Cross stitch projects use tapestry point needles.
Aida is the material used for Counted Cross stitch. The Aida number represents how many threads there are in an inch. So you can make 14 “x” stitches in one inch of size 14 count Aida. The higher the number, the smaller the holes are between the weave. So a size 11 count Aida would have bigger holes than a size 14 count Aida.
Most cross-stitchers use tapestry needles for their project. This if or two reasons.
A tapestry needle has a blunt point so it will not pierce the material threads, going effortlessly through the intended hole in the Aida material.
When putting a sharp needle through the project you might prick your finger on the hand under the hoop and cloth.
It is a personal preference. For reference, a size 24 Tapestry is similar in size to a size 6 Sharp or 7 Chenille.
The larger the needle size: the smaller the actual size of the needle will be. (So a size 24 Tapestry needle is smaller than the size 22 and the 24 Tapestry is larger than a size 26.)
These sizes are suggestions. Different bands have variations in their diameter and length of a needle, but as a rule of thumb a size 24 Tapestry holds up to 6 strands of embroidery floss and will fit in the size 14 count Aida. (The size 24 Tapestry is the most popular size needle for cross stitch.)
The following needle sizes are recommendations for Spiral Eye Needles. You may prefer a different combination when you work with different threads or brands of needles.
- Plastic grid projects: use a size 13 Tapestry Needle for 4 ply craft yarn
- 6 count Aida: use a size 20 Tapestry Needle with size 5 Perle Cotton or 6 strands embroidery floss
- 8 and 11 count Aida: use a size 22 Tapestry Needle with a size 8 perle cotton or 6 strands on embroidery floss
- 14 and 16 count Aida: use a size 24 Tapestry Needle with up to 6 strands of embroidery floss
- 16 and 18 count Aida: use a size 26 Tapestry Needle with up to 6 strands of embroidery floss
Perle Cotton can be tricky to thread in your needle.
Here are some videos made of Donna Olson of Statin Stitches on how she threads size 8 Perle Cotton in her size 22 tapestry needle .
Hardanger uses Perle Cotton to get the gloss in your pattern.
Here Donna Olson of Statin Stitches talking about Hardanger.
How to trim your Hardanger
Donna Olson of Statin Stitches talks about how to use your scissors almost like a needle to prevent miscuts.