When looking for the right needle for a project, ask yourself these questions:

  • What fabric or canvas will you be stitching on?
  • What thread or yarn are you intending to use?

We've pulled together a list of needle types and sizes to cover most of your handwork needs:


Tapestry and Cross Stitch needles have a blunt or rounded point, allowing them to easily slip between the fibers of Aida and evenweave fabrics as well as needlepoint canvas.  They have a large, elongated eye making it easy to thread thicker threads and yarns.  Sizes range from 14 to 28 - the smaller the number the larger the needle.

 Bohin Tapestry needles, sizes 14, 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, & 28

Embroidery needles, sometimes known as Crewel Needles, have a sharp point with a long, oval eye.  The long eye allows for multiple strands of floss or thicker thread to be used easily.  Sizes range from 1 to 12, with 7, 8, and 9 being the most popular.

Chenille needles, like Embroidery needles, have a long, oval eye and sharp point.  They are used for larger projects and/or larger fibers or ribbons, and coarse or heavy fabrics.  They range in size from 13 to 26.

Sharps are a popular choice for general sewing needs.  They have a round eye and a sharp point and come in sizes 1 - 12.  Use the smaller sizes for fine + lightweight fabrics, use larger sizes for medium to heavyweight fabrics.

Milliner needles, also called Straw needles, are long with round eyes.  As the name suggests they were traditionally used in hat-making.  Sizes range from 1 to 11.  They have the same thickness from eye to tip, making them ideal for long bullion knots and other stitches requiring the thread to be wrapped around the shaft of the needle.

Quilting needles, also called Betweens, they are short with a small round eye and sharp tip. 


Beading needles are very thin and typically have a very small eye, allowing the needle to pass through the smallest of beads.  As well they are quite long in order to fit more beads.

Darning needles have a large eye and a sharp point.  The tip is slightly curved to enable them to pick up stitches easier. 

Not sure what needle is right for your project?  Try a needle booklet or an assorted collection, they typically contain a good range of styles and sizes, and come in nifty little collectable cards.