Cross Stitch Supplies
Some basic cross stitch supplies are essential while others just make stitching more comfortable. The major manufacturers are always inventing new gadgets and improving on old ones.
Once you know how to cross stitch, you can experiment and find what works best for you. Keep things simple or, if you have the budget, add a little luxury to your sewing spot!
Basic Cross Stitch Supplies
- Obviously, embroidery requires a needle. If you're doing cross stitch on an evenweave fabric such as aida cloth or Zwiegart linen, a blunt needle such as the Clover Gold Eye Tapestry Needle Size 18/22 is best. Learn about the types of cross stitch fabric.
- The most commonly used thread is 6 strand embroidery floss. It comes as 6 strands, but they can be separated for finer stitching. DMC and Anchor are popular brands. Be sure that you are actually getting stranded embroidery floss such as in the DMC Color Variations Floral Floss Pack - 12PK and avoid anything that says craft floss. It is not stranded and used primarily for friendship bracelets.
- Cross stitch scissors can be of any type. Small, sharp scissors are easiest to use. I'll confess that I sometimes use a blunt pair of child size school scissors to cut a thread if that's what is closest within reach! Dritz Folding Scissors or Singer 3'' Folding Scissors are nice to carry in a bag for embroidery on the go. Be careful that only non-exposed blades such as the Clover Thread Cutter Pendant are allowed on airplanes. Double check with the airline to be sure.
- A cross stitch hoop is optional. Decide if you need one before you start. Hoops come in different sizes and shapes. Use a size big enough for the whole design to show at once or you'll have wrinkle problems. Some people leave the piece in the embroidery hoop for display. It's hard on the fabric, so I would only recommend displaying small pieces in a hoop, nothing too important. Susan Bates Hoop-La Embroidery Hoops are colorful. I've used them for gifts that stay in the hoop. Wood also looks nice.
- Cross stitch patterns come in all sizes and any theme you can imagine. Some people like to make a copy of the pattern page to highlight as they work. Writing on a copy keeps the pattern book clean. If you want something more fancy than a hignlighter, try the Pako Magnetic Line Counter.
Advanced Cross Stitch Supplies
- A needle threader can make life easier. Insert the wire loop through the eye of the needle, put the thread in the loop, and pull the wire loop back out of the needle eye. You can find cheap Metal Needle Threaders 3/Pkg or try a deluxe model such as the Dritz Double Needle Threader.
- Everyone needs light to see to stitch, but not everyone will buy a special light just for embroidery. There are specially designed lights available from the Daylight company such as the Daylight Table Top Craft Lamp and the Daylight Floorstanding Craft Lamp. Some have built-in magnifiers and tool trays.
- There are tabletop or clip-on magnifiers available for those who have trouble seeing tiny stitches. The Daylight Flexilens On Mini-Clip is designed to clip onto an embroidery hoop.
- One of the more interesting gadgets I've seen is a Needle Puller. It's designed to give an improved grip on the needle. It might be useful for those with carpel tunnel or arthritis, but I found it cumbersome.
In addition, there are some cross stitch supplies that you can make for yourself, such as the needle case and scissor pouch pattern that I offer to you free in exchange for signing up for my monthly newsletter.