Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Have You Tried Tulip Needles for Embroidery?


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I succumbed to the temptation to try Tulip needles many months ago, despite what my Prudent Self told me.

And my first experience? It was the greatest, even before I took my first stitch. I’ll tell you about it!

But first, I’ll explain why I never planned to try them. Then I’ll explain why I did try them, what went wrong, why I gave them a second chance, and finally, a more balanced perspective about them after using them for many, many hours of stitching.

I’ll also explain a big problem that they solved for me. If you have the same problem, they might go a long way towards solving it for you, too!

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

Tulip needles are made in Japan. They’re called Hiroshima needles. I don’t have any affiliation with the company and I bought my own needles to try, just so I could venture an opinion on them.

I’ve received requests from readers to review Tulip needles, but the Prudent Side of Me always told me, “Don’t spend that much money on needles.”

In my mind, Tulip needles are dadgum-golly-wow expensive, clocking in at over $1 each, on average. And I already have a good supply of Bohin, John James, and several other brands of needles on hand.

What, I asked myself, could make one factory-made needle worth more than $1 each?

I don’t really like to recommend products that I consider expensive, when other products will do the trick – and sometimes, will do the trick better.

But how could I say, objectively, I like this needle better or It’s not worth spending that kind of money on needles, if I didn’t actually try the needle?

So I finally succumbed, so that I could objectively say whether or not it’s worth spending $8.50 for a tube of 8 needles.

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

My first foray into the world of Tulip needles was not perhaps the greatest.

With my first purchase (from a shop on Etsy), the tube of needles arrived completely crushed into shards inside a bubble mailer. No box – just a crushed tube and some needles in a bubble mailer.

I was not tickled.

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

During the following months, I kept receiving occasional inquiries about Tulip needles.

I also discovered at some point that my tube should have arrived in a neat little outer box.

Tulip needles normally come in a clear plastic tube with a small cork in it. The tube is labeled, and it is situated in a very nice little folded box held closed by a tiny length of red silk. The tubes are held in place inside the box by a card insert and the whole presentation is quite classy.

At that point, reason took over, and I decided to fault the original seller I purchased the tube from rather than the needles themselves.

I gave them a try.

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

And then I bought more.

I liked them! But I didn’t know if I liked them because of that one particular size and type of needle (it was a #9 embroidery needle), or if it really was the needle itself.

So I bought a tube of #8 embroidery needles (it’s the size I use frequently – I love it for floche) from a different shop. A little while later, when the budget allowed and I found a better deal on them, I bought a few combination packages – including a tube of assorted sizes of embroidery needles, a tube of milliners in various sizes, and a tube of tapestry needles in various sizes.

The whole time I was pursuing these needles, I kept asking myself, “Would they really be that different from other good quality needles?”

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

Over the following several weeks – and some 120+ hours of stitching – I used Tulip needles all the time.

And this is what I found:

A Sharp Tip – and More

Tulip embroidery needles have Very Sharp Tips. The needle passes into and through the fabric with very little resistance. Apparently, this has to do not only with the sharpness of the tip, but also with the way in which the needles are processed and polished. Most needles are polished around the shaft. Hiroshima needles are polished down the length of the needle.

I use linen backed with cotton on most of my embroidery projects, and these two fabrics are stretched taut on a frame when I stitch. The linen I use has a close weave.

When you’re doing surface embroidery as opposed to counted work, the needle must pierce the linen threads. It doesn’t pass between them. It pierces right into them. And when two layers of fabric are stretched taut on a frame, the linen surface becomes somewhat hard, making it a little more difficult to pierce with the needle.

Often, you even get slippage on linen threads that are stretched taut, if you don’t put some effort into getting that needle into the fabric. The needle sort of slips off the linen thread, rather than going right in where you want it to on the first attempt.

To counteract this slippage, you end up gripping the needle more firmly and pushing the needle with more effort, to make sure that it’s going to break into that fabric at that exact spot.

With Tulip needles and their very sharp tips and ultra-smooth shafts, the resistance on entering the fabric is not noticeable. They slip effortlessly into the fabric, right where you want them, on the first attempt.

Tulip Needles for Embroidery

Flexible, without Keeping the Bend

Tulip needles have a flexibility to them that makes them comfortable to hold, but not flimsy or noticeably bendable. They remain rigid, but they “give” a little as you stitch with them.

It may seem odd that flexibility in a needle is a good thing. Too much flexibility would be a bad thing – it would make it hard to stitch with. But when you hold a needle and move it around and work it under other threads, it’s a good thing if it has just a little give to it. If a needle is too rigid, it’s uncomfortable to use.

However, despite the give in these needles, they don’t seem to develop a permanent bend.

I can’t tell you how many of my needles develop permanent bends from long hours of use. The two Tulip needles I’ve been using consistently for hours and hours of stitching haven’t bent, but they do have enough of a comfortable give in them to keep them pleasant for stitching.

A Problem Solved

Over the past two years, I’ve developed really noticeable hand fatigue when I stitch.

Over the past weeks, I’ve put in over 120 hours of stitching, and I’ve done it with these needles.

I’ve noticed that my hands haven’t tired as quickly and they haven’t hurt from gripping the needles and putting effort into breaking through the fabric. It seems to take a lot less effort to stitch, and I am pretty sure this is why my hand fatigue and finger pain is considerably less bothersome. I rarely notice it now.

I don’t want to say absolutely that the current state of relief in my beloved phalanges stems from the use of these needles, but it seems to make sense that at least some of the relief is due to the fact that it doesn’t require as much effort to stitch when I’m using them.

So, that’s something to consider, if you have hand fatigue when you stitch. It could be the effort required by the needle, if the tip isn’t as sharp as it could be and isn’t breaking into the fabric with ease.

(I’m not making any medical claims here – I’m just giving you something to consider and maybe try, if you have a similar problem.)

The Upshot

After a rocky start, I’m a fan of Tulip needles!

As strange as this sounds, I’ve experienced a noticeable increase in pleasure in stitching when I use them. They feel good. They’re comfortable. They’re easy.

Would I pay for them again? Well, I have a pretty good stock of them right now. But yeah, I would.

How do they compare to my other favorite needles, like Bohin? Bohin needles are excellent. And they are much more affordable. You get more needles for a lot less money, and they are good quality needles.

But when switching between the two brands off and on to see if there was a noticeable difference, I kept switching back to the Tulip needles and sticking with them.

But I won’t give up my Bohin needles, either, or my John James. They’re decent needles. But there is something about the Tulip needles that makes for a different stitching experience, and I like them!

Tulip Silk Needles

Update, 2022: This year, I discovered Tulip’s Silk Needles in size #10. These have been an eye-opener! If you stitch on fabrics with a firm, close weave, like silk (dupioni, shantung, silk satin, etc.) or high count linen, or even cottons like Kona cotton, these needles are a whole new kettle of fish. They have an extra-tapered tip, which makes them slide into fabrics with close weaves very easily. Eye-wise, they equate more to a sharp (small round eye), but that tip is something extra, it’s nice! I’ve been using them for goldwork and all kinds of surface work on finer, close-weave, high count fabrics, and they’re just fabulous!

Where to Find Them

Update, 2022: After several years of using Tulip needles, I’ve decided to stock my favorites in my shop. You’ll find them listed under Embroidery Equipment.

Here’s the list of the types & sizes I carry:

Embroidery Needles (also called “crewel needles”): Assorted Thick (2 each in sizes 3, 4, 5, 6)
Embroidery Needles: Assorted Thin (2 each in sizes 7, 8, 9, 10)
Embroidery Needles #10 (8 per tube)
Embroidery Needles #8 (8 per tube)
Chenille Needles
Tapestry Needles
Milliner (Straw) Needles

Silk Needles* #10 (8 per tube)

*Silk needles have an extra-fine tapered, sharp point and a small round eye, like a “sharp.” They are ideal for hand sewing on fine fabrics like silk, high count linen, fine cotton, and the like. The extra-fine tapered tip of the needle slides into these tightly woven fabrics very easily. I love them for stitching on silk, silk satin, cotton batiste, and high count fine linen.

What About You?

Have you used Tulip needles? What’s your take? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Feel free to chime in below!


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(169) Comments

  1. I received Tulip needles as part of an embroidery kit and instantly fell in love with them. Like you, I found that they felt like they were going through the fabric “like buttah” and were very comfortable to use. I’m only an advanced beginner embroiderer but I could immediately feel a difference. I later purchased some in a different size. For me, the price isn’t bad because I don’t go through needles as quickly as you do—these last awhile!

  2. I love Tulip needles. There is also a large eye version! Recently I have found on John James needles the finishing inside the eye is not always smooth and my silk thread will snag. I blame it on moving their machines and finishing to China.

    Tulip has worked with Royal School of Needlework tutors to test and improve their needles. One of my tutors has tested for them and our class gave her feedback to tell them. They really care about the users.

    You can also find certain sizes at Quilt Shops which is where I stumbled on
    8-12 size needles.

  3. In addition to loving embroidery, I am also an avid beader. There is NO WAY I could bead without my Tulip needles. They are extra ordinary – esp. the hair-fine ones. They do keep their bend, but it’s needed to get in to tiny beads. When one finally breaks I lament their passing as they have become old friends. The holes are also less likely to shred the thread. I will have to get some of their embroidery needles as they must be as excellent as the beading ones. The extra cost? I think of that as an investment in making life comfortable, like buying a really excellent pair of walking shoes instead of a cheap brand that hurts one’s feet. Splurge. Get some!

  4. I have used tulip needles for hand applique on batik fabrics which tend to have a tight weave and I have used them also beading. I like them! I appreciate your thorough review. Now I know why I like them! They don’t bend as soon as others. I have loads of needles so I agree the extra expense for more needles is hardly justified, but will have to pay attention to how my hands feel after hours if stitching.

  5. I had the pirate thought in the same nanosecond as arriving at it in your sentence. But seeing it in print made me laugh out loud! Humor aside…this is an intriguing post…always love a good AB comparison and now just want to do my own! So many ways to have fun in embroidery. …Wonder if any pirates did needlework at sea…

    1. 🙂 Heh heh. I’m glad someone caught the reference! For some reason, it just kind of slipped out while I was writing, and though corny, I couldn’t help leaving it! Don’t know if pirates did needlework, but certainly sailor’s did – look up “woolies” – some are really beautiful!

  6. I love Tulip needle for all the reasons you mentioned. One more thing, the bullion needles are totally amazing and have made a HUGE difference in doing the bullion stitch. No other needle compares!

  7. Hi Mary! I have been eyeing those needles for a long time because I am overcome by cuteness. But materials budget does take over and commands me to put them in the cart/shopping bag and do a virtual purchase. Alas I never bought them. Now because I am not an orthodox quilter, sewer or embroiderer I use my machinger gloves (my free motion quilting gloves) with a very snug fit and tiny finger grippers for embroidery, as my hands have lost some dexterity. They pull that (non-tulip) needle through the thickest of fabrics, cutting much fatigue and enhancing dexterity.

    All that said, I am going to check out those tulip needles!!! Thank you.

    1. It’s funny about the packaging. My first reaction towards it is – “Hey, neat packaging!” but my second reaction when contemplating purchasing them was, “I think they’d be more affordable without all that packaging.” Still, I appreciate good packaging and, yes, these have a pretty high level of “cute” with their color coding and little silk thread slips.

      I’ve used the silicone finger gripper thingamabobs before, too – more as a thimble, because I can’t seem to get the hang of a regular thimble. When I do a whole lot of stitching for many hours every day, I inevitably get holes in my fingers that the eye of the needle will repeatedly slip into, making me jump! So the silicone gripper thingies have helped with that – they’re a lot more comfortable and easier to use for me than a regular thimble.

  8. I bought some Tulip needles three years ago and, although I don’t do much surface embroidery, they are great to use and yes, they don’t fatigue my hands as much as others. I use them for goldwork and they work just fine.

  9. Hi Mary
    I am a recent convert to Tulip needles as well. And except for the initial broken bottle, I had basically the same experience as you. So now that I’m sold on them, I too am looking for somewhere to buy them at the most reasonable possible price. You didn’t happen to find an all round excellent supplier in Canada when you were doing your research, did you?

    Thanks for your wonderful blog. So attractive and informative. I really look forward to it.

    1. I almost bought from Happy Dashes and Dots until I saw the shipping cost to the US.
      They’re in London (Ontario?), Canada.

    2. I didn’t, but it looks like Jayne found someone, so you might check Happy Dashes and Dots in Ontario. You might also contact Traditional Stitches – they might carry them.

    3. Hello Mary and Jayne
      I did a Google search for “Happy Dashes and Dots London Ontario,” but wasn’t able to find anything remotely related…nor can I say I’ve ever heard of the store although I’ve lived in this general area for over 30 years. Side note, Mary, my address is in a St. Marys too 🙂

      Jayne, you wouldn’t happen to have a website or a phone number for them would you? I feel like an idiot. You obviously found them online, since you mentioned the expensive shipping…but I don’t seem to be able to 🙁

    4. I think the Canadian supplier you are looking for is https://www.stitchintheditch.com/ but don’t discount ordering from overseas. I frequently find shipping from UK to be less than shipping within Canada or from US. I would prefer to support a local company, but sometimes its just not economical.

  10. Thank you for the review Mary. I have Tulip beading needles but haven’t tried them yet. I’m hoping they have the flexibility of the needles you’ve mentioned as I’ve bent several beading needles in the past. I’m nearing completion of the sewing portion of a project I’ve been working on and will be starting the beading soon. There are a few hundred beads to sew on so I’ll be able to give the Tulip needles a good test run before starting a Chatelaine pattern which has 1,000’s of beads.

  11. Hi! I’ve been using tulip needles for several years and find the extra cost worthwhile as I replace my needles less frequently. I have stopped using Bohin needles completely as I find they bent very easily. The other needle I use and like are S Thomas & Sons needles.

  12. I LOVE Tulip needles! I thought I couldn’t get any better than Bohin, but they are, worth every penny I am in the UK and buy these plus other things regularly from Jessie at Sew and Quilt, she is always very helpful and they have excellent customer service.

    1. Thanks for that, Elaine! I’m glad to have a recommendation for Sew and Quilt – it looks like a neat shop, and they really keep a nice website, that’s stocked and easy to use!

    2. Also thanks from me, Elaine. I much prefer to order from someone who has been recommended! Will be ordering soon!

  13. Thank you Mary for that valuable info (as always ). I’m definitely going to try them even if they are a little pricey. If they help with hand fatigue like you said, they’ll be worth it.

  14. Oh no! You’ve already made me lust for embroidery THREADS of all sorts and colours and ridiculous luxury (I bought some velvet “thread” the other day – don’t have a perfect enough use for it but I cuddle it every day and tell it, “soon, soon.”
    And then you tempted me with Art Nouveau scissors that I have only succeeded in not buying because I lost he website. And now glorious needles!!!
    I’m making a transition from needle felting to embroidery and crewel and my arms are sore from hundreds of stabs every day. These sound like heaven….

    1. LOL – sorry, Dorothyanne! The scissors are available at French Needle, by the way. But you can stock up on a whole lot of needles, in place of one pair of those scissors!! 🙂

  15. I introduced these needles to my not so local LNS and she ordered the sashiko needles (it’s all the rage over here). I tried those and I really loved them. I’ve been trying to get her to order other types of needles. I really want to try the beading needles.

  16. I got some from Sue Spargo’s web site. She has some called Bullion Knot needles. And I enjoyed practicing making twenty loop bullion knots with them.

    1. Thanks for the input, Kim!

      The Bullion Knot needles I think are just Sue’s name for the milliner (or straw) needles. Tulip calls them Milliners on their packaging, I believe.

    2. I posted my note (below) before reading your comment. The bullion knot needles are a completely new line, if my memory serves.

    3. Hello Kim,

      Like you I like the bullion knot. But I just could not do it with any kind of needles. That is until I found a complete set of Brazilian Embroidery Needles. They are just amazing, I mean you get needles that are perfect for every kind of stitch in that particular embroidery. They are from Edmar in Idaho, you get 20 Needles in the package. I will get the price for you. Once you try these you will never go back. You even get a guide so you choose the perfect size of needle in the pack. Hope this can help.

    4. Hello again Kim.

      You can go to the Edmar website and they give you a very good look at there needles and the stitches you get with them.

      Also they provide retailers in the U.S. and Canada.


  17. No…I’ve not used Tulip Needles, but after reading your review I am willing to give them a try if not just for the pure enjoyment I had in reading your comments!!

  18. Thank you so much for a very interesting article about something I had taken for granted. Despite having done stitchery of various sorts for many years it had never occurred to me that the manufacturer of a needle could make a difference. I’m so glad that you have experienced an improvement in the fatigue in your hands and hope that it will continue. I intend to try the Tulip needles and I will let you know how I go on. I always seem to be stitching with a slightly bent needle so, perhaps, I will eliminate that in future. I enjoy your articles and tutorials very much and I am so glad that I discovered your web site.

    All the best

    Pat Hill X

  19. No, I have not used Tulip needles yet, but I will when my order arrives. I have ordered the needles in the interest of my hand health. I have arthritis and a properly set wrist. So I will give them a try.

    1. Hi, Sarah – I hope they work for you and help reduce hand strain. I’ve actually only started experiencing finger joint pain and hand fatigue in general since going through chemo year before last. Until going through that, my hands have never bothered me and I pretty much took them for granted. I don’t know if it’s just the needles that have brought about a reduction in pain and fatigue in my hands, but I find it rather coincidental that the reduction coincides with the use of these needles. So hopefully, you’ll find it the case as well!

  20. Great, informative article. I’ve noticed hand fatigue also – though I don’t do anywhere near as much embroidery/handwork as you. It never occurred to me the needle could be part of the problem. Thanks, Mary.

  21. I completely agree with your assessment! I use them for hand piecing, sewing on quilt bindings, appliqué, and hand quilting. I love the way they slide through the cottons and with so much less effort. Much easier on my hands. Actually, I use them for everything. Now, what to do with the endless supply of every kind of needle in the world that I’ve inherited from my mom?

    1. Carol…ahh, I have the same question. I’ve inherited 1000 needles. Many of these are vintage. Now how can I go and buy needles with all of these?

    2. I wonder if they are vintage enough, they may exceed many new needles in quality. If so, maybe use them on traveling projects so if/when they are lost it’s not such a big loss? Use them on more forgiving fabrics and threads? Kit them up for “introduction to needlework” kits for beginners, or with threads for mending kits that you can give away to co-workers who “know you sew” and ask if you can sew on their button? Do you know anyone who works with clay like Fimo – they might be able to use them as tiny modeling tools. Or any other hobbies/jobs that need tiny sharp pokey tools. If in original packages, put them in a jar or frame as display?

    3. Carol Hall, you might consider donating your inherited “endless supply” of needles to a guild chapter, school, or rehabilitation group which could put them to good use.

  22. Thanks for the tip, Mary!
    Since my favorite embroidery needles are tortured all out of shape, I ordered some Tulip Needles to try. I’ll let you know how we get on. I’ve made a Needle Tender for my shirt using a magnet and some disk-bead things so hopefully these very expensive needles won’t get lost!
    Needle sizes can be confusing – I found a nice embroidery needle size printable chart that’s fairly accurate at edmar-co.com/catalog/needles/needles.html (there’s a pdf of the chart at the bottom of the page).

  23. I ordered the 7-8-9-10 assortment, chiefly because, since I gained all the weight, shopping for clothes is no fun anymore.
    So far, I have been tickled with all the impulse purchases I have made on your recommendations!

  24. I like the Tulip needles for needlepoint. They have #23 in their assortments which is a nice in-between size that I like, and is not available in other brands ( or I haven’t seen them). I adore the packaging, it seems to makestitching important to put so much care into packaging. Thank goodness the tubes are labeled for size and type!

  25. I found the Tulip needles at a Quilt Show and purchased the Sashiko tube Absolutely loved them I have used Bohin for my needlework for years but did splurge and got the Embroidery combination I tend to only use them at home. I have been known to loose needles!,lol The cost was high (about $12 canadian) but oh so worth it Thanks for explaining why so eloquently Happy stitching

    1. Hello Jacqui,

      Thank you for the price in Canadian money. Did you find them at a quilt show in Canada or the U.S.?

      Thank you for your help.

  26. You had me at, “They slip effortlessly into the fabric, right where you want them, on the first attempt,” but, “It seems to take a lot less effort to stitch, and I am pretty sure this is why my hand fatigue and finger pain is considerably less bothersome, sold me. I just took an ibuprofen for a pain in my hand this morning! Thanks, as always, for your wonderful reviews.

  27. I am so glad you did a review on these needles! Like you, I felt it hard to justify the money on an unknown when good needles are out there. I also was particularly impressed when I found out that they test their needles. (Darcy’s comment) I still think I will wait for a sale or a coupon before I buy but they are indeed next on the list of “must haves”. Many thanks Mary.

  28. I have used tulip needles mainly for my quilting and patchwork “patchwork of the crosses” and I acquired my tulip needles from Sew and Quilt in Cornwall. I do not suffer with my hands when stitching so cannot comment on the benefits of using the needles in the same way as yourself, but I do find them to be comfortable to use and sharp and flexible. A very good needle to use!

  29. Hello, Mary!

    Thank you for your review on Tulip needles. I, too, have been curious about these needles, but would not think to buy them without reading or hearing about them first. Now, I have them planned out for purchase.

    When I made a search for a size #20 Chenille Tulip, I came across this shop, kimonomomo. I’m amazed how far your reach is and the impact you have on us. I, too, value you suggestions.

    “Packaged elegantly in a little corked vial inside a box.

    Learn more at theardentthread.com and follow me on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter @kimonomomo for the latest updates, coupon codes, and show information.” ~ kimonomomo

    May God bless you and your loved ones. Holy Mary Mother of God, please, pray for us.

  30. I use Tulip beading needles for my beading. I will never go back! They are wonderful! I am rough on my needles especially when I do different stitches ( peyote, herringbone, ect) and they give just enough but keep their shape for my projects. I will have to check out the embroidery needles now. wonder if they have tapestry needles too

  31. I have a couple unopened boxes of them – I’ll have to try them. I do mostly hand applique, and need as fine a needle as possible. I’ve noticed some of the brands have burrs around the needle area which I can feel grab the fabric. So maybe the Tulip will be better.

  32. I, too enjoy using Tulip needles. They are a wonderful aide to ‘old’ hands. My local quilt shop carries them. Mary, you mention using a cotton cloth backing for your embroidery. What type of cotton do you use and would you please recommend a source. I am not able to find anything but muslin in my area and find the weave somewhat dense making it difficult to penetrate.

    Thank you, Mary.

  33. I hadn’t heard of these. If I keep stitching at the rate I do, I will probably splurge on some needles this year. I will keep these in mind, they would be a good gift idea too. Apparently, I am “hard to shop for.” Ha ha!

  34. My dear daughter went to Japan last year. When I found out that she was visiting Hiroshima, of course I told her about the excellent needles made there and teasingly suggested that she should visit the needle factory (I knew that wouldn’t be on her itinerary). She responded amazingly by bringing me a special package of Tulip needles and pins commemorating the local baseball team, the Hiroshima carp! It is more fun than I can tell to stitch with those.

    Thank you, Mary, for your great review. I hadn’t been using Tulip needles for embroidery much because I discovered them through bead weaving. I found that I can permanently bend Tulip beading needles almost as easily as other brands, so don’t think those are worth the cost for me.

    I read somewhere recently that Tulip is about to introduce a new line of needles specially made for stitching bullion knots. Those I want to try.

  35. I plan on buying these because another lady highly recommended them also. Her problem was no matter what brand, something in her turned the needle black and I believe she broke out. Someone gifted her Tulips and she loved them. They still eventually turned a bit dark but she could at least get some stitching done. She also recommended “Pat Carson’s Favorite Needle” but I believe she only makes tapestry needles for counted work. She said they didn’t turn color at all. I also have a nice collection of bent needles and believe it’s all due to the extra effort in forcing the needle through the fabric. I really find myself gripping the needle hard. So I look forward to ordering them in the future.

  36. Thank you for reviewing these needles. I too have been tempted but thought the price too high plus the claim of reduced hand fatigue bogus. So off to shop I go.

  37. I discovered Tulip needles about 6 years ago. I was at the Houston International Quilt Show. I was on a quest to find the perfect hand embroidery needle. I had purchased SO many brands and had been disappointed with them all. Tulip needles had a small booth among the venders there. I tried a few different types. It was an instant game changer for me. I stitch mostly on cottons or wool. I love them….the glide, the sharpness…just ease and comfort in the fingers.

  38. The Tulip needles that I have used were for quilting purposes. High quality and well worth the extra pennies. Hours are spent on hand stitching projects. Why would one not buy a high quality needle. Love them. Always buy from a reputable brick and mortar store or from an online reputable store.

  39. Hello Mary,

    Thank you for that great review today. Like yourself I get pains in my fingers and it’s not fun. I always wished that needles could bend just a little bit to help while passing in the fabric. So I believe you have found them I will order some.

    Thanks for doing all the research for us and to share all that you find to help with our projects.

    Have a great day.

  40. Mary, what a wonderful discovery! Any time you find a tool that makes your work more comfortable is worth every penny! Thanks for your research.

  41. Dear Mary

    I had to laugh at your pun on pirates ha, ha. I’ve never used or heard of Tulip needles before but I have read your article and all the comments and thought I will try them, so I have just ordered my all-time favourite size 9 needle from Sew and Quilt in the UK and cannot wait to try them they look like an excellent needle to use. I’m sorry to hear about your hand fatigue and glad that these needles help to reduce the pain. Thanks for sharing your views on Tulip needles with us and for the photos, I can’t wait to try them.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  42. I absolutely love my Tulip needles. I received a variety pack as a Christmas gift a couple years ago. They are so sharp, so smooth, and as you mentioned, flexible without permanently bending. They make needlepainting a dream.

    I also noticed when using the Tulip needles to do binding on a quilt that it really reduced the amount of time I was spending on binding. I hand-stitched the binding of a lap size quilt in a few hours in one day rather than spending multiple days and many hours total.

  43. Mary, Thanks for your review on Tulip Needles. That was a very costly research
    project. I wonder how did the needles hold up with the allotted amount of hours of stitching before we are supposed to change needles? Did you find that you could stitch for longer hours before you are to change to a new needle? Did you find that it wasn’t necessary to change to a new needle even if you were to start a new project? Besides the bending of the regular needles, changing to new needles
    is where my needle budget goes. Thank you again for your review. We all value your vast expanse of knowledge. I know, I do. jwt 3/21/18

  44. Mary, Thanks for your review on Tulip Needles. That was a very costly research project. I wonder how did the needles hold up with the allotted amount of hours of stitching before we are supposed to change needles? Did you find that you could stitch for longer hours before you are to change to a new needle? Did you find that it wasn’t necessary to change to a new needle even if you were to start a new project? Besides the bending of the regular needles, changing to new needles
    is where my needle budget goes. Thank you again for your review. We all value your vast expanse of knowledge. I know, I do. jwt 3/21/18

  45. I have an assortment of common brands of needles. Truth be told, once I pull them from the pack, except for the size of the eye, I hardly notice which is which. That being said, as my embroidery skills progress and improve , I do find myself paying a good amount of attention to needle in hand, and I have vowed to sort and bring order to the lot of them. Your article on Tulip needles is very timely and much appreciated. I too have developed tired and stiff fingers and any help would be an improvement. A sharper point? Bring it on!

  46. I love the tulip needles. I got a package of all one size at a quilt show from a vendor. I think they are size 9. The tip is very sharp — The first thing I noticed. The gold eye tip seems to wear off so now I have them mixed in with by Bohun needles and can’t really find the Tulip ones but there are still 2 in the tube that I am keeping separate. I did not know they had different sizes in one tube. I will try those. They are my favorite needles. Thanks for finally writing about them Mary. I did order those very tiny pony needles you wrote about and the eyes are a bit too small for me. I don’t like fussing with a small eye. I use the Clover assorted packs of 3-9 sizes with gold eye to teach children. If anyone has found a set of good big eye size 3 or 4 needles all in one pack, please let me know because the 7 to 12 year olds like the bigger needles and I have a whole pile of unused smaller sizes. I taught a class and made them each a needle kit with 4 sizes of needles in a felt rectangle and put them in the tiny altoid tins. I put a magnet on the lid to keep their current needle in place so they did not lose it. It was so satisfying teaching 15 children to sew and embroider with simple needle and thread. I found FLOCHE to be the easiest for them to deal with and they made felt animals and stuffed them.

  47. Thank you for your review Mary! I have some sharp #12’s for silk shading. I love their flexibility and non-bend for that job!

  48. Hancocks of Paducah also has a presence on Amazon and doesn’t charge shipping so it’s “just” $7.64 — at least on the listings I saw. Just look for them in the list of Other Sellers on Amazon over on the right side.

  49. Mary

    On their website they have some great info. And they did come out in 2016 with a specialty bullion knot needle. And they have leather needles! I like that they show the size of the actual size of the needle.

    It’s not surprising to me that the Japanese needles are superior. About 20 years ago, I donated every pin I had and bought 4 boxes of Japanese pins. No more snagged silk! I still have 1 box unopened.

    Thanks for the review. I might go pirate some.

  50. Hi Mary,
    Great review on Tulips.
    Pricing is under $8 now at Hancocks, but ALL the Millners are out of stock.
    I put myself on the list for notification when they’re back.


  51. I love Tulip needles too, worth the money. I’m also finding I like the milliner needles. What are they supposed to be used for? Happy Stitching everyone!

    1. They’re used a lot for bullion knots, cast on stitches and similar stitches that require wrapping the thread around the needle before pulling through.

  52. I have not tried them yet but I know there are alot of shops on Etsy that sell them. I have seen them as low as $5.00 w/out shipping.

  53. I tried the applique needles when they first came out and I didn’t care for them at all. I thought they were way overpriced. However, I know people that just love them

    I’m willing to give the embroidery needles a try though. Anything that keeps my hands from wearing out, I’m all for.

  54. Mary, I love your newsletter – it’s the first thing I read in the morning! Thanks for all your effort.

    I’m an occasional beginner embroiderer; my main focus is cross-stitch. So I searched for Tulip Tapestry Needles on several websites. Alas, they don’t make one smaller than a 25, and I use size 28. It’s too bad – I always use Bohin needles, which I love, but I was excited about trying the Tulip needles, despite their cost.

  55. I have bee. Using tulip needles for had applique in quilting and I truly love them. I will look for some embroidery needles next time I find a store that carries them!!

  56. How interesting that you talked about Tulip needles. Last week, at my EGA meeting, the woman who won BEST IN SHOW at the Woodlawn Needlework Show this year recommended them. Since we meeting in a fabric/needles/accessories shop, a lot of us looked at/bought Tulip needles. I passed because they didn’t have tapestry needles. The owner of the show told us that she had ordered tapestry needles, but they hadn’t come in yet. I will look for them at the next meeting.

  57. I almost ordered a tube (or was it two?) of Tulip milliners needles from Create in Stitch a couple months ago, but when the shipping cost was even more than the needles (!!!!), I backed out of the order.

  58. I am so glad his is the needle you were reviewing because I just ordered some of the Milliner assorted sizes. I finally decided to spend the money, since I am picky about my Milliner needles. From the picture of the Milliner needles the eye looked exactly like a Milliner eye should be…no bulge around the eye. I haven’t received them yet, but very anxious to try them. Thanks again for the review.
    Sharon ~ Modesto, CA

  59. Hello Mary, thank you so much for your fantastic review of the Tulip needles – and mentioning our little shop down here in Cornwall!

    I’m a HUGE fan of the needles myself, so of course I had to stock the whole range! Your review really echoes all my thoughts with them too, a little bit of a bend but not too much – sometimes my customers think I’m crazy when I say that but it’s true; needles should allow for some ‘give’. They really do glide through the fabric with ease when compared to other needles I find. I’m a quilter, not an embroiderer, but goodness I can tell you the quilting needles are even sharper – super sharp! My personal favourite is a Milliners 10 Big Eye, which is our most popular style as we specialise in English paper piecing (traditional hand-sewn patchwork) so this needle works wonderfully for that purpose.

    Please let me know if you would like to try a pack from us, I would be happy to send you a box which we always post in the beautiful Tulip packaging. Maybe I’ll find some pirates of Penzance to include in the package as well 😉

    Best wishes,

  60. We’ve been carrying Tulip needles for about 4 years and love them. I’m a beader in my personal life so for bead weaving and I need a sturdy needle. Once I used a Tulip I won’t use anything else for beading.

    So we carry the beading needles, as well as some sizes of Tapestry, Embroidery, Milliners and Sashiko needles. They are on our website in the online catalog on the needles page.


  61. I visited Japan recently and purchaced some hand made needles for quilt basting and discovered that these where also great for stitching and are as you describe for the Tulip needles very sharp and flexible. They are a bit like straw needles and the clover needle threader work with them too. The needles come in all sizes and where about $18 AUD for 50 needles. I found a website where they are found by entering needles in the search engine. The needle come in little yellow packets from jpshoppers.com. I haven’t used Tulip needles.

  62. Hey Mary,

    I researched the web for the Tulip Needles in Canada. At Sew Fancy Inc. in Guelph Ontario they have all the types of Tulip Needles at $12.98 a package.

    At Traditional Stitches they have only the Cross Stitch sizes. They are sold at $12.50 a package.

    Hope this can help someone. I ordered some needles and I can’t wait to try them.

    Have a great day.

  63. I have looked online for the Tulip Needles here in NZ appear to be not available. Had a look on the “Create in Stitch” in Australia and with the exchange rate they would work out to be $ 15.00 NZ dollars soo!! expensive. I do a lot of thread painting and find the Bohin 9 0r 10 stitch beautifully. They are priced at $5.50. I also have Richard Hemming’s as well that I used before I began to use the Bohin’s..
    Love your emails and have recommended your site to many fellow embroiderers.
    Raewyn B

  64. Brilliant information Mary, on your needle experience. I have been somewhat unhappy with my needles for surface embroidery. Heading to Japan next week, and will definitely try and locate them there. I appreciate the way you share your highs and lows with stitching, it is very helpful. Caz

  65. Thanks for the thorough and objective review on the Tulip needles, Mary. Like you, I am a recent convert and love them. Jenny Adin Christie recommended them to me. I love using the Size 12 Sharp Tip for fine Whitework and threadpainting. Yes, it’s tiny , but sharp and therefore I tend to achieve more ‘accurate’ stitching. I also concur with your thoughts on less hand/wrist strain, as that has been my experience too. (I thought I was being a bit imaginative on that score, so it’s nice to hear someone else thought the same!) Here in Australia, Allthreads in Brisbane (no affiliation, but was happy to see them for sale recently) are selling a lot of the range, and I think it was $12.50/tube – yes, very expensive, but worth every penny/cent.

  66. I saw these Tulip needles on a website in UK called ‘beyond measure’. I am so glad you have done a review on these needles and will buy some now. This website i have only just discovered and has some beautiful things for sale. The needles are £6.50 per box so about the same price as you pay. She has just won a craftmanship of the year award for her shop as well. Worth a look. Thank you Mary for a thorough review as always. I have never heard of bohin needles so will look these up too.

  67. I have used Tulip Bullion Needles, (yes there is one specifically for bullions) and they do make a big difference when pulling the threads through. I used other milliners needles before finding the Tulip Bullion needles and thought I had perfected the stitch. I can tell if I am using other needles now. I have found they work well with other wrapped stitches as well. Definitely worth the extra money, when you consider they last longer and feel better. Aren’t we supposed to enjoy our hand work?

  68. As a ‘newby’ for using different needles for different projects, I do have a question about how to identify different needles. When I buy a pack of needles usually there is on the back a diagram of the size of needles. BUT when you buy a tube of needles by Tulip how do you tell what size is what? Is the number on the needle?
    I have tried to separate my needles in a “homemade” needle envelope, but seem to loose the plot in putting them back and don’t know one kind from another, other than size and size of eye…..please can you help with identification? Thanks.

    1. It’s pretty much by eye – no pun intended. If you have a packet of four sizes, say 3,4,5, and 6, then #3 will be the largest, the next one up is 4, then 5, then 6.

    2. Thanks for such a quick reply, BUT what happens when they get out of the case/packet and are used for a project? How do we learn what needle is what? Especially when they are close to each other in size? I am especially trying to keep my “milliners” separate for learning french knots…..but????? Help and thanks

    3. After stitching for a while, you get accustomed to your favorite sizes and types of needles, and you end up reaching for the ones you know will work in the current stitching circumstances. But if you want to keep them sorted and organized by type and size, a needle book can come in handy for that. When you get a mixed variety of needles in a package that indicates what sizes are in the package – say, 3, 4, 5, 6 – then take a close look at them and arrange them according to their size, comparing them to each other. 3 will be the larges, 6 will be the smallest, and you can then organize them from there. I plan to keep my Tulip needles separate from my other needles – haven’t decided how yet, whether I’ll use a needle book or whether I’ll store them in the tubes and keep the tubes all in one container. I’ll peobably go with a needle book because once I take them out of the tube, it isn’t likely I’ll want to fiddle with the tubes again.

    4. Mary, thanks for info. Could I make a needle book? Perhaps a page for each size/style needle? Do you have an article on that? Or is there a pre-made one available…?

    5. Hi, Diana – I have an e-book called Lavender Honey & Other Little Things, that demonstrates how to make needle books. You can enlarge the pattern that’s in the e-book, change the shape, etc., and follow all the other finishing instructions to create your own. You can also use different designs on them, if you want to embroider them. I have several of the little needle books that I made when putting together that line of projects, and I use the small ones for traveling with projects. I also use them for separating favorite needles from the whole mass of needles in my pincushion, etc. You can find the e-book here, if you’re interested in it: http://shop.needlenthread.com/product/lavender-honey-other-little-things

    6. Last year I realized that I had a LOT of needles and not only am I not sure of the sizes of them, they were all different types of needles mixed together.

      I managed to sort them by types and went looking for something to help me sort by sizes. I found a chart for sale which was expensive. Husband downloaded a chart from DMC for me – but none of the needles matched the sizes of the pictures when it was printed out. I finally figured out that the cheapest way to deal with the sizes of needles (at least stitch work related needles) I had was to buy assorted size packets of DMC needles .to match them to.

      I then bought at “back to school” time a semi-flexible plastic box made to carry 3″x5″ cards in for study or when giving a speech. I am going to sort the needles by size and match them to the new needles. I will then make up an index card with a small piece of felt for the “example” needle and a piece of felt to hold the sorted needles in that size.

  69. Can you explain why and how you back tour linen with cotton when embroidering? Do you use adhesive? It seems the cotton would pucker and possibly interfere with exact stabbing locations.

    1. No adhesive! I use it because it provides more support for dense stitching. It doesn’t pucker at all, as long as the grains of the two fabrics are aligned. I wrote an article about backing embroidery fabric here, why, how, and what with: https://needlenthread.wpengine.com/2016/07/all-about-lining-embroidery-ground-fabric.html I don’t do it for all embroidery projects, but when I know the stitching will be heavier or denser, or if I’m working with a more loosely woven linen and I need support for the stitches, or if I’m working with a fabric that’s somewhat sheer – or if I’m doing goldwork or beadwork on silk fabrics or something similar – I’ll use a backing fabric.

  70. Yo las conocí por el patchwork, he usado las de patchwork y las de bordado, son maravillosas, valió la pena pagar por ellas, me duran mas que las otras, saludos desde Gran Canaria, España

  71. Thanks for this evaluation on needles, this is very helpful. I enjoy doing embroidery and have recently gotten into dimensional embroidery but my hands start to cramp up from “forcing” the needle thru the material. Do tulip needles work well with heavier silk threads?

  72. I love Tulip needles. If your case doesn’t have a paper label look closely toward the top of the tube and the type of needle is printed in blue ink. Hard to see but it is there.

  73. In Port St. Lucie, FL, we have a local On-Line Shop “Red Thread Studio” which carries Hiroshima needles. I am a beginner with hand work. Some members of our “Port St. Lucie Crazy Quilters” took a class with Sue Spargo so for the class, I purchased the Milliners Needles (thin) #’s 8 9 10 for making bullions. Naturally seeing other Milliners in sizes # 3 5 7 (thick) I bought them too. So far I haven’t used the thick but the others are wonderful to work with. I have more control with the H.N. and of course, I must try everything. I have more needles then sense but thanks to you, I’m having a great time. GB

  74. Hello to all. Tulip Needles are every bit as good if not better than what Mary has mentioned. I use a no.10/12 and I just love them. Yes they are little more expensive than others, however I am not having to replace as I stitch a project. They are so lovely to use, and yes they are easy on the joints. Well worth the cost. Enjoy, Sue from NZ.

  75. Bonjour,
    J’utilise la technique du passé empiétant pour réaliser mes broderies sur de la toile de lin. J’étais un peu septique la première fois que j’ai piqué une aiguille japonaise tulip dans mon tissu, mais j’ai été incroyablement surprise : elle glissait littéralement entre les points avec tellement de facilité ! Je les ai tout de suite adoptées et malgré leur prix je n’en veux pas d’autres car outre le confort qu’elles apportent à la brodeuse elles durent longtemps. Mon travail est plus fin et tellement plus beau ! Je trouve ces aiguilles sur les salons régionaux français mais aussi sur ce site en Belgique : http://www.scharlaeken.be/fr/?item_id=12581
    Merci pour tous vos articles qui me passionnent même si je ne laisse pas de com. Bonne journée !

  76. I use Tulip needles for beading, quilting and embroidery almost exclusively! They are fantastic. Yes, they are more expensive to purchase, however, the other brands bend and become unusable so quickly in the long run I would buy other brands 2-3 times more often; so I look at it as a savings in the long run! The 10, 11 and 12 size for beading simply cannot be beat!

  77. Hi Mary,

    There were so many posts on thread conditioner already that I didn’t want to chime in. You mentioning the smooth shaft of the Tulip needles and it’s benefits makes me reconsider. I don’t use Thread Heaven on threads, I’ve used it on the neeedle!
    It reduces friction significantly and I might have given up on a project I was working on without it. It was an unusual application, a large very detailed printed needlework canvas (Penelope10/20) that I stitched 20 count with 1 strand Paternayan. The paint of the printing clogged half the small holes. There is a fine line between being determined and madness. But I finished it, pre poking the holes and stitching using a chenille needle, periodically dipping the needles in Thread Heaven.

    Is still use that method on occasion when I have a spot where it’s hard to get a needle in or through. After poking the needle in the box it goes through trouble spots much more willingly.

    Love your website!


  78. Exactly what I found when I received a tube of these wonderful needles from my Japanese daughter in law. She couldn’t trust herself to pick something in Needlecraft I’d be sure to enjoy and opted for “tools” instead. I’m certainly glad I was introduced. I also noticed that I don’t find the little burrs in the eye of the needles either. Well made!

  79. Thank you for your review on Tulip Needles. Many styles of these needles are available at a local shop in Tacoma, the Shibori Dragon. On their website is listed the lengths and diameters of the Tulip Needles. I am curious about the “silk” needles and why they might offer an advantage in specialty embroidery. I have not tried Tulip Needles, but will brave the traffic to Tacoma to purchase some. Unfortunately the shop does not have the mixed set of embroidery needles in the smaller size (8, 9, 10) except in the gift pack.

  80. I first found them at the Houston Quilt Show and bought them in several sizes. Now I just want more. I LOVE the chenille needles for their point

  81. I started using tulip needles for joining hexies in a English paper piecing project, The project required tiny stitches joining the hexies/
    I was quite dissatisfied with any other needle, like you mentioned, not getting the tip of the needle to pierce the fabric precisely and hand fatigue.
    I tried the tulips and was blown away at the ease of stitching and precision.
    I stitched yards and yards of seams and the needle is flexible like you mentioned and not at all bent. It seems as sharp as when I began.
    I was impressed and will continue to buy them as needed.

  82. Before jumping in and purchasing the tulip needles, I have 3 questions. Which size needle do you use the most for embroidery? If purchasing an assortment package, which size range is better to begin with? & In the assortment package is the size of the needle marked/imprinted on the needles?

    Thank You for any answers you can provide.

    1. Hi, Joanne – I normally use the higher number sizes, so I’d get the 10, 9, 8, 7 mix. I generally stitch with one or two strands of floss. If you stitch with three or more strands of floss, it would make more sense to get the lower numbers. The needles don’t have distinguishing marks on them, to my knowledge. When you have a pack of assorted needles, you can pretty much eyeball the size differences – the lower numbered needle will be the largest, and then just line them up from there.

    2. Not sure if this is how I reply to your answer, Mary. Can you tell I’m new at this…:) Just want to say Thank You for your answers to my questions. I think now before purchasing I am going to make a nice needle book this weekend out of wool felt with several pages & a tulip appliquéd on the cover. I will label each page by needle size. I will keep the ones I’ve used in the needle book & the unused ones in the pretty tube/packaging! If I am going to spend a little more for the needles [and I do believe you get what you pay for] they may as well have their own little home and start out with a system. Again Thank You for your response & for your wonderful blog. Just started following & I am learning so much!! I use to stitch many, many years ago and I’m just getting back into this wonderful hobby. So much has changed but the beauty of needlework is still the same!

  83. Mary – Thanks for the review of the Tulip Needles. I too have used multiple brands including Tulip. The embroidery needles were recommended for a big stitch quilting class I took recently and I enjoyed using them. My question is: How do you distinguish the various brands of needles? I use a chart to help sort my needles by size and type, but am unable to determine the manufacturer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hi, Lynette – Once a package is opened up and you’ve mixed it in with other needles, it can be difficult to distinguish brands. Some brands have some obvious differences, though. Richard Hemming needles, for example, have a kind of tiny dent at the top of the eye, and they are notoriously less sharp than other needles. Still… it’s difficult to tell! Tulips have a gold eye – but so do other needles. If they’re the only gold-eye needles you have, though, you’d be able to distinguish them. Perhaps the best thing, if you want to keep brands separated, is to have a needle book for each brand? When you open a new package, place all the needles into the assigned needle book? Not very helpful if you already have a mishmash of brands all mixed together. But other than that, I don’t know of any needle chart that has different brands with distinguishing characteristics on them.

  84. I am thinking of trying both Tulip and Bohin needles for embroidery, but I’m not sure what sizes I would need. Is there a list of any kind like: use #8 for linen and something different for looser weave?

    1. The size of the needle depends more on the weight of the thread you use – although sometimes, the fabric can come into the question. So, lower numbers for thicker threads, higher numbers for finer threads. If you normally stitch with 2 strands of DMC floss in the needle at once, then a #7 in the Tulip needles is a good option. With Bohin, 7 or 8 will work well.

  85. You are Too Awesome! I am trying to order some of these needles for sure from Hancock ! Thanks a million for all your info. You’re sight is where I go to if any help is needed! ( p.s. You probably don’t have time to read l these posts but I feel better putting down my thoughts )

    1. LOL! I read them! Thanks, Gracie! Hancock’s is sold out, but if you read through the comments there are other places suggested by other readers who have bought them, too.

  86. Thanks for the thorough review, Mary! As I’m a counted thread needleworker/cross stitcher, I looked specifically at the their tapestry needles and am curious about the sizing – have never seen a #25 before – presumably it’s between 24 and 26? They’re in my Amazon cart at the moment but I’d love to understand the unusual size designation before buying them. Do you know why there seems to be no #26?


  87. For your followers who live in Canada, Beadfx in Toronto sells these needles. I just purchased some there. I’m looking forward to trying them out.

  88. Just read your article and I’m glad you decided to try the Tulip needles! Very recently my supply of John James Platinum embroidery needles needed replenished, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I discovered they no longer manufacture them, and their needles are now made in China. I’ve always liked and used John James, but concerned about quality, I decided to search for a new favorite needle.

    I bought an assortment pack of each of Tulip needles, Bohin, Piecemaker, DMC, Sajou, Foxglove Cottage, and Pony. I tried sewing with each of them in a blind test (obviously had help with that). I kept going back to the Tulip needle. Bohin was a close second, and I also liked Pony and Sajou brands. The Tulip needles just felt the best in my hand while I stitched.

    It was a lot of fun trying out all those needles! It doesn’t have to be expensive when you include a few friends and you split the costs, and it actually makes for an entertaining afternoon. So as my John James needles need replacing, I’ll be purchasing Tulip needles as replacements. They just feel so good to stitch with!

  89. Thank you for this review, Mary. I’ve been more interested in needles lately, especially as I’ve been exploring more multidimensional stitches. Specifically, stitches needing a miliner needle. I’d like to make wider/thicker bullion and cast on stitches but can’t get more that 3 ply thread through the eye. Is there a company you know of that makes wider eyes (which I assume would also have a wider shaft)?

  90. I have just ordered these needles fron Sew and Quilt in Penzance and can recomend them for ease of ordering over the ‘phone and although postage is expensive, they arrived in a few days so am pleased with their service.

  91. I have been using Tulip needles for several years now and absolutely love them. I use them not just for embroidery but also appliqué and piecing in quilting. Their appliqué pins are wonderful too. In fact their products are so good most of the girls in my sewing group purchased them too. We get them from Sew and Quilt in the UK – a fantastic shop for these Tulip products and also their fabrics and EPP products. Usually the best prices around.

  92. Tulip beading needles are superb too ! I’m hard on my needles bending and pushing them that extra mile and have a graveyard of severely bent needles. No longer! The Tulip needles have that flexibility you talked about but snap back into shape. Much like you said, there is not as much hand fatigue and they slide through the fabric like butter. Tulip is the only brand I buy now and I have now indulged myself in many different kinds of their needles besides the beaders. They are well worth the money. I LOVE them.

  93. Grazie per i suoi consigli , domenica vado in fiera a mani d’oro ,
    e li tocco con mano , ma so già che li compro . buona serata .

  94. I love using my Tulip needles. When I go somewhere to stitch with others, I actually hide my tube and have “decoy” needles in an etui to share with my fellow stitchers. I get my needles from Artistic Artifacts. A wonderful shop in Alexandria, VA that has a full service web shop and many shared photos and posts on Facebook and Pinterest. This is the hub of my tribe.

    The needles are noticeably easier to use. I can thread them quite easily, even with my less than perfect eyesight. They help me be more precise with my stitch placement and stitch size.

    I really enjoy reading your posts.

  95. Hi Mary
    How I love your newsletter. Thank you for its regular pleasure.
    Re the Tulip Hiroshima needles, a friend brought me back a tube of tapestry needles from Japan recently and although I haven’t yet used them for canvas work, I have found them superb when doing applique and using wool felt. The needle goes through with smooth precision and, as you’ve found, I’m actually attracted to their use – I can almost feel the use as I contemplate getting down to some stitching. It’s hard to explain exactly but it is a good feeling! As for the price – I’ll build up my collection gradually…..

  96. What a wonderful article and every word so TRUE!!! Guess what…we are an online seller and yes..Tulips are the best and we sell them too! Always adding to the range as well. There is not a word I could add to your article. You’ve covered it all LOL!!!

  97. I purchased my first pack of Tulip needles today. I havent tried them yet. I will let you know. Thanks for the review.

  98. Mary, thanks for the recommendation on Tulip needles. I’m fairly new to embroidery, but I’m not so new to needle painting that I don’t know the difference between using a regular number 10 embroidery needle, and using a Tulip size 10 embroidery needle. When you put the Tulips into fabric, they slide in like it was butter and compared to the pushing and pulling that you have to do with regular needles…the Tulips are far and away superior. I don’t care how much they cost… I paid $9 for 6 needles, they are worth every cent, and if you are careful, you can keep track of them. Our hobby is just about the cheapest hobby out there (considering the time spent embroidering compared to the dollars spent), so having the finest tools seems like a no-brainer, at least to me.

    So, for me it’s out with the old, and in with the Tulips going forward.

    Thank you for letting us know about these fine needles. I find your website increasingly helpful, and look forward to your emails every week.

    Best regards,

  99. I too am a “Tulip” needle fan. They do go through the fabric smooth as butter and they do not bend. I am smitten and have been buying them for the last two years!

  100. I’ve bought several packs of tulip needles going on the rave reviews on Amazon, etc. I have just finished up a quilt and am now attaching the binding, so I thought I would try my new tulip needles.
    What a mess! They consistently cut in the eye and it is very hard to get them thru the fabric. What am I doing wrong? I’ve invested a fair bit in these needles and I would very much like ti keep using them. Can you help?

    1. Hi, Pamela – I’m not sure what you mean by “cut in the eye” – is that a quilting thing? Are your threads cutting or fraying at the eye? I wonder if there’s a burr in there, if that’s the case. I haven’t had any problem like that with mine, even using softer embroidery floss (as opposed to sewing thread). If you’re having a hard time getting needles through fabric, sometimes it can be a problem of using a needle that’s too large for what you’re doing. A finer needle should slip in better. But I have not had any bad experiences with the Tulip needles I have – they’ve worked well for me. That said, they are too expensive for needles, in my opinion. I stitch just fine with Bohin and John James (I like Bohin best of those two, but they’re both decent needles), and I can’t justify using Tulip needles exclusively. I bought them to try them and to review them. I love them. They feel and work great. I’ve no problems with them. But I could never afford to keep them “in stock” as my primary needles!

  101. Buongiorno , e da tanto che questi aghi tulip mi ispirano e volevo un consiglio da lei , cerco quelli da ricamo n. 10 il n.11 e il n.12 , grazie .
    Le auguro una buona giornata

  102. I read your article a few days ago and found Tulip needles at a local quilt store. They are not sized on the package in the same way as embroidery needles. There were two each of three different sizes and only one size was a good fit. Makes it a $5. needle! I use a size 5 embroidery needle most often, what size Tulip needle would be close to a 5. I really like the Tulip needles but I’ll have to order online so I’d like to be ordering the correct size. Thanks for your help, and I love your articles they answered so many questions. Sheiliagh

  103. Have you tried Clover needles? They are supposed to be vertically scoured or sharpened or whatever and are also made in Japan. (But they cost much, much, much less.) I happened to buy milliner’s needles which are Clover and really like them, but can’t tell if that’s because they’re milliner’s or Clover.

  104. Mary, I just read this post as I was interested in what you had to say about needle choice. I do have a question: I’m familiar with tapestry needles with sizes 20,22,24,etc, but how do they differ from the these that you mention in the above article, “One includes #3, 4, 5, and 6 (two of each) and the other assorted pack includes #7,8,9, and 10.”

    And, when would one use each.
    Thanks, Pat

    1. Tapestry needles have a long eye and a blunt tip. Crewel needles have a medium length eye and a sharp tip. Needles are sized like wire – the higher the number, the finer the needle.

  105. Will you please tell me what size Tulip needle to use when I’m working with wool fabric? I prefer a needle with a large eye that is not to long.

    Thank You,

    1. The fabric is not the most important consideration. It really depends on the thread you’re using, first. A heavier wool thread will require a larger needle with a larger eye (a crewel needle has a medium-long eye, and would usually work well for most embroidery).

  106. The more I read Needle ‘n Thread the more I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I do surface embroidery only and like you choose natural fibres. However… I avoid sharp needles if I can. I prefer the feel of tapestry needles and by gods I’ve so many needles… I’m sure I agree with your breeding theory. Anyways. I have never had an issue getting the needle through EXACTLY where and how I want it to. Am I completely deluded or is it a case of personal preference?

    1. So, it depends on the linen / cotton you use. If it has a weave that is “open” where your needle can slip into the weave, then that’s great. If you have to pierce through the weave of the fabric, then it’s kind of hard to do that with a tapestry needle – the needle would slip into the hole of the weave before it will pierce the fabric. This is why the tapestry needle is great for counted work, because it doesn’t pierce the fabric. It helps keep the placement of the stitches very precise.

    2. I don’t use open weave and don’t really do counted thread. I keep meaning to start working with sharps but somehow the tapestry needles end up in my hands instead. I do recall my Nanna doing the same. She used to say that to need a knack to do it properly with a “blunt” needles.

  107. Sad to say I am so not impressed with the needles. The ones I have are #10big eye needle. They are the shorter style that I like. I just started doing english paper piecing (working my first project) The needles did bend badly for me. This bending actually did not bother me as much as the rust. I had ordered my first needles and thought they were a little rough but not that bad. I thought they felt like they had rusted. Then thought well what the heck do I know. I bought somemore to take a on vacation with me. This pack was so much worse than the first pack I bought. I am so sad as these are sharp but the rust is so bad that it can be seen on the white fabric I was using. I do not plan to buy these again. Let me state that the package was all the fancy stuff. It was suspended by a little folded paper inside the little blue box with the little piece of paper that is stuck in the tube with the cork to know that no one has opened it. With the red cord and had the little sticker holding it closed. The packaging was pristine.

    1. Hi, Christine – wow. Perhaps they are going down in quality. I suppose that can happen over time. I’ve never had a problem with Tulip needles, but – while I do like them – I wouldn’t pay the price for them regularly. I bought them to try them for the review, I use the ones that I purchased pretty regularly, but I’ve never bought them again because they are too expensive for needles. I predominately use Bohin and John James. I figure I can’t go wrong with either, as they’re both decent brands and affordable, and if I run across an occasional flaw, it doesn’t affect the pocketbook all that much!

  108. I would love to try tulip but they dont make them small enough! I like 28 and 26. Clover also a japanese needle has same problem. I do like bohin but get frustrated with how quickly they bend.

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