Short needles (1-1/8") are designed for fine and detailed work
Medium-length needles (1-1/2") are for general purpose sewing
Longer needles (1-7/8") are often used for techniques where a needle that can span large areas is necessary (basting, darning, and beadwork, for example).
A blunt-pointed needle is the best choice for needlepoint, counted cross-stitch and counted thread embroidery which are worked on canvas, mesh or even weave fabrics. It will slip easily through canvas holes or between fabric threads without piercing or splitting them.
All tapestry needles are not created equal ... the smaller the number, the larger the needle "barrel." If you use too big of a needle, the hole it creates as it passes through your fabric will be distorted. In general, use these needles for this fabric count:
Size 24 on 11 to 14 count fabric
Size 26 on 18 to 20 count fabric
Size 26, or size 28(if you can find it) on 22 count fabric and higher
The DMC Corporation has a nice guide for their needles. Contact them for their pamphlet entitled DMC Needle Guide:
The DMC Corporation
10 Port Kearny
South Kearny, NJ 07032
Tel: (201) 589-0606
Fax: (201) 589-8931
Many stitchers have a body chemistry that causes the needle to discolour and the nickel coating wears off. Others are allergic to nickel and cannot use nickel-plated needles at all. Try gold-plated and platinum-plated needles because they are hypoallergenic. The Gold will wear off very quickly so be prepared to replace the needle frequently. Platinum plated needles are the best but they are hard to find.
On silk gauze use any type of needle you want. beading needles either long or short beading needles work well. They have small eyes that go thru the mesh but have sharp tips
A pair of small, sharp embroidery scissors is very helpful. Only use your embroidery scissors for cutting thread, never metallic threads or fabrics. The metallic thread can leave small nicks in your prized blades and the sizing in the fabric may leave a residue on your scissors
Laying tools are used to arrange multiple threads on the surface of a fabric or canvas. A laying tool will assure that the threads are laid parallel, making the stitches straight. Various types of laying tools are outlined on the stitches page
This is a sturdy yet smooth, flat needle for laying silk threads and ribbons. "Eye" opening threads conveniently onto Chatelaine for quick retrieval.
Sharp Best Laying Tool (BLT)
Fashioned after the Tekobari. This tool also works well
This bent, large-eyed needle enables snitchers to lay their silk without touching the fibres, canvas or fabric.
This is a #13 size Tapestry Needle soldered onto a fingering thimble allows snitchers to lay threads beautifully and conveniently. Adjustable, so one size fits all.
The Kreinik Needle
Do your needles tarnish? Are you looking for the perfect needles to use with Kreinik Metallic Threads? Then try the Kreinik Needle. A special coating and unique plating process are combined to bring you smoother stitching with less hand fatigue. These tarnish-resistant and rust-resistant needles are conveniently packaged in a clear vial. Available in Tapestry sizes #20, 22, 24 and 26.
A dense felt cube that helps protect laying tools and needle tips from rust. A needle workers friend indeed!
Relax tired eyes and use these stainless steel wire threaders on hand and machine projects using all needle sizes.
Needle Storage Cases
Portable cases to carry your needles, laying tools, threaders and even small embroidery scissors.
Thimbles should be bought to fit comfortably over your middle finger They will help to prevent the hole that comes from too much stitching in the top of your finger.