Types of needles

Different types of stitching require different types of needles. These are the most common types.

  • Tapestry needles: These needles are characterized by large eyes and blunt ends and they are suitable for needlepoint, cross stitch and drawn thread work. The large eye let them carry a heavier weight yarn, such as wool yarn. The blunt tip allows them to pass through the loosely woven canvas without catching or tearing the threads. So, this type of needle is suitable for those types of needlework in which the point of the needle is not meant to pierce the fabric. Sizes ranges from 28 (the smallest) to 13 (largest). 

  • Embroidery needles: Also known as crewel needles. These needles have sharp point and long eyes to enable easier threading of multiple embroidery threads. They are used for crewel work and surface embroidery. The sharp point allows them to easily pierce closely woven fabrics. Sizes range from 12 (thin) to 1(thick)

Embroidery needle

  • Chenille needles: These needles have large eyes, like tapestry needles, and sharp ends, like embroidery needles. They are sized similarly to tapestry needles and are suitable for surface embroidery, crewel work, wool embroidery or other type of embroidery were sharp tip and large eye are needed. They are also suitable for ribbon embroidery, where a thick strand is needed to pass through a closely, woven fabric. 
Chenille needle

  • Beading needles: If you are planning to add bead embellisment to a stitched piece then you should probably use beading needle. The tip of the needle is sharp while the eye is narrow to pass easily through the centre of beads and sequins. The eye has almost the same width as the rest of the needle. The shaft is long to enable the stitcher to hold a number of beads at a time. Sizes range from 10 (the thickest) to 16 (the finest). 
beading needle

Of course there are types of needles suitable for applique, patchwok, hatmaking, etc.


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