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BIS
BIS

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

Needles

They are the most important tool for those who want to decorate an embroidery ground, with a thread. The diversity of needles is quite large and requires some knowledge when choosing. We will help you to get started. 

A course participant once said after receiving the "initial equipment": 

I actually wanted to learn embroidery, not acupuncture....

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

However, both techniques have one thing in common: every needle has its expiration date! In the past, needles were a luxury item, hard to come by and expensive to pay for. One had aids 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 every now and then, especially if you do a lot of work on canvas, i.e. uncountable ground fabric. This will save your hand muscles and your nerves! 

Basic rule for numbering needles:

  • the higher the number, the finer the needle

The numbering is no longer fully comprehensible today, but it is as much part of the tradition as anything to do with needle production. 30% of the work on quality needles is still done partly by hand.

  • Examples
    • Break apart at the head of the paired needles
    • circular grinding at the eye of a needle

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

This tradition is the only reason why embroidery needles, for example, are still available in all conventional sizes, even though embroidery needle no. 8 is no different from embroidery needle no. 9... - some people swear by no. 8, others by no. 9. Only darning needles are numbered according to a slightly different logic.

Basic rule for the selection of needles:

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

  • Thread must be easily threaded into the eyelet
  • in the eye must be still some clearance for the thread
  • the hole, which prepares the needle in the fabric, should be so large that the thread can be pulled through loosely without touching the embroidery ground intensively
  • but: again not so big that the thread flaps around in it

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 the selection of the needle type

  • Embroidery base
  • Embroidery technology

Basic rule for the basic techniques

  • thread-bound (counted) embroidery techniques - basic fabric: canvas = all countable fabrics
    • Needle without point (= round or blunt point)

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

      • Example: borders
        in the case of coarse, soft base fabrics, a needle without point can also be used to pierce the fabric thread
        Example: Hardanger Fabric
  • non-filament (free) embroidery techniques - Base fabric: Canvas = all non-countable fabrics
    • Needle with tip
      a needle without point is only used here in 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 shank
    • oval shape: Eye is wider than the needle shaft
  • Eye shape
    • long eye: eye is long and evenly wide
    • oval ear: long ear, broader towards the middle, narrower towards the tip
    • round eye: well, round...saves the thread
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip: blunt

Tissue: Kanevas (all countable tissues)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • fine braid
  • Metallized yarns
  • 3
  • 5
  • 7
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Ear: elongated, straight

Tip: Ball head

Tissue:

  • Kanevas (all countable tissues)
  • Canvas (for weaving stitches)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Tresse
  • Metallized yarns
  • 22
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • oval

Tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • Kanevas (all countable tissues)
  • Canvas (for weaving stitches)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Matte yarn
  • strong pearl yarns
  • Chenille
  • Bast yarn
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry Wool
  • Krüwell wool
  • Ribbon
  • Tresse
  • Paper yarn
  • Bast yarn
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • oval

Tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • Kanevas (all countable tissues)
  • Canvas (for weaving stitches)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Matte yarn
  • strong pearl yarns
  • Chenille
  • Bast yarn
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry Wool
  • Krüwell wool
  • Ribbon
  • Tresse
  • Paper yarn
  • Bast yarn
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • 28
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: oblong

Eye:

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

Tip: blunt

Tissue:

  • without tip: canvas (all countable tissues)
  • with lace: canvas (all non-countable fabrics)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • fine braid
  • Metallized yarns
  • 22 (blunt)
  • 24 (blunt)
  • 26(blunt)
  • 28(blunt)
  • 4 (pointed)
  • 6 (pointed)
  • 8 (pointed)
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip: pointed

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Matte yarn
  • strong pearl yarns
  • Chenille
  • Bast yarn
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry Wool
  • Krüwell wool
  • Ribbon
  • Tresse
  • Paper yarn
  • Bast yarn
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 18
  • 20
  • 22
  • 24
  • 26
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip: pointed

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)
  • Bead threading

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Yarns
  • Metallics braid
  • Metallics Twist
  • 10
  • 12
  • 13
  • 15
  • 16
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Short bead needle

Things to know-pearl-needle-short-TAP

without lace (tapestry)

Worth-knowing-pearl-needle-short-CH

with lace (chenille)

Needle: oval

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip:

Tapestry: blunt tip
Chenille: pointed tip

Tissue:

  • Chenille: Canvas (all uncountable fabrics)
  • Tapestry:
    • fine linens
    • Silk Gauze

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Yarns
  • Metallics braid
  • Metallics Twist
  • 10
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

darning needle

Interesting facts - darning needle

regular

Things to know-long darning needle

lang

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip: pointy

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Matte yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • Bead Yarn
  • Wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Metallics braid
  • Ribbon
  • Cotton tress
  • Viscose water nipple
  • Bast yarn
  • 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 strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • Sync by honeybunny
  • oblong

Tip: pointed

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Sewing thread
  • Lace Yarn
  • Quilting thread
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • Sync by honeybunny
  • oblong

Tip: pointed

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Sewing thread
  • Lace Yarn
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • oblong
  • even

Tip: pointed

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Sewing thread
  • Lace Yarn
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: straight

Eye:

  • around

Tip:

  • spiky
  • triangular

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Sewing thread
  • Lace Yarn
  • Quilting thread
  • 5
  • 7
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...

Needle: curved

Eye:

  • around

Tip:

  • spiky

Tissue:

  • Canvas (all fabrics that can no longer be counted)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Quad yarn
  • Flower yarn
  • Linen yarn
  • fine mercerized yarn
  • Krüwell wool
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Metallics braid
  • Needle type
  • Needle shape
  • Used for...
  • available strengths

Needle: curved

Eye:

  • oblong

Tip:

  • blunt

Tissue:

  • Kanevas (all countable tissues)

Yarns (examples):

  • Split Yarn
  • Matte yarn
  • strong pearl yarns
  • Chenille
  • Bast yarn
  • Bouclette
  • Tapestry Wool
  • Krüwell wool
  • Ribbon
  • Metallics braid
  • Cotton tress
  • Viscose water nipple
  • Paper yarn
  • Sewing silk
  • Lace Silk
  • Metallics braid
  • flat
    • 16
    • 18
  • around
    • 16
    • 18
    • 20
    • 22
    • 24

Size comparison

Designation

Needle shapeEye shapeLaceStarchLength(mm)Diameter(mm)
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky13692.34
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky14582.03
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky1652.51.63
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky1848.51.27
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky20441.09
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky2240.50.94
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky24370.76
Chenille needleovaloblong ovalspiky2632.50.63
Beading needleevenoblong straightspiky10550.45
Beading needleevenoblong straightspiky12510.36
Beading needleevenoblong straightspiky13490.3
Beading needleevenoblong straightspiky15450.25
Beading needleevenoblong straightspiky16450.21
Short bead needleevenoblong straightspiky1032.50.46
Short bead needleevenoblong straightspiky1232.50.36
Tapestry bead needleevenoblong ovalblunt1032.50.46
Tapestry bead needleevenoblong ovalblunt1232.532.5
Sharp'sevenoblong straightspiky2440.86
Sharp'sevenoblong straightspiky4400.76
Sharp'sevenoblong straightspiky11310.46
Sharp'sevenoblong straightspiky122.50.41
Quilting needleevenoblong straightspiky1122.50.53
Quilting needleevenoblong straightspiky1222.50.41
Big Eye quilting needleevenoblong straightspiky1025.50.53
Big Eye quilting needleevenoblong straightspiky1122.50.53
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky148.51.02
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky3450.86
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky541.50.76
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky7370.69
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky9340.61
Embroidery needleevenoblong straightspiky1032.50.53
darning needleevenoblong straightspiky5490.49
darning needleevenoblong straightspiky7470.69
darning needleevenoblong straightspiky9450.61
Long darning needleevenoblong straightspiky7580.69
Long darning needleevenoblong straightspiky9520.61
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt13692.34
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt14582.03
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt1652.51.63
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt1848.51.27
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt20441.09
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt2240.50.94
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt24370.76
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt26340.61
Tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt2832.50.63
Petites tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt2231.50.94
Petites tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt2430.50.76
Petites tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt26270.61
Petites tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt28260.53
Two pointed tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt22550.94
Two pointed tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt24540.76
Two pointed tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt26500.61
Two pointed tapestry needleovaloblong ovalblunt28600.53
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedleevenGoblet shapeblunt22400.94
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedleevenGoblet shapeblunt24370.76
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedleevenGoblet shapeblunt26340.61
Easy Threading Tapestry NeedleevenGoblet shapeblunt28320.53
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet22760.94
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet24720.79
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet25440.7
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet26400.65
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet27370.6
Embroidery needle with ball pointevenoblong straightBullet28340.55
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