Sewing needles guide

When buying hand sewing needles it’s worth investing in good quality needles and getting a variety so you have the right size and type to use for the mend you are doing. A variety pack can be a good way to get a range without a big outlay.

Needle Basics

Below are some useful technical terms that will help you select the right needles.

The variables are:

  • Needle Point: can be sharp, shaped or blunt
  • Needle Eye: size of hole dependant on size of thread
  • Needle Length: many differing lengths dependant on project
  • Needle Diameter: dependant on the material and thread you using

John James Needles have produced a sewing needle size guide to help you decide the best needle for the job. Here’s a brief description of needles that you might come across.

Sharps are the most popular for general sewing with a sharp point. Sharps are great for most handsewing mends using finer thread.

Darners are longer than sharps and are much larger and have a big long eye for darning with thicker threads or wool. They are used for mending with yarn or cotton and are also suitable for tacking as they are very long.

Embroidery/Crewel needles made of hardened steel are especially suitable for fine embroidery and sewing. The needles have the typical tapered and slim tip shape of a hand sewing needle and have a relatively large eye, which makes threading generally easier to do by hand.

Tapestry needles have a blunt tip does not penetrate the fibres, but rather pushes them aside. For mending they are useful on big knits to avoid splitting the yarn.

Chenille needles resemble tapestry needles and have a large eye with a sharp point, useful for hand embroidery with thicker threads on linen. ed needles are great for those difficult tasks such as upholstery repairs and other thicker fabrics and materials.

Curved Repair
Curved needles are great for those difficult tasks such as upholstery repairs and other thicker fabrics and materials and come in a range of sizes.

For more in-depth guide to needles refer to John James Needle Guide It’s a true scale size guide, so all needles pictured are at actual size when printed to A4. Making this a great tool for sewing needle selection and identification. It also has a needle dimension chart that lists the length and diameter of all sewing needles.

Sewing Machine Needles

SCHMETZ Sewing machine needle guide explains the sizes and anatomy of the different sewing machine needles.

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