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  • Kat Waskett

3 Tips to Make Threading your Cross Stitch Needle Easier

I'm sure there are many things you love about cross stitch but threading your needle is probably not one of them! It can certainly be a little frustrating and something that we all struggle with at least on occasion.

Even though cross stitch/tapestry needles have a bigger eye than some other types of needle which makes them easier to thread, it can still be tricky!

But you can’t get far without threading your needle, so I’m going to share my top 3 tips to help make it a little bit less frustrating.

If you'd prefer to check this out in video format then you can watch my quick YouTube video.

Let's dive into those tips...

Tip #1

If you wet the end of the threads and flatten them between your fingers, this makes them easier to pass through the eye of the needle. How you do this is up to you! Many cross stitchers (including me!) lick the ends of the thread to wet them but I get that this might not be everyone's cup of tea. If you don't like the idea of this, then you could keep a moist sponge next to you or even a very shallow bowl of water.

A quick bonus tip here:

If the ends of your thread are looking a little fluffy, which can often be the case when you go back to a partially used thread, then give them a little trim because neatly cut ends will always be easier to thread.

Cross stitch in progress with small embroidery scissors cutting the tatty ends of embroidery thread

Tip #2

Look for a needle with a slightly bigger eye. This might sound really obvious but different needle brands do have different size and shape eyes, so see if there’s one that works better for you.

Alternatively, you could try a petite needle as these have slightly wider eyes. BUT they are shorter so it depends if that works for you or not.

Lilac Aida fabric with a regular needle and petite needle lying side by side to show wider eye of the petite needle

Tip #3

This one is a little crazy but bear with me... you might be threading your needle from the wrong side. No, really!

An interesting fact that you might not know about needles, is that they actually have a right and wrong side to the eye so if you have trouble threading it from one side, flip the needle 180 degrees and try from the other side.

The reason behind this is that when the needle is manufactured, the eye is stamped out from one side so it’s always a little smoother passing the thread through one way than the other.

I can’t tell you how often this has been the thing that worked for me when I have been struggling to thread my needle!

My final piece of advice though is try not to get frustrated if it takes a few goes to get there. Take a deep breath, flip your needle 180 degrees and try again. I still love it when I thread my needle on the first attempt because it definitely doesn't happen as often as I'd like!

If you have tried all of the things and you still struggle to thread your needle, then there are these little gadgets called needle threaders. I personally don't use them, although I am quite keen to try them out to see how useful they are, so definitely give one a go if you think it would help.

If you loved this, but have other questions about needles such as 'what is the best needle for cross stitch?' or 'what size needle should I be using?' then hop on over to read all about needles!

I do hope my tips help you thread your cross stitch needle with a little bit less frustration!

Until next time, happy stitching!


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