embroidery needles

Needles are the most important tool for anyone who wants to decorate a base fabric with thread. The diversity of needles is quite large and requires some knowledge when choosing. We’ll help you get started.

A course participant once said after receiving the “initial equipment”:

I actually wanted to learn embroidery, not acupuncture…

The type of embroidery needle is just as important in embroidery as it is for acupuncture, whether by hand or by machine. We only give instructions for hand embroidery here. A lot of knowledge about choosing the right embroidery needle is also imparted in the courses of the International School for Textile Arts .

However, both techniques have one thing in common: every embroidery needle has its expiry date! Needles used to be a luxury item, hard to come by and expensive to pay for. There were tools to sharpen needles and make them “run better” again: emery pads. Today, those emery pads are more expensive than lots and lots of new embroidery needles. So always treat yourself to new needles, especially if you work a lot on plain-weave, i.e. base fabric that is very tightly woven. This protects your hand muscles and your nerves!

Basic rule for numbering embroidery needles:

  • the higher the number, the finer the needle

The numbering is no longer entirely understandable today, but it is as much a part of tradition as everything to do with needle manufacture. 30% of the work is still done partially manually with quality needles.

  • examples
    • Breaking apart at the head of the needles pulled in pairs
    • Round cut at the eye of the needle

Machinery hasn’t changed much in 300 years, and there’s still a loss of about 15% on each production run.

Only from this tradition can it also be understood that there are still embroidery needles in all conventional sizes available today, although the embroidery needle no. 8 is the same as the embroidery needle no. 9… – some just swear by it to No. 8, the others to No. 9. The numbering only follows a slightly different logic for the darning needles.

Basic rule for choosing embroidery needles:

usually depends on the thread, not on the fabric on which it is stitched!

  • The thread must be easy to thread into the eye
  • there must still be some leeway for the thread in the eye
  • the hole that the needle prepares in the fabric should be large enough to allow the thread to be pulled through easily without touching the embroidery material intensively
  • but: again, not so big that the thread wobbles around in it

If you work correctly, even the finest fabric can be worked with a very thick needle, e.g. B. in wool or ribbon embroidery.

Basic rule for choosing the type of needle

  • base fabric
  • needlework technique
Embroidery Needles - Strawberry Pincushion Needle Cleaner

The famous strawberry needlebrushes from the Royal School of Needlework

Basic rule for the basic techniques

  • thread-bound (counted) embroidery techniques – basic fabric: canvas = all countable fabrics = all even-weaves
    • needle without a point (= round or blunt point)

only the areas where the fabric thread has to be pierced are worked with a sharp needle

      • Example: Borders
        in the case of coarse, soft base fabrics, a needle without a point can also be used to pierce the fabric thread
        Example: Hardanger fabrics
  • non-threaded (free) embroidery techniques – base fabric: plain-weave (surface linen) = all non-countable fabrics
    • Pointed needle
      a needle without a 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: the eye is as wide as the needle shaft
    • oval shape: the eye is wider than the shaft of the needle
  • eye shape
    • long eye: the eye is long and evenly wide
    • oval eye: long eye, wider towards the middle and narrower towards the tip
    • round eye: well, just round…saves the thread

Needle: straight

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip: blunt

Fabric: Canvas (all even-weaves)

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace silk
  • fine braided threads
  • Metallics
  • 3
  • 5
  • 7

Needle: straight

Eye: elongated, straight

Tip: ball head

fabrics:

  • Canvas (all even-weaves)
  • plain weaves (for woven stitches)

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace silk
  • braided threads
  • Metallics
  • 22
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28

Needle: oval

eye:

  • elongated
  • oval

Tip: blunt

fabrics:

  • Canvas (all even-weaves)
  • plain weaves (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: oval

eye:

  • elongated
  • oval

Tip: blunt

fabrics:

  • Canvas (all even-weaves)
  • plain weaves (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

Easy Threading (Blind) Needle

Fun Facts-Tapestry Needle-Easy-Threading

with blunt point

Worth knowing-Easy Threading

with sharp point

Needle: oblong

eye:

  • elongated
  • slightly oval
  • double
  • slit (kalyx)

Tip: blunt

fabrics:

  • without blunt point: canvas (all ceven-weaves)
  • with sharp point: all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace silk
  • fine braided threads
  • Metallics
  • 22 (blunt)
  • 24 (blunt)
  • 26(blunt)
  • 28(blunt)
  • 4 (sharp pointed)
  • 6 (sharp pointed)
  • 8 (sharp pointed)

Needle: straight

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

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: oval

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves
  • beadwork

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace threads
  • braided metallics
  • Metallics twist
  • 10
  • 12
  • 13
  • 15
  • 16

Short beading needle

Worth knowing-pearl-needle-short-TAP

with blunt point (tapestry)

Worth knowing-Pearl needle-short-CH

with sharp point (chenille)

Needle: oval

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip:

Tapestry: blunt point
Chenille: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • Chenille: all plain-weaves
  • Tapestry:
    • fine linen
    • silk gauze

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace threads
  • braided metallics
  • Metallics twist
  • 10
  • 12

darning needle

Trivia darning needle

regular

Good-to-know-long-darning-needle

long

Needle: straight

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip: sharp point

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Soft Cotton
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • pearl threads
  • Wool
  • sewing thread
  • 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: straight

eye:

  • short
  • elongated

Tip: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • sewing thread
  • lace thread
  • quilting yarn
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Needle: straight

eye:

  • short
  • elongated

Tip: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • sewing thread
  • lace thread
  • quilting yarn
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Needle: straight

eye:

  • elongated
  • straight

Tip: sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • sewing thread
  • lace thread
  • quilting yarn
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Needle: straight

eye:

  • round

Tip:

  • sharp pointed
  • triangular

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • sewing thread
  • lace thread
  • quilting yarn
  • 3
  • 5
  • 7

Needle: curved

eye:

  • round

Tip:

  • sharp pointed

fabrics:

  • all plain-weaves

threads (examples):

  • strandable threads
  • Cotton à Broder
  • Flower Thread
  • linen thread
  • fine pearl threads
  • Crewel Wool
  • sewing thread
  • lace silk
  • braided metallics

Needle: curved

eye:

  • elongated

Tip:

  • blunt

fabrics:

  • Canvas (all even-weaves)

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 thread
  • lace silk
  • braided metallics
  • flat
    • 16
    • 18
  • round
    • 16
    • 18
    • 20
    • 22
    • 24

size comparison

Designation

needle shapeeye shapeLaceStrengthLength(mm)Diameter(mm)
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed13692.34
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed14582.03
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed1652.51.63
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed1848.51.27
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed20441.09
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed2240.50.94
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed24370.76
Chenille needleovalelongated ovalsharp pointed2632.50.63
Beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed10550.45
Beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed12510.36
Beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed13490.3
Beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed15450.25
Beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed16450.21
Short beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1032.50.46
Short beading needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1232.50.36
Tapestry bead needlestraightelongated ovalblunt1032.50.46
Tapestry bead needlestraightelongated ovalblunt1232.532.5
Sharpsstraightelongated straightsharp pointed2440.86
Sharpsstraightelongated straightsharp pointed4400.76
Sharpsstraightelongated straightsharp pointed11310.46
Sharpsstraightelongated straightsharp pointed122.50.41
quilting needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1122.50.53
quilting needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1222.50.41
Big Eye quilting needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1025.50.53
Big Eye quilting needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1122.50.53
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed148.51.02
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed3450.86
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed541.50.76
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed7370.69
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed9340.61
Embroidery needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed1032.50.53
darning needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed5490.49
darning needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed7470.69
darning needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed9450.61
Long darning needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed7580.69
Long darning needlestraightelongated straightsharp pointed9520.61
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt13692.34
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt14582.03
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt1652.51.63
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt1848.51.27
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt20441.09
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt2240.50.94
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt24370.76
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt26340.61
Tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt2832.50.63
Petites tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt2231.50.94
Petites tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt2430.50.76
Petites tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt26270.61
Petites tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt28260.53
Two pointed tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt22550.94
Two pointed tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt24540.76
Two pointed tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt26500.61
Two pointed tapestry needleovalelongated ovalblunt28600.53
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedlestraightGoblet shapeblunt22400.94
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedlestraightGoblet shapeblunt24370.76
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedlestraightGoblet shapeblunt26340.61
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedlestraightGoblet shapeblunt28320.53
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall22760.94
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall24720.79
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall25440.7
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall26400.65
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall27370.6
Embroidery needle with ball pointstraightelongated straightBall28340.55

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