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BIS
BIS

Graduate of the Royal School of Needlework, London
Director International School for Textile Arts, Freyung

Needles

Needles are the most important tool for anyone who wants to decorate an base fabric with a thread. The diversity of needles is quite large and requires some knowledge in the selection. We will help you to find the right start. 

A student once said after receiving the "initial equipment": 

I wanted to learn embroidery, not acupuncture...

As important as for acupuncture, the type of needle is also important in needlework, whether by hand or machine. We only give hints for hand work here.

However, both techniques have one thing in common: every needle has its expiry date! In the past, needles were a luxury good, difficult to get and expensive to pay for. One had tools to sharpen needles and make them altogether more "runnable" again: emery pads. Today these emery pads are more expensive than many, many new needles. So treat yourself to new needles again and again, especially if you work a lot on surface fabrics, i.e. non-even-weave base fabric. This means ease on your hand muscles and your nerves! 

 

Basic rule for the numbering of needles:

  • the higher the number, the finer the needle

Today, the numbering is no longer completely comprehensible, but it is as much a part of the tradition as everything else that has to do with needle manufacturing. 30% of the work is still done semi-manually for quality needles.

  • Examples
    • breaking apart at the head of the needles pulled in pairs
    • Round grinding at the eye of the needle

The machines have hardly changed for 300 years, with each production run there is still a loss of about 15%.

It is only from this tradition that it is understandable that today there are still (e.g.) embroidery needles available in all conventional sizes, although the embroidery needle no. 8 is not different from the embroidery needle no. 9 - some swear by no. 8, others by no. 9. Only with darning needles the numbering follows a slightly different logic. 

Basic rule for the selection of needles:

usually depends on the thread, not on the fabric on which the needlework is executed!

  • Thread must be easy to thread into the eye
  • in the eye there must still be some room for the thread
  • the hole prepared by the needle in the fabric should be large enough to allow the thread to be pulled through loosely without touching the base fabric intensively
  • but: again, not so big that the thread is flapping around inside

When working correctly, even the finest fabric can be worked with a very thick needle, e.g. in wool or ribbon embroidery.

Basic rule for selecting the needle type

  • base fabric
  • needlework technique

Basic rules for the basic techniques

  • thread-bound (counted) needlework techniques - basic fabric: canvas = all even-weave fabrics
    • needle without point (= round or blunt point)

only the areas where it is necessary to pierce the fabric thread are worked with a needle with a sharp point

      • Example: Borders
        in the case of coarse, soft base fabrics, it is also possible to pierce the fabric thread with a needle with a blunt point
        Example: Hardanger fabrics
  • non-thread-bound (surface) embroidery techniques - base fabric: surface fabric = all non even-weave fabrics
    • Needle with sharp point
      a needle with a blunt point is used here only in those areas where the fabric does not need to be pierced
      Example: woven stitches

General explanations

  • Needle shape
    • straight shape: eye is as wide as the needle shaft
    • oval shape: eye is wider than the needle shaft
  • Eye shape
    • long eye: eye is long and evenly wide
    • oval eye: long eye, wider towards the middle, narrower towards the tip
    • round eye: well, round ...easy on the thread

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  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip: blunt

Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • fine braid
  • Metallized threads
  • 5
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye: oblong, straight

Tip: Ball head

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)
  • surface fabrics (for woven stitches)

 

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • braided threads
  • Metallized threads
  • 22
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • oval

tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)
  • surface fabrics (for woven stitches)

 

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • strong pearl threads
  • Chenille
  • raffia
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry wool
  • Crewel wool
  • Ribbon
  • braided threads
  • Paper yarn
  • raffia
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • oval

tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)
  • surface fabrics (for woven stitches)

 

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • strong pearl threads
  • Chenille
  • raffia
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry wool
  • Crewel wool
  • Ribbon
  • braided threads
  • Paper yarn
  • raffia
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong 
  • slightly oval
  • double
  • slashed (Kalyx)

tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • fine braid
  • Metallized threads
  •  
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

 

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • strong pearl threads
  • Chenille
  • raffia
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry wool
  • Crewel wool
  • Ribbon
  • braided threads
  • Paper yarn
  • raffia
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)
  • Bead threading

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace threads
  • Braided Metallics
  • Metallics Twist
  • 10
  • 12
  • 13
  • 15
  • 16
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Short Beading Needle

Useful information-Pearl needle short TAP

with blunt point (tapestry)

Worth knowing-Pearl needle-short-CH

with sharp point (Chenille)

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip:

Tapestry: blunt lace
Chenille: sharp tip

Tissue:

  • Chenille: canvas (all fabrics that are no longer countable)
  • Tapestry:
    • fine linen
    • Silk Gauze

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace threads
  • Braided Metallics
  • Metallics Twist
  • 10
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Darners

Worth knowing stuffing needle

regular

Worth knowing-long-stuffing needle

long

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip: pointed 

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • pearl threads
  • Wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Braided Metallics
  • Ribbon
  • Braided Cotton
  • Braided Rayon
  • raffia
  • Paper yarn
  • 1
  • 3
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 14 (short version only)
  • 15 (short version only)
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18 (short version only)
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • short
  • oblong

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Sewing Thread
  • lace thread
  • Quilting thread
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • round
  • double
  • slashed (Kalyx)

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Sewing Thread
  • lace thread
  • Quilting thread
  • 4
  • 6
  • 8
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • short
  • oblong

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Sewing Thread
  • lace thread
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • straight

tip: sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Sewing Thread
  • lace thread
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • round

tip:

  • sharp
  • triangular

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Sewing Thread
  • lace thread
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...

curved needle - sharp point

 

Needle: curved

Eye:

  • round

tip:

  • sharp

Tissue:

  • surface fabrics (all non-even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton á Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • Linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel wool
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Braided Metallics
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available sizes

curved needle - blunt point

 

 

Needle: curved

Eye:

  • oblong

tip:

  • blunt

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all even-weave fabrics)

Threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • strong pearl threads
  • Chenille
  • raffia
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry wool
  • Crewel wool
  • Ribbon
  • Braided Metallics
  • Braided Cotton
  • Braided Rayon
  • Paper yarn
  • Sewing Silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Braided Metallics
  • flat
    • 16
    • 18
  • round
    • 16
    • 18
    • 20
    • 22
    • 24
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