Nordic Needle's Mission:
"To spread the joy of needlework worldwide through outstanding service and supplies."

Nordic Needle's Vision:
"To become a leading global supplier of needlework items, promote the love of stitching through education, outreach, and therapy, and preserve heritage stitching techniques for all generations."

Our daily goals at Nordic Needle are:

  • Thoughtfulness in all we do, whether it is picking your order or picking out a thread for your project.
  • Honesty in every interaction, to foster trust between each other and our customers.
  • Respect for every person, our environment, and ourselves.
  • Excellent performance in every task, from the most seemingly insignificant to the greatest importance.
  • Accountability for our actions, ensuring we provide the best service in all situations.
  • Dedication to each other, our customers, and our missions in needlework preservation and education.

When you make a purchase with us, you are not only supporting the continuation and practice of countless stitching techniques, but also the furthering of needlework education, preservation, & therapy, women in business, and the livelihood of stitchers in our community and all over the world.

  • Nordic Needle donates to countless stitching organizations and community programs around the world.
  • Every month Nordic Needle gives away kits, products, and supplies to assist stitching and therapy programs at hospitals, educational programs at learning institutions, and embroidery groups and events.
  • Nordic Needle supports needlework artists, especially those researching or teaching cultural stitching techniques that would otherwise be lost.
  • Every year Nordic Needle participates in literacy programs for libraries and schools to promote reading initiatives and achievements.
  • Throughout the year Nordic Needle volunteers supplies and teaches embroidery classes within the community. Our staff offers their time to educate and introduce embroidery to children and adults alike through community programs.

Thank you for your support and sharing your love of stitching!

We want you to know that we greatly appreciate that you choose to work with us for your stitching needs and wants! By shopping and stitching with us you are supporting so many significant causes to ensure needlework is continued and enjoyed by generations to come.

A Nordic Needle Narrative by One of Our Amazing Staff

One would think the story of Nordic Needle would begin when the business did, with the two women who started Nordic Needle in 1975 in Fargo, North Dakota, intent on keeping the tradition of Hardanger embroidery techniques alive. The truth is, however, the story starts generations earlier.

In the late 1800's, enticed by stories of good jobs, cheap flat land to farm, and religious liberty, many brave souls from Norway and Sweden made the long journey on ships across the frigid cold of the north Atlantic. Landing on the shores of the eastern coasts of North America, many of these new Americans struck out westward into the interior to make their lives in the New World as Homesteaders. Spreading out across the Great Plains, staking claims to land, and striving to build new lives and achieve prosperity for their families, these men and women quickly proved themselves to be quickly adaptable, hardy, and clever. They built houses out of sod and earth, due to the lack of timber on the prairie, and buried their hands in the dirt to raise crops for their families and sell, and along with this work ethic and will to persist and adapt, they brought with them their unique culture, and with it Scandinavian stitching and Embroidery.

First Nordic Needle Books First Nordic Needle Books First Nordic Needle Books
Nordic Needle's First Publications Beginning in 1977

Nestled along the Red River, on the eastern edge of the former Dakota Territory, Nordic Needle sits in a small single story brick building next to a quaint residential neighborhood. With tens of thousands of customers in over a hundred countries, and hundreds of products and publications made by Nordic Needle, you could be forgiven for assuming that Nordic Needle is powered by an army of Tomtes and stitching obsessed worker elves toiling without relent in a page torn from The Grimm's The Shoemaker and the Elves. But in reality, less than twenty people, full- and part-time, work at Nordic Needle. From the purchasing of threads and fabric to the production of kits, or the printing and binding of books, or the hands that lovingly package and ship orders, everyone does a little bit of everything in order to give customers the best experience and the highest quality stitching possible.

Building Sketch
Sketch of Nordic Needle before Building in 1982

Being a small company has its perks, though, like the family style meals out together on holidays, or the "grazing days" where everyone brings in a little homemade goodie to eat. Being in a small team also lends itself to an ability to adapt quickly to new things, an invaluable skill when encountering a new style of needle work. These are good skills to have when you're trying to keep century old practices alive.

1982 Catalog 1983 Catalog
Catalogs from the Early 80's

Hardanger was the style in which Nordic Needle first started, and is still the bellwether of the business, but, this style is now one among very many. Peruse the Nordic Needle website, or the aisles of the store and you will discover a veritable cornucopia of needle working styles from every corner of the globe. The delicate daintiness of Romanian Point Lace, the elegant utility of Swedish Huck, the bright colors of Czech beads, the geometric glory of Japanese Kogin, the vibrancy of Brazilian embroidery and so many more give testament to the worldwide culture, beauty, and history in needle work. This ever expanding great plenty of knowledge is the mission of Nordic Needle, and the talent of the staff in collecting these styles and designers is a labor of great love.

Our Store Our Store
The Nordic Needle Shop

Not being a large corporation lends itself to more meaningful interactions with customers and care taken with orders, questions, tips, and recommendations to practiced hands and newcomers alike. It is important to every staff member that customers have an excellent experience both with the company and also, of course, with their own stitching. Nordic Needle proudly and personally partners with many individual designers and master embroiderers to create new patterns and products based on traditional techniques, to disseminate rare, forgotten, or newly discovered techniques and styles, and also accepts donations of heritage work for preservation. There is a tremendous sense of awe and wonder when something that is old but also new to every one viewing it is put on display after being sent to the store by a trusted customer and friend.

There are benefits to being a small business in the area as well, like making connections and doing things that impact the community in a positive way. Nordic Needle has partnered with local schools and libraries alongside many of our customers in order to encourage education and appreciation of needle work among elementary students. The custom bookmark competition and donations that are sent from our customers to foster reading initiatives are an excellent way to not only encourage children and young adults in reading and scholastic excellence but also show them the beauty of stitching, and to give them something made by hand, by a real person. The store also engages in more direct educational opportunities like teaching local classes in heritage embroidery. Our teachers are most often members of the staff who share their time to teach traditional stitching techniques of various cultures in classes available to the community. Being tied to our local community and being so close to the roots of where many of these traditions started in America is a particular point of pride for the business.

Classroom
Nordic Needle Classroom & Gallery

In essence, while we may not be a large corporation with franchises and robots and fulfillment centers all throughout the world, our small business of a few great people can make a huge difference by continuing the work we do to preserve cultural and heritage needlework for generations to come. Your help in supporting us by sharing your love and practice of these stitching techniques also makes a huge difference to us, and gives us the drive to keep pursuing our mission. We invite you to browse the plethora of unique cultural traditions in stitching, and, if you're ever in Fargo, to come stop in! Thank you for reading, and being a stitcher!