A few weeks ago I wrote about a new type of needle; Pony’s Black Line. And whilst these are now my go to needles, some of the comments on the post made me realise that not everyone swaps needles out for each project. So I thought I would give my guide on the best needles to use for each project type!
Stitching On White Fabric
For most, stitching on white, or light-colored fabrics, is their standard for of cross stitch. But there is something a little better than a standard needle.
Black Line Needles
We prefer the Pony Black Line needles. We’ve gone into more detail about this on our recent post about why Black Line needles are better than gold plated, but to sum them up quickly; they’re a nickle free needle. They’re specifically a stainless steel, heat treated to not rust and be super smooth (smoother than gold needles in our mind), but this gives them a unique black color.
Why does that matter? Simple; you can see the needle with much more clarity than a nickel-plated one!
Stitching On Black Fabric
The reverse to white fabrics though, are black and dark colored. For this, the Black Line needles just don’t hold up. Being black, they make things so much harder!
So we suggest any old standard needle. Now this could be a nickel-plated needle, gold-plated needle, platinum-plated needle or even one of those fancy color-coded needles, but essentially what you’re looking for here is an appropriately sized without a dark color.
Ok, so now we have the standard choices out of the way, we’re into more specific stitches. And first up is back stitch; love or hate!
Easy Guide Needles
For this, we suggest the easy guide needle. These little beauties are standard embroidery needles with little balls on the tips. They allow you to thread the needle in, without breaking apart the threads of any stitches under where the back stitch needs to go.
They are frankly, very nice needles anyway, and we suggest you do give them a go for normal stitching too, but thanks to the little ball at the end, they break far faster, and they tend to be $2 a needle which is a lot!
But for that final flourish on a piece, adding back stitch, these needles are PERFECT for getting that perfect back stitch.
So lets say you have a nice pattern, but there are confetti stitches! There is sadly, no needle that will make this easier… But there is one we suggest:
Gold Eyed Needles
Gold eye needles, are unique among the tapestry needle world, as instead of helping you stitch, they help you thread the needles.
With confetti stitches, you’re going to be threading that needle over and over again. This rubs down the eye and makes it sharp, cutting threads and eventually breaking the needle. This is honestly the main reason why you should ditch that old cross stitch needle, but confetti stitches will get you there much faster!
So a gold-plated needle, with a smoother surface, will last much longer for this threading-heavy activity.
But a word of warning; you only need the eye gold plated, not the whole needle.
So if you won’t need fully gold plated needles for confetti stitches, why would you need them for a large project?
Well, we think everyone should at least try gold-plated needles once in their stitching time. They’re super smooth and make stitching a breeze. But why do we specifically suggest them for bigger projects?
Well, most people throw away their needles after a project, rather than in the middle.
A gold-plated needle lasts longer than a standard nickel-plated one, so we think it’s worth the extra money for a nicer cross stitching experience on a larger project. Trust us here; gold-plated needles are a dream!
What about the other side of the coin? A super small count. And by this, we mean the higher number of counts, where the actual stitches are smaller.
We love petite needles for these types of projects. Why? Simple; the needle sizes most people suggest are perfectly meant to fit into the holes in your aida. But what they don’t take into account is that you tend not to be perfectly perpendicular to the fabric when you stitch.
This is fine in larger projects, but it does open the hole slightly more than needed. But on smaller count projects, the hole can open up massively, put your stitches in a weird order, and make it easy to see the color behind.
Just not what you want.
This is why we suggest using petite needles on 20 count or above on our cross stitch needle size guide.
And finally, we have one type of needle that is very specific; blending.
Double Eye Needles
Double eye tapestry needles are specifically made for blending, and funny enough; are great at it! They really don’t have much use outside of blending either, but if you find yourself needing to blend threads; these needles make two or more threads lay perfectly in your stitches. Well worth it.
Do you agree with our list, and would you add any others? We chose not to include the double-sided cross stitch needle as that’s more of a stitching style choice than project related!