 2/5
Plating – 2/5
Quality – 2/5
Range – 4/5
Price – 5/5
Total – 3/5


John James Needles

For most, John James needles seem to be the standard in the cross stitch world. And this is due to the fact that they’re a great all-round needle. Yes, they do break, but they last a good amount of time, and with a strong eye, the main issue is losing its plating. Yes, the plating does come off, in gold needles particularly fast, however you can easily use a single needle for 2 or 3 projects before needing to replace it. They do have a whole range, including golds and petites, however finding anything other than the standard count needles can be very hard, and the price jumps as a result.

Durability – 3/5
Plating – 4/5
Quality – 3/5
Range – 4/5
Price – 4/5
Total – 3.5/5


Clover Needles

Our tests with Clover needles came back very positive. They had a fantastic life span, they kept their plating longer than any other needle on the test (including gold needles, which is shocking), and the range is rather large. The issues we had were twofold, firstly, finding these needles (outside of Japan) can be hard, meaning you often have to get packs with other needles you don’t need/want, and price. They are very expensive needles. This might just be down to the import costs, however, our testers all over the world reported high costs.

Durability – 5/5
Plating – 5/5
Quality – 4/5
Range – 3/5
Price – 2/5
Total – 4/5


Bohin Needles

Bohin needles rock. They’re very well made, the plating doesn’t come off for anything, and they just don’t break. They also have a good price point considering how well they’re made. However, Bohin needles are a problem in two ways. Firstly, getting your hands on them, anywhere in the world, is always tough. For some reason Bohin isn’t in many retailers, even online, making picking up a pack hard. This usually comes with a large postage cost from a different continent and so the price rockets up quickly. The second issue is the range. Whilst they have a full set of sizes, they only have one size of petites, and no gold plated needles. But they do have a double eye needle, and a self threading needle too.

Durability – 5/5
Plating – 5/5
Quality – 5/5
Range – 3/5
Price – 3/5
Total – 4/5


Tulip Needles

Let me start by saying just how much I love Tulip needles. They were so nice to use it was shocking, they never seem to break, they keep their point well, and whilst the gold does come off, it isn’t quick. The range is full, with packs of a variety and single sizes. Not only that but getting hold of them wasn’t that hard either. But let’s talk about the big issue here; cost. Tulip needles are VERY expensive, and whilst you do get a quality needle for the price, we’re just not sure we can devote that kind of price to a needle. There are perks that make up for this, like little glass vials they come in, but once you have a few of these you want to change to plastic ones, and packs without the vial are just as expensive.

Durability – 5/5
Plating – 4/5
Quality – 5/5
Range – 5/5
Price – 1/5
Total – 4/5

There you have it, our round-up of the best-known cross stitch needle brands out there. Hopefully, this test will help you pick out your next needle supplier, however, we should say that storing your cross stitch needles well and using a needle minder will increase the lifespan of your needles.
So, what’s our choice? Whilst they are expensive, Tuplip needles were the nicest to use, and if you can afford them, go nuts, however, the cheaper and just as good needles from Clover Needles are the best for us.

Tulip Sashiko Needles come in a glass vial (source: