If you're new to cross stitching you've probably thought lots about your fabric and your threads but no 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.


About cross stitch needles

Cross stitch needles are 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! These handy little tools will attach to your fabric using a strong magnet and you'll be able to pop your need onto it whilst you are changing threads or taking a break. Check out the full list of the best needle minders.

Tapestry 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.

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

Want to find out more about cross stitch?

We hope you found this advice on cross stitch needle sizes helpful. If you are looking for advice on getting started in cross stitch, check out our cross stitch for beginners article or find out more about cross stitch thread and cross stitch fabric. If you want to take a look at the free cross stitch patterns we have available for you on Gathered, we have lots of brilliant designs for you! For floral inspirations, try out our lavender cross stitch patterns and our sunflower cross stitch pattern, or browse our selection of cross stitch flower patterns. If you are looking for simple designs that are great for beginners try our children's cross stitch patterns or our cat cross stitch patterns. For fun cards that are always popular, try our caterpillar cross stitch patterns or for more grown-up celebrations, our gorgeous cross stitch cards for all occasions. Don't miss our special stitch of Durene Jones cross stitch fox pattern either!

cross stitch needles


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.

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