If you're new to cross stitching you've probably thought a lot about your fabric and your threads but not so much about cross stitch needles.


There are different needle sizes which work best with certain fabric counts, so finding the best needle for the job will help your stitching look its best.

Needle sizes might sound a little confusing at first but they are really easy to get your head around, and most projects you take on will tell you which needle size is best and what type of fabric you need, but it's always handy to know which needles are used for which fabric types.

Already found your needle? Check out our library of free cross stitch patterns and start today.

What are cross stitch needles?

Cross stitch needles are called also called tapestry needles, which have a blunt tip and larger eye than a regular sewing needle, which makes them easier to thread up with cross stitch thread.

Cross stitch needles easily pass through the fibers of Aida and evenweave cross stitch fabric.

Different cross stitch needle sizes are available, with varying lengths and widths, so choose the best for your fabric - see our handy cross stitch needle size guide below.

Other needles are useful too, try a fine beading needle for adding bead accents. You may also prefer a sharp-tipped embroidery (or crewel) needle to split Aida blocks when stitching fractional stitches.

Top tip: If you are always dropping needles and stepping on them after they end up in the carpet you need a needle minder!

Cross stitch needle size guide

You will need a blunt tapestry needle for cross stitch. Pick the cross stitch needle sizes that matches the count of your fabric.

You can find the cross stitch needle sizes you need by referring to the table below.

It shows cross stitch needles at actual size, so you can also use it to identify cross stitch needles you have that you don't know what size they are.

Cross stitch needle size chart

Tapestry needle size guide for cross stitch
  • 6-count Aida fabric: Use size 18 cross stitch needles
  • 8-count Aida fabric: Use size 20 cross stitch needles
  • 11 count Aida fabric: Use size 22 cross stitch needles
  • 14-count Aida fabric: Use size 24 cross stitch needles
  • 16-count Aida fabric: Use size 26 cross stitch needles
  • 18-count Aida fabric: Use size 28 cross stitch needles
  • 28-count evenweave fabric over two strands: Use size 24 cross stitch needles
  • 32-count evenweave fabric over two strands: Use size 26 cross stitch needles
  • 36-count evenweave fabric over two strands: Use size 28 cross stitch needles
  • 22-count hardanger fabric: Use size 26 cross stitch needles

Where to buy cross stitch needles

Shop cross stitch needles on Etsy from £1.99

cross stitch needles

Choose the right cross stitch needle for your project

Getting the right size needle for your fabric can make cross stitching a much more comfortable and fun experience. When starting a new project refer back to this page to ensure you have the right needle for the job.


Is your cross stitch kit complete?

There are plenty more tools that can improve your stitching experience, discover these cross stitch accessories to elevate your kit!


Hannah BellisKnitting Editor, Gathered

Hannah has worked on Gathered for 3 years, since our launch in 2019. At school Hannah learned to knit collaborating on dorcas blankets – now she edits our knitting section. She inherited her love of stitching and embroidery from her talented grandmother, and her passion for thread led her to be Editor of The World of Cross Stitching for six years. Card making is a more recent passion, developing from her position as editor of Cross Stitch Card Shop. She loves using kinetic techniques to make cards that move – she was editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine for over four years, creating loads of card making video tutorials at www.youtube.com/PapercraftTV.

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating