Selecting needle for needlepoint

Needlepoint is worked with tapestry needles. Tapestry needles differ from most other types of needle in that they have a blunt tip rather than a pointed one and a large, elongated eye. The blunt tip is essential so that the needle slides smoothly through the canvas holes without splitting the wool or catching the canvas threads whilst stitching. The large eye is necessary, in order the needle to accomodate thick or multiple strands of floss or wool. 

tapestry needle, needle for needlepoint

Tapestry needles are sized by number and the bigger the number the finer the needle. The range of sizes goes from 13 (the largest) to 28. The correct size of the needle depends on the canvas gauge and yarn thickness. A small needle should be used on fine-mesh canvases while a thicker needle is used on larger canvas sizes. Accordingly, if a too small needle is used then the wool will probably twist, fray and wear thin, while if a larger needle is used then the needle will probably enlarges and distorts the holes of the canvas.  


Needle size 
The following table is a general guide on correct needle sizes in relation to canvas mesh size. However, it is recommended to test your needle on a corner of your canvas.  The needle should pass through the canvas without much pressure and carry the thread through easily. 

Canvas mesh size (holes per inch)


Needle size
5-8
13
8-10
16
10-12
18
12-15
20
16-20
22
22-24
24
Finer that 24
26



     

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