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Characteristics of a Tapestry Needle

Blunt Tip and Wide Eye Make the Tapestry Needle Useful for Cross Stitch Projects

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The tapestry needle is the most commonly used needle for Cross Stitch embroidery.
Photo © 2007 Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Basic Tapestry Needle - The Most Commonly Used Needle for Cross Stitch Embroidery

Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Characteristics of the Basic Tapestry Needle:
  • The tip of the needle is blunt. It pushes aside the fibers of Aida or linen fabric instead of piercing them.
  • The eye of the needle is large and oval allowing it to accommodate several strands of embroidery floss at a time.
  • The shaft of the needle is wider than the tip. This allows the needle to make room for the floss to pass through the fabric with less friction. Friction causes wear on the floss and can lead to floss damage and even breakage. Friction can also lessen the sheen of some floss types.
  • All tapestry needles are identified by a size number. The larger the size of the needle, the smaller it is. Tapestry needles, sized like chenille needles, range from size 13 (largest) to size 28(smallest).
  • The size of the tapestry needle used depends on the count of the fabric. The larger the fabric count, the smaller the tapestry needle that should be used.
  • Since tapestry needles are blunt, Cross Stitch is a great craft for younger children to start out on.
  • A large size tapestry needle may also be used as a laying tool when Railroading Cross Stitch


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