For most purposes needles known as long-eyed sharps are used. Tapestry needles, similar to these, but with blunt points, are useful for canvas work and darned netting. For gold work a special needle can be procured with sharp point and long wide eye. A bent needle makes a crooked stitch; but needles if made of good steel should not bend; they break if used unfairly. The eye should be cleanly cut, or it roughens the thread. The needle must be just stout enough to prepare for the thread an easy passage through the material.
The best embroidery needles for ordinary crewel handwork are Nos. 5 and 6. For coarse sailcloth, flax, or oatcake, No. 4. For frame embroidery, or very fine handwork, the higher numbers, from 7 to 10.
It is a mistake to use too fine a needle. The thread of crewel or silk should always be able to pass loosely into the eye, so as not to require any pulling to carry it through the material.