All About the Needle

As a teacher of embroidery everyone, I mean everyone asks me if the needle makes a difference. YES is the correct answer!

The purpose of the needle is to make a hole in the fabric big enough for the thread to pass through the fabric, but not so big that the thread does not cover the hole. Needles are sized from low to high, the lower the number the larger the needle. The size of perle cotton, silk embroidery ribbon, or quantity of floss should correspond to the size of the eye of the needle.

  1. Beading, a thin, short or long needle with a thin long eye: use for all types of beading threads
  2. Chenille needle, a medium-length needle with a long eye that is wider than the shaft; use for silk embroidery ribbon, or for multiple threads
  3. Cotton darner, a long needle with an oval eye: use for twisted threads
  4. Crewel (also called embroidery needles), a medium-length needle with a long to medium eye: use for twisted threads
  5. Embroidery, a fine, thin needle with a long eye: use for stranded floss
  6. Milliners, a long needle with the shaft the same width the length of the needle with a small, rounded eye: use for twisted and floss threads
  7. Sharps, a shorter, fine needle with a small eye: use for sewing thread and for bead embroidery

Many students get confused once the needle is out of the package, and the name and size of the needle is lost. Here are a couple of tips.

  • To help you remember which needle is used for what thread, thread each needle with the type of thread, and keep this in a needle keep, a piece of fabric, or an index card. Then, write the name of the needle on the fabric or card.
  • To keep your needles organized, write the name of each type of needle in one pie section of a tomato pin cushion (and try to remember to put them in the correct pie space).

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s