Cross-stitching, the craft we love the most, hinges on more than just skill; it’s about having the right tools at your fingertips. For both veterans and beginners in this meticulous craft, the right cross-stitch tools can deliver pleasure as well as utility.
We’ve put together a list of the essential cross stitch tools – from the precision of tapestry needles to the wonder of daylight lamps, so that you can make the right choices fast and level up your stitching!
1. Quality Embroidery Hoops
Embroidery hoops are the backbone of your cross-stitching project. They keep your fabric taut and provide a stable working surface. Investing in quality wooden or plastic hoops ensures that you can create your masterpieces without any fabric distortion.
Wooden hoops, in particular, are prized for their durability and the ease with which they grip your fabric. The choice of hoop size depends on your project’s dimensions; smaller hoops for tiny designs and larger ones for more extensive works.
2. Embroidery Needles
Selecting the right embroidery needle is a stitcher’s rite of passage. Cross-stitch-specific needles, also known as tapestry needles come in various sizes, each catering to different fabrics and threads.
We’ve got an in-depth guide to cross stitch needles here.
Remember, a good needle can be the difference between a frustrating experience and a satisfying one. So, stock up on these essential tools and keep them at the ready for your next cross-stitch adventure.
3. Bobbin Boxes: Organize Your Threads for Smooth Stitching
Bobbin Boxes are a true unsung hero in the world of cross-stitch.
While it might seem tedious to wind your thread onto bobbins and organize them neatly, the benefits are undeniable. Imagine a world where you never have to untangle a knotted mess of threads or hunt for the right colour in a sea of skeins. Bobbin Boxes make it possible.
These nifty containers not only keep your threads in order but also preserve their quality. By winding your threads onto bobbins and labelling them with colour codes or names, you simplify your stitching process, reduce frustration, and ensure your threads remain in excellent condition.
It’s a small investment with substantial returns in terms of both time and thread quality. Trust us, it’s so satisfying.
4. Needle Threader
A needle threader may seem like a tiny tool, but it can save you precious moments and frustration. Especially when working with multiple strands of embroidery floss, threading needles can become a cumbersome task.
That’s where a needle threader comes to the rescue. This simple device makes threading a breeze, ensuring that your stitches start smoothly and without any hiccups. It’s a small addition to your toolkit that can make a big difference in your stitching experience.
5. Embroidery Scissors
Sharp and precise embroidery scissors are essential for any cross-stitch enthusiast. These scissors allow you to trim your thread with accuracy and keep your work tidy. Look for scissors with fine tips, as they provide the control you need to snip away excess thread without damaging your fabric.
A good pair of embroidery scissors is like the finishing touch to your stitching, ensuring that your project looks neat and professional.
You can get carried away with choosing scissors, as any experienced stitcher will tell you, but when you are starting out, you can’t go wrong with a decent pair of stork-shaped snips!
6. Embroidery Fabric Markers
Embroidery fabric markers are a handy tool for sketching out your designs or marking specific points on your fabric. They come in various colors and wash out easily, allowing you to plan and execute your cross-stitch projects with precision.
When you are ready, we’ll explain about how to grid your work with thread, but for now something simple like this quilting pen will do the job nicely.
Whether you’re customizing a pattern or creating your own design, fabric markers can be a valuable addition to your toolkit.
7. Needle Minder or Magnetic Board
Keeping track of your needles is essential to prevent accidents and ensure your tools are always within reach.
A needle minder or magnetic board provides a secure spot to keep your needles when you’re not using them. It’s a small investment that can save you from the frustration of losing needles in the midst of your stitching.
These tools also come in various fun designs, adding a touch of personalization to your cross-stitch experience. Our XStitch White Edition needleminder is the must-have accessory in our humble opinion!
8. Seam Ripper
Mistakes happen in the world of cross-stitch, but that’s okay. When stitches go wrong, you may need to undo your work – we call it frogging because you rip it, rip it – and while you can try and unravel the thread, life is short and thread is cheap.
A seam ripper is a handy tool for undoing stitches without damaging your fabric. It’s like having a safety net for your creative journey.
Whether you need to correct a misstep or make adjustments to your design, a seam ripper gives you the freedom to do so with confidence.
9. Magnifying Lamp or Reading Glasses
As you dive into intricate details, good lighting is your best friend. A magnifying lamp or reading glasses can help reduce eye strain and make your stitching more enjoyable.
These tools are especially valuable for those working on projects with fine or tiny stitches. They ensure that you can see every detail clearly, resulting in more precise and beautiful cross-stitching.
In our view, the leaders of the pack in terms of this tool range are the Daylight Company whose products are good quality, with nice light and some great designs. They might not be the cheapest tools on the page, but they are a worthwhile investment.
There’s no shame in using lighting and magnification to make stitching easier, so embrace the technology now and protect your vision in the long run.
10. Embroidery Hoop Stand
If you’re a dedicated stitcher who spends hours immersed in your projects, an embroidery hoop stand can be a game-changer. This tool provides hands-free support for your hoop, allowing you to stitch comfortably for extended periods without straining your wrists or neck. It’s an investment in your stitching comfort and productivity, making long stitching sessions a breeze.
Hoop stands come in two main formats – lap stands and floor stands. We’ve tried all of them over the years and our recommendation is to get a Lowery Workstand like the one pictured above. They are sturdy and you can put stitches of all sizes in there, including big needlepoints, secure in the knowledge that the stand can take the strain, so you don’t have to.
Remember, each of these cross stitch tools plays a unique role in enhancing your stitching experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned stitcher, having the right tools at your disposal can make your creative journey more enjoyable and rewarding. So, gather these must-have items, and let your creativity flow one stitch at a time.