Hand embroidery is a relatively inexpensive and easy craft to take up, because, unlike most other hobbies, the basic tools required for embroidery are simple, few, and affordable.
While the woodworker needs saws and carving tools, the weaver needs a loom, the cake decorator needs bags and tips, the sculptor needs chisels and hammers, the potter needs a wheel, the painter needs a variety of brushes, and the magician needs props … what does the embroiderer really need, as far as tools go?
You can embroider without scissors. You can embroider without a hoop.
But one thing you can’t embroider without is a needle.
The needle is the Most Important Embroidery Tool for the stitcher. It is the one tool a stitcher cannot do without.
Because needles are essential to embroidery, if you’re interested in embroidery, the subject of needles is worth exploring.
Here on Needle ‘n Thread, we’ve discussed embroidery needles a lot.
Just in case you’ve missed any of our stellar discussions on this quintessential embroidery tool, here’s a round-up of pertinent articles that you’ll find helpful if you’ve had questions about embroidery needles, if you’re wondering about the different types of needles, or considering how to store needles or where to get needles.
Hand Embroidery Needles – An Information Round-Up
Feel free to peruse the list of articles below all about embroidery needles. If you have stitching friends, share the list with them! You’d be surprised how many stitchers have needle quandaries!
Types & Brands of Embroidery Needles
Bohin Needles – In this article, I’ll tell you why I like these excellent and affordable needles made in France.
Tulip Needles – Made in Japan, these needles are rather expensive, but they’re really nice. In this article, we look at what makes them different from other needles.
John James Needles – Here, we’re looking specifically at multi-packs of needles and how to “read” them, using John James multi-packs. John James are affordable, good-quality needles that are widely available.
John James Needle Guide – this is a link to a PDF from John James, that covers all their needles, their sizes, and how they are used. You can print it for your own resource, or you can save it to your computer for whenever you have a needle size question, and you’re working with John James needles.
Embroidery Needles by Pony – Sometimes, it’s hard to find very fine hand embroidery needles (sizes 11 & 12 crewel needles, for example. Pony makes them. This is an overview of them and some general discussion on needles, including why you shouldn’t lick your thread when you thread your needles.
Hand-made Japanese Embroidery Needles – What are hand made needles, and what are the advantages of using them?
Spiral Eye Needles – Do you have trouble threading your needle? You might consider the Spiral Eye needle. They’re now made in smaller sizes, too, for hand embroidery. This article is a review, with close-up photos.
Petites – What are petite needles and what are the advantages to using them?
Gold-plated Embroidery Needles – What are they, how are they different from other needles, and are they any better than other needles?
More on Very Fine Sized Embroidery Needles – A little more on Pony needles, plus other brands that come in fine sizes.
Curved Embroidery Needles – what they’re good for and why you need one!
Colored-Eye Needles – Colored eye needles can help you tell one needle from another. See them close up in this review.
Chenille Needles – What they are and why you need them!
Milliner Needles – What’s a milliner (or straw) needle, and why it is used for bullion knots and other wrapped stitches.
5 Things You Need to Know about Embroidery Needles – Some introductory information to embroidery needles in general.
On Needles that Break and the Needle Making Industry – Some general information on embroidery needles, as well as some surprises about “fine English needles” (that aren’t necessarily made in England).
How to Choose Embroidery Needles and Use Them – General information on how to select embroidery needles for the project you’re working.
Organization, Storage, and Care for Embroidery Needles
A Simple Felt Needle Roll – How to make a simple felt needle roll for storing lots of needles.
Taking Care of Embroidery Needles – Polishing needles with emery.
Further Information on Needles & Emery – a follow up, with questions answered and resources about needles and emery.
Organizing Needles – How I do it, and it isn’t all that organized!
Needle Tins – A decorative option for storing quantities of needles. I love these!
Instructions for Making Little Needlebooks – The little needle books (with pattern and instructions) in Lavender Honey & Other Little Things are perfect for storing needles for individual projects. They’re customizable, too – you can decorate and embellish the fabric however you wish, for a completely unique little needle book.
Coming Up on Needle ‘n Thread
There’s no doubt I’ll touch upon the subject of needles again in the future. There are a lot of tips to share when it’s come to needles, after all!
On Monday, I’m going to take you on a Grand Adventure, wherein we hunt treasure together, and wherein we discover some unsettling points about needle storage and pincushions.
See you then!