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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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Embroidery Needles for Newbies – and Beyond!

 

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Good morning and a Happy Monday all around!

When it comes to hand embroidery, the needle is really the most important tool that you have.

Sure, a hoop is nice. But you can embroider without a hoop. Scissors are nice, but you don’t need them to embroider. (That said, I think it would be somewhat difficult – and inadvisable – to cut embroidery threads with your teeth…)

But you can’t really embroider without a needle. Something has to transport that thread in and out of the fabric, after all.

I’ve written many, many articles about hand embroidery needles over the years…

Embroidery Needles for Newbies and Beyond

…and while I may not have covered Every Single Aspect of the embroidery needle, the different types of needles used for hand embroidery, and different brands of needles, I’ve covered enough to give the newcomer to hand embroidery a good foundation in the choosing and using of embroidery needles.

Especially for the newbie – but as a refresher for advanced stitchers, too – start your exploration of needles by reading this general overview of different types of needles we use in hand embroidery: Hand Embroidery Needles: How to Choose Them & Use Them.

Then, to delve into more thorough information about brands, types, sizing, organization, and so forth, I’ve recently updated my main article All About Embroidery Needles here on Needle ‘n Thread, adding new links to articles I’ve written since then, plus other resources. This article is the Hub for all kinds of information about embroidery needles.

One of the items I added recently to the list of resources on that article is the John James Needle Guide (to type, length, and size), which is a handy PDF from the John James company that you can download and print for your own use.

So, for those looking for more information about embroidery needles, check out these articles above. If you go through the various resources in the articles, you will master the whole notion of what needle to use when!

Finally, keep in mind that the best way to figure out which needle you like best is just to try it. See what works for you! With practice and experience, you’ll figure out what suits you and your own stitching style.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

 
 

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(3) Comments

    1. Yes, I use the ball point beading needles for silk gauze petit point. They don’t really have a ball on the end. They’re just blunt. I like them for that kind of work.

  1. Morning Mary, Thank you for this article with it’s links to other articles, I enjoyed re-visiting them this morning.
    My needles, both machine and hand stitching, are all stored in one smallish drawer most of them from variety packs and some of them more than 40 years old. Some are craft specific such as doll making, beading and upholstery. Loathe to get rid of any of them though as you never know when you might need just that one odd sized needle. If I have a long term project, I’ll make a needle holder out of a piece of cotton quilt batting sandwiched by some pretty cotton fabric, light colored so I can see the needle. I’ll just zig-zag the four edges into a decent size oblong and then trim down to size with mum’s old pinking shears (which desperately need refurbishing, they’re as old as me). This holds a couple of needles and a few pins and is kept with the project in a baggie along with the threads. All my thread snips, scissors, shears and rotary cutter are kept in a gathering spot on my sewing table and picked out as needed when I pick up a project, and no, you may not ‘borrow’ a pair of scissors to open a bag of frozen veg, or slit the tape on an Amazon delivery box, there’s a pair scissors and a box cutter in the kitchen bottom drawer for that.
    Happy stitching – Brenda

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