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Mary Corbet

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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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Remember those Tweezers? They’re Great for Needlework!

 

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Many moons ago, back at the end of last October, I made this rather humbling confession about my messy embroidery worktable.

The problem posed was that I couldn’t find my tweezers. Many of you chimed in with questions about my tweezers. Many wanted to know… “What are those tweezers?”

I featured them in my Thanksgiving Eye-Spy puzzle here, and they showed up in my Christmas one, too.

They keep showing up here on Needle ‘n Thread, because I keep using them day to day. Lately, they are never off my work table.

Today, I’ll show them to you in all their little 1″ x 1.5″ glory. I’ll tell you what they are, why I like them, and share some pros and cons.

Pinzette tweezers for hand embroidery

This little tool and its case are the Pinzette Tweezers for Easy Thread Removal, imported from Switzerland into the US by Access Commodities.

I think it’s safe to call them either tweezers or pinzette (pronounced more like “pin-TSET-tuh” if you’re going with Italian, since “pinzette” means “tweezers” in Italian), or, if you want to be American about it, “Pinzet.” I just can’t bring myself to call them “Pinzette Tweezers” because that’s like saying Tweezers Tweezers.

Although, come to think of it, I might now refer to them as Tweezer-Tweezers, to differentiate them from other tweezers – and to emphasize that they are perhaps the best tweezers I’ve ever used in needlework applications.

Pinzette tweezers for hand embroidery

Besides the shape and the beautiful little leather sheath these small square Tweezer-Tweezers come with, you might rightly ask, What differentiates them from other tweezers?

It’s the way they work, really. And they work the way they do because of the shape and because they are super-finely tuned to meet up perfectly at the tips where they are supposed to grip things.

Pinzette tweezers for hand embroidery

They don’t let go, unless you let go. You don’t have to find the “sweet spot” to get the tips to grip where they should.

They are so dang precise!

The small square shape (they are 1″ x 1.5″) fits perfectly in your hand, between the thumb and the side of the index finger.

The cut-out squares on the body of the Tweezer-Tweezers keep them from slipping or moving in your grip. When you grip these things, then, you have perfect, easy control over them.

They are not at all like holding long, skinny tweezers.

Pinzette tweezers for hand embroidery

I use my Tweezer-Tweezers to remove stitching when I’ve made a mistake or I’ve changed my mind. They are great for picking out the tiniest bits.

But they are really ideal for withdrawing threads from fabric in drawn-thread work, too.

Because they have such a perfect grippiness, and because they are so easy to hold and control, they make withdrawing threads from fabric more of a pleasure than a pain.

Pros and Cons

The pros are everything stated above: precise tips, easy to control size and shape, easy to hold, super-grippiness. They also come with that gorgeous little leather sheath, so that they are easy to store and well-protected.

The cons… there aren’t any, as far as the tool itself is concerned. They’re the best specialty tweezers I’ve ever come across, to use specifically for needlework. The price tag is a bit daunting for tweezers, perhaps, as they are not inexpensive. But since they are a solid, Swiss made, precision tool in a beautiful custom leather case, it’s to be expected. They will last a lifetime. They’re not throw-away tweezers.

(And just in case you want to ask, no, I haven’t tried them on facial hair – but I’m pretty sure they’d work great there, too! Just don’t tell anyone, and make sure you wash them afterwards. No one will ever know! And really, just between you and me, who doesn’t like a multi-purpose tool?)

Where to Find Them

You can find Pinzette Tweezer Tweezers through any find needlework shop that carries goods from Access Commodities.

Online, you can find them through Thistle Threads and through Needle in a Haystack.

And those are my fancy little tweezers, for all of you who have asked!

Coming Up on Needle ‘n Thread

Hey, we’ve made Huge Progress this past week on the projects I showed you in this article. I’m stitching a square version and Anna is stitching a round version. I’ll show them to you this week!

I’m also Almost Finished drawing patterns for every letter in the alphabet, so that I can share this project with you.

Many of you know I have a Thing for historical embroidery and ecclesiastical embroidery and also for museum exhibit catalogs. I’ll show you one that I’ve acquired recently, that covers all of the above.

Hope your week is off to a grand start!

 
 

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(6) Comments

  1. Those are so cute! And tiny. You did address a question I hadn’t thought of above, but here’s another one: how much do they weigh? Would you consider carrying them in a backpack instead of other, more mundane tweezers? How much does the finely tooled leather case weigh? If they appeared in my life, I might make a little oxford-cloth case and keep them in my hussif, alongside the needles that are used more for blister care than sewing.

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  2. I once took a hardanger class with Janice Love. She recommended Uncle Bill’s Tweezers, which I purchased and like. They are about twice as wide as regular tweezers, a couple inches long, have sharp points at the tip, and little holes for finger grips. They are great for withdrawing threads or picking out mistakes. I believe they are inexpensive too, and come in a plastic tube with screw cap. If I remember correctly, they are made for fly fishermen to tie flies, so would be found at fishing stores.

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    1. I’ve used Uncle Bill’s as well. They come to a tip, so there’s not a lot of surface area for gripping. These come to a tip for those really fine threads you might need to get ahold of, but they have a wide gripping surface that can really hold onto a fabric thread well. Uncle Bill’s were good at first, but over time, they lost their “calibration” – the tips just didn’t come together well – this could be my fault, as I tend to really use my tools, and they may have been bent out of shape. They tend to be a bit flimsy by comparison.

  3. Dear Mary

    Long time no post I’ve been recuperating after I fell on 10 December and had to have a hip replacement operation and I have now been home for the last 5 weeks and trying to walk again and doing exercises to get me back to normal. Anyway the tweezers look amazing and they certainly look as if they do a great job I’m afraid a bit to expensive for me, but I can see why you would buy them they probably last a life time. Thanks for sharing with us the unusual tweezers and for the progress on your sample and I can’t wait to see the alphabet patterns.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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    1. Hello, Anita! I’m so sorry to hear you were down and that you went through all that over the holidays! I hope you are recovering quickly and well!!! Take care of yourself!

  4. These tweezers are so cute! You answered a question I hadn’t thought of. Here is one I think you may not have thought of: how much do they weigh? Just tweezers, and just case? I am wondering how they do on hiking trips. Maybe I could put them into my hussif, next to the needles and pins, and use them to pull splinters, or to pull broken threads out when repairing gear. Possibly make an oxford cloth case for them if the beautifully tooled leather is too heavy?

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