Cross Stitch Supplies
will need a tapestry needle or one that is labeled for the count of
cross stitch fabric you wish to use. Tapestry needles have a blunt end
and a large eye for easier threading. Keep an extra needle in case the
first one breaks or bends. There are
nickel, gold and platinum
plated needles. The gold and platinum needles last longer and
slide easier than the traditional nickel plated needle. If you are
a serious cross stitcher, you may want to consider gold or platinum.
I only use platinum needles ever since I tried them. They
are very sturdy and slide through the fabric smoothly. Tapestry
needles come in a variety of sizes. The larger the number on the
smaller the needle is. Here are some recommendations for needle
sizes for different counts of fabric:
Needle Size for Cross Stitch
14 / 28 / 30 24
16 /32 /35 26
/ 40 26
larger counts 28
needles for cross stitch. Many designers like Mirabilia and
Lavender and Lace use beads to enliven their patterns. Beads can
add dimension and sparkle to your design. There are special
needles that are necessary to apply beads on your cross stitch project.
They are shorter than a typical beading needle. The needles
are thinner than an embroidery needle and sharper. They have to be
skinny for the bead to fit over the needle. I have beading needles by
Mill Hill and John James. I prefer the Mill Hill brand myself.
There are two needles in the pack.
A kit containing 3
different types of needles in the weaving kit: a flat straight sewing
needle and a flat cranked raffia sewing needle plus a cranked weaving
needle. A cranked needle is sometimes called a turned up needle.
There is also a Bodkin needle used for doing Swedish Weaving with
thicker flosses or yarns on Monks cloth. Bodkin needles are
flat and round.
Bodkin (weaving) needle
Storing your needle:
You can store the needle you are working with on the fabric you are
using for your project by weaving it through a couple of the holes.
There are also some great
cases that you can purchase that may become heir looms eventually
for the younger stitchers in your family. There are also some
needle magnets for storing you needles. I also like to store
my needles in an old fashioned pin cushion.
Tacky Bob for beading. Another valuable tool for beading is a
Tacky Bob. Beading can be tedious without the right tools. A
Tacky Bob look like a small compact disk case. Inside the case is
a sticky, fly paper type surface. You spread the beads you are
working with on the sticky surface so they lay in a single layer. You
can pick each bead off the sticky surface with your beading needle.
It makes the process of beading that much easier. I wouldn't bead
without mine. ha
stitch is usually done with a 6 strand embroidery floss. DMC is a
major supplier of cross stitch and needlework supplies.
Their products are made
cotton, Mouline floss
is a very popular brand. It comes in several hundred floss
colors that remind me of the beautiful colors you would see on a
Japanese Kimono. Most patterns call for
2 strands of DMC 6 stranded for cross stitches and one strand for back stitches.
Floss can be easily separated by cutting a strand about as long as your
forearm. Hold the floss from the end dangling in front of you.
Slowly pull the number of strands you wish to stitch with from the 6
strands while it sort of winds around.
Some of the larger counts of fabric like Herta 6 and 8 counts may call
for 3 strands of floss for stitches.
Effects (article 317) is a metallic floss also made by DMC. Light Effects are a sparkly floss that add
shine to a project.
Color Variations embroidery floss change the shade of the color as you sew for a
unique effect. There
are also specialty metallic and variegated threads.
is one of the most prevalent metallic threads used in cross
stitch. There are several different sizes including blending
filaments, #1, #5, #7, #4, #8 and #12, as well as 1/8th ribbon,
and 1/16th ribbon, . They come in a variety of styles like
braid, Japan thread, Cord, Cable, Vintage, High luster, Fluorescent, and
the newest, Holographic. There are also metallic threads by
Gloss called Rainbow and Estaz. The Rainbow is a blending
filaments and the Estaz is a fuzzy floss that anglers often use to tie
their own flies for fishing.
Paints are a cotton floss that comes in rich colors designed
and Lace patterns. They are made of 100% Egyptian cotton and
come in 3 different
color schemes, called
Robbins Egg Blue, Orchid, and Lavender/Blue.
Collection floss comes in many different varieties. We carry
all the Caron Collection floss at our cross stitch supply store.
Here is a brief description of each type of floss they have to offer.
A twelve-ply hand-dyed
variegated silk floss. It gives a subtle sheen when stitched and has
particularly good light reflection qualities. Use a single ply for very
fine work or as many plies as necessary to suit stitch and ground
fabric. Many of the colors match Watercolors and Wildflowers, but
because the silk fibers take the dye differently, they may be more
Cristale, also available from Caron is the solid color counter part
of Waterlilies. Waterlilies is suitable for cross stitch,
needlepoint, Hardanger, and other needlework.
Wildflowers: A single strand hand-dyed cotton in variegated
colors that coordinate with with Watercolours. Use one or more
strands as needed. One strand is between and size 8 and 12 pearl
cotton floss in weight, about the same as a flower thread.
Wildflowers looks like a fine wool and has a matte finish when stitched.
It can be used on a wide range of cross stitch, Hardanger, Swedish
Weaving and other needlework fabrics. It is also excellent for
lace making and tatting. This is my favorite floss to use
when I stitch Hardanger pieces on 25 count Lugana fabric. Use it in
combination with other Caron flosses for a really incredible project!
Watercolours: A three-ply hand-dyed pima cotton floss in
variegated colors. It has a silky sheen and slides like butter
through your needlework. The variegated colors blend subtly into
each other without drastic changes. One ply of Watercolours is
about the same weight as a number 5 pearl cotton floss. This is a
great floss for Hardanger and Swedish Weaving. It can also be used
for needlepoint, cross stitch, tatting, darning, knitting, crochet and
crewel. A very versatile floss.
Floss is usually
colorfast, which mean it does not run when washed. However, some
people like to wash their floss before using it to be sure. If you
choose to wash your floss before stitching with it, you will need to put
each skein in a separate container of tap water. You can also
use distilled water. If the floss makes the water colored, you
should wash it again until it no longer makes the water colored. Dry
your floss on a white paper towel or a white cloth towel. If it
leaves any color on the towel, then start the process over again.
Stitch or Embroidery Hoop:
Hoops can be made out of plastic, metal, or wood and come in several
different sizes, among those being 5 inch, 7 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch, and
more. A hoop will keep your fabric taut while you stitch.
We have some great hoops by
in a variety of colors. The colors remind me of different
shades of sherbert. There are
also free standing hoops. Q-snaps (standard sizes are 8 and 11 for
cross stitch) are also an option for holding
your fabric while you stitch. They snap apart for easy storage. To prevent creases from forming on your
fabric, remove the hoop when you are not stitching and roll your fabric
to store. I keep my fabric in a plastic bag while I am not working on
it to avoid accidents. Some more experienced stitchers prefer to use no
hoop at all. Others like to used a hoop when they work with Aida
and no hoop when they use Linen fabric. Some hoops can distort
Use a sharp pair of small scissors to avoid frayed ends on your floss.
There are many embroidery
thread clippers to choose from. The most useful size of
embroidery scissor for cross stitch is probably 3/12 inch or 4 inch.
It is a convenient size for snipping ends of floss while you stitch. Clip the floss with a small tail or with no tail at all. It’s a matter
of choice. Beware of ends showing through the fabric. We have many
designer scissors and several more plain scissors to choose from. Some of my favorites
Gingher and they are truly collectors items.
They come in a variety of colorful handles
and there are new ones every season. Right now the newest one is
called Tessa. Store your scissors in the sheath that they come
with or in a scissor block if you collect scissors. A scissor
block is similar to a knife block.