Is Cross Stitching on a Plane Allowed?

Airplane security has been at an all-time high for years and the rules can sometimes be confusing even to the most experienced travelers. Filtering what goes in your luggage, in your carry-on, in your handbag can prove to be a tiring task when you have to keep checking what you can bring on the plane or not on the TSA website.

But what about our favorite hobby? Is it possible to cross-stitch on an airplane?

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According to the TSA

The official answer from the TSA is that yes, you can take your cross stitching on the plane. Here’s the actual quote from the TSA website:

In general, you may place your knitting needles and needlepoint tools in carry-on or checked baggage.

Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage.

Here’s another confirmation from their Twitter account:

So no fretting! You will be able to take advantage of that quiet time during your flight to cross stitch hassle free.

How to make sure your supplies will go through?

The TSA regulations have some specific details when it comes to your scissors and needles. Now that you know you will be able to do some cross-stitching on the plane, time to go into the details of your supplies.

You won’t be able to bring on ANY type of embroidery scissors and needles. Obviously, larger sized scissors or needles can be construed to be weapons.

First of all, make sure that the scissors and needles you’re packing have a blunt edge instead of a sharp edge. As per their official website, the scissors have to be smaller than 4 inches. Choose a cheap pair of scissors to take on board, that way, if they’re taken you wouldn’t be too sad about losing them. Nail clippers or dental floss cutters have been suggested on reddit when it comes to alternatives to scissors if you’d rather avoid not being asked about your scissors.

How to pack my cross-stitching supplies?

If you want to cross stitch during your flight, there’s no need to take your entire stock of threads and needles on board. Take a look around your chart if you have one, estimate the time of your trip and pack your needle, scissors and the color of threads you will be using in a small tin or in a ziploc bag to go on the plane. Keep the rest in your carry on bag. You might need them if you end up with the dreaded extra long layover somewhere!

Another way to pack your supplies is to invest in a travel bag made to properly organize and hold in your cross-stitching supplies. Some even have a placeholder for a hoop and don’t take much space. Stitchbow also has a travel bag on Amazon made specifically for traveling stitchers.

Other things to keep in mind

If you’re able to pick your own seat, make sure to take your neighbors into consideration if you’re planning on stitching. Pick your seat depending on whether you stitch with your left or right hand. You don’t want to end up being that annoying traveler!

Work on a smaller project! There won’t be much place to spread out your large chart and large canvas. Pick thread colors that will cover larger areas so you’ll reduce the needed time to check over your pattern and change threads as you go.

Consider pre-cutting your thread in advance just in case your scissors don’t make it on board. Estimate the time you will be able to cross stitch and evaluate the amount of thread you will need. The more you prepare before you head to the airport, the easier the experience will be for you.

Still not sure if your tools will go through?

If you still have doubts about a specific pair of scissors or needles, the TSA will gladly respond to your requests. You can take a picture and tweet it at them and they will generally respond with a positive or negative reply.

Make your first time cross-stitching on a plane is a learning experience when it comes to preparation! Be prepared to have your fellow passengers complimenting you on your work! Who knows, you may end up converting your neighbor into picking up your hobby!

4 thoughts on “Is Cross Stitching on a Plane Allowed?

  1. This was so helpful! Going to Italy next week, and I’m going to need to keep my hands busy on the 9 hour flight! I’m going to take nail clippers as a backup for my scissors.

  2. I am so happy to know that i can bring my crosstitch set with me on mu trip home to the philippines… 15 hours is good enough to finish it!

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