There are so many different types of needles out there, and it can get kind of confusing as to what needles to use for different kinds of embroidery and needlecrafts. I wanted to make a quick and concise guide that goes over the basics. There are plenty of other kinds of needles out there, but I’ve found that these are some of the most common ones.
It’s important to know the difference between different types of needles because it can really help or hinder you depending on whether or not you’ve chosen the right one for your next needlecraft project!
Embroidery needles have a long oval eye that is somewhat larger than a standard sewing needle. This makes it easier to use with multiple strands of embroidery floss. The end has a sharp point, making it great to use on fabric with a tighter weave for surface embroidery.
Tapestry needles have a large eye and a blunt tip. They are ideally used for needlepoint or cross-stitch where the holes are large enough that you don’t have to pierce the fabric to pull the thread through. They are also beneficial to use with certain embroidery stitches because the blunt tip won’t snag the thread or fabric. (i.e. basket stitch for weaving in and out of the embroidery floss)
A between needle is shorter in length and has a small eye and a sharp end. These are commonly used for hand sewing and quilting.
Beading needles are long and thing with a small eye and a sharp end. They are ideally used for sewing beads onto fabric. The eye is small enough to where the bead can fit over it, and the longer length makes it easier to thread multiple beads on at once.
Chenille needles have a long, large eye and a sharp end. These needles are also great for embroidery where you are using a thicker thread such as wool for crewel embroidery.
Needles come in many different sizes. The different sizes are reflected by a number. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the number, the smaller the needle is, and the smaller the number, the larger the needle is.
I hope this quick run-through of different types of needles helped you find the correct needle for your next project! This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the different types, so if you’re looking to read about even more, Sew Guide has a very informative post about 16 types of hand sewing and embroidery needles. Happy Stitching