Full Guide to Chenille Needles: Sizes, Uses, and Tips

Over time everything has evolved with the sole purpose of making your life easier. The embroidery needles are the same way. We’ve come a long way from stitching with sharpened bone fragments to a vast array of needles. Now that the market is flooded with all sizes of embroidery needles, it’s easy to find one that works best for your project. That’s where the chenille needle comes in to give your project a new depth and help you thrive in your craft. 

Do you have a particular question about the chenille needles? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What is the meaning of the chenille needle?

In terms of length and diameter, a chenille needle is similar to a tapestry or cross stitch needle. It is thick and sturdy, with a huge, extended eye that allows the thread to pass through without being shredded. To achieve the greatest results, use chenille needles on thick fibers and coarse fabrics.

The tip of a chenille needle, unlike that of a tapestry or cross-stitch needle, is sharp and pointy rather than blunt and round. Working on a closely woven cloth makes it easier to penetrate the needle.

Furthermore, its wide eye makes it easier for crafters to thread multi-stranded threads through it, making them excellent for ribbon embroidery, crewel work, wool work, and much more.

What is a chenille needle used for?

The chenille needle is primarily utilized in embroidery projects because it is a hand embroidery needle. However, chenille needles are the ideal choice when it comes to crewel stitching or any other sort of wool embroidery.

The needle’s enlarged eye allows the wool thread to flow through easily. Furthermore, having an adequate area in the needle’s eye allows the wool to move around more easily, keeping it intact and giving your craft a neater, less fuzzy appearance.

Plus, there’s more. The needle’s pointed tip makes it easy to make a hole in your coarse fabric, allowing the thread to pass through it easily throughout your embroidered project.

Chenille needles are also recommended for ribbon embroidery, candlewick embroidery, goldwork, and other similar projects.

What are the needle sizes for the chenille?

Crafting success necessitates a thorough understanding of the tools required. The same goes for the embroidery needles.

Make sure you know what size needle you’ll need before starting your sewing or stitching project. Choosing the right size for your project helps increase your chances of success.

Chenille needles, for example, come in a variety of diameters. They usually start at a size 14 and work up to a size 28.

The larger the needle, as with tapestry and cross stitch needles, the finer the needle, and vice versa.

What is the difference between tapestry and chenille needles?

Tapestry and chenille needles have a similar appearance. Both have long and enlarged eyes to help you fit through your heavy yarn.

The sole distinction is that the chenille needle’s tip is sharp and pointed, whereas the tapestry needle’s tip is blunt.

This is because chenille needles are used for hand embroidery tasks, which necessitate a very pointed tip.

Tapestry needles, on the other hand, are typically used to sew knitted pieces together and weave in yarn ends, giving your knitting project a sophisticated look. That’s why they’re designed with a blunt point to avoid splitting your yarn.

Moreover, tapestry needles often come with a bent tip, which is very unlikely for a chenille needle that always comes with a straight tip. 

Chenille needle sizes

In terms of length and diameter, chenille needles are comparable to tapestry and cross stitch needles. The only distinction is the difference in their points, which defines them from one another.

Chenille needles typically range in size from size 13 to size 28. The large-sized chenille needles are ideal for crewel work and ribbon embroidery since the long eye makes it easier for the wool and ribbon to pass through flawlessly. The smaller needles are used for embroidery on fabrics like muslin, cotton, or linen.

Here’s a comprehensive list of chenille needles, organized by length and diameter.

  • Size 13 is 69mm in length and 2.34mm in diameter.
  • Size 14 is 58mm in length and 2.03mm in diameter.
  • Size 16 is 52.5mm in length and 1.63mm in diameter.
  • Size 18 is 48.5mm in length and 1.27mm in diameter.
  • Size 20 is 44mm in length and 1.09mm in diameter.
  • Size 22 is 40.5mm in length and 0.94mm in diameter.
  • Size 24 is 37mm in length and 0.76mm in diameter.
  • Size 26 is 34mm in length and 0.61mm in diameter.
  • Size 28 is 31mm in length and 0.46mm in diameter.

Best projects to use a chenille needle

Chenille needles work best for the following projects:

  • Crewel embroidery 
  • Ribbon Embroidery 
  • Candlewick Embroidery 
  • Wool Embroidery 
  • Typical Embroidery on cotton and silk fabric

Tips for using a chenille needle like a pro

Keep the following ideas in mind if you want your embroidery project to have a polished look when using a chenille needle.

Make sure the fabric you’re using suits the needle size. For example, thin cloth and a large needle will most likely result in a hole in the fabric that the thread will not be able to fill.

If you want to give an edge to your hand embroidery projects, try using chenille needles in sizes 18-24 for the best outcome. 

Credits: photos by Canva

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