Getting to know the main embroidery needles

Embroidery has kind of gone through a bit of a comeback in recent years. It seems like everyone, and their mom is doing some sort of embroidery work and plastering it all over Instagram and Pinterest. If you too have fallen victim to the stitches fever, the first thing you have to do is acquaintance yourself with the different kinds of needles. There’s a lot of them. But to get started you can just stick to the main 3 any beginner should get to know.

The tapestry needle

This type of needles has a really long eye compared to a regular needle, a shorter shaft, and a blunt tip. It’s widely used in both needlepoint and counted cross stitch work because the blunt tip allows you to keep the fabric almost intact while weaving through the open holes. If you’re working on a project that involves lacing, this is also the perfect needle for you, since the blunt tip will help you avoid any snagging.

Overall, you’ll definitely use this needle when you’re looking to really get your money’s worth; it lets you get much more use out of a thread than most needles. Whenever you’re ready to get your first tapestry needle, keep in mind that their sizes run from 13 through 28, the former being the biggest one and the latter on the more finer side.

The crewel needle

Crewel needles have a longish eye, though it’s definitely shorter than the eye on a tapestry needle, the shaft is slightly shorter than the eye, and the tip is sharp. This is the very basic needle you’ll use when you’re first starting out. It’s any beginner’s first needle. The sharp tip allows you to pierce through tight fabrics with no problems, and the long eye will make threading a walk in the park. Though this is helpful for your first designs, you want to be careful when working on more intricate patterns as it will be easy to snaggle more delicate fabrics when using this sharp tip. Crewels go from sizes 1 through 12.

The milliner needle

These needles have a rounder eye, a longer sharp than the previous two, and a very sharp tip. You may have heard of the milliner needle as the “straw needle” as well. If you want to work on cast-on stitches or  French knots, this is the needle you’ll need. It will be easier to pull a milliner through the wraps than any other needle. Plus, you will absolutely love the finished look. Since they are so useful you should definitely consider investing in an assortment of different sizes rather than picking just one.

Keep in mind that these will be your tools for whatever project you take on. So, don’t be afraid to ask around at specialty shops, or take your time researching before you commit to one of them. Also, be on the lookout for combos, as many stores offer embroidery packages that contain an assortment of different needles to get you started.