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Things You Need to Know About Hand Embroidery Needles

Hand embroidery is a delicate art form in which the quality and beauty can be attributed to the tools used as much as the skill of the person doing the embroidery. Choosing the right embroidery needles will allow you to focus on the task at hand rather than failing tools. Here is some information about hand embroidery needles that will help you choose the right ones.

What are the types of hand embroidery needles?
  • Crewel needles have sharp points and elongated eyes. They are common and used for crewel work as well as work that involves piercing through fabric.
  • Tapestry needles have blunt points and long eyes. They're used in cases where the needle doesn't puncture fabric. Drawn thread work is an example.
  • Chenille needles are very similar to crewel needles. They can be used for crewel work or other work that requires a long eye and sharp point.
  • Straw/milliner needles have an eye and shaft that are equal in thickness. This needle is great for French knots and bullion knots.
What sizes do embroidery needles come in?

Needle sizes vary depending on the type of needle. Most embroidery needles range from size 1 embroidery needles up to size 12 embroidery needles. The larger the size number, the smaller the needle is. The larger needles (size 7 and below) are crewel needles while the rest are embroidery needles. For tapestry needles, the range is from size 18 to size 28. The larger numbers for these also indicate the smaller needle sizes. See the manufacturer site for details.

What are embroidery needles made from?

Hand embroidery needles are typically to made of chromium or titanium. Chromium needles are the most common. However, titanium needles are stronger, they last longer, and you'll have a better chance of accuracy than with chromium needles.

Does the tip of the embroidery needle matter?

There are three types of needle tips. The first one, the sharp point tip, is the top choice for penetrating tightly woven fabrics. The second type of needle tip is ball tip needles. These blunt tips are for knit fabrics. It prevents the fabric from tearing and spreads it instead. The last one is something like a combination of the two. It's called the slim ball tip and is the most commonly used one. It can be used on tightly woven fabrics as well as knits. It's important to use the right type on your fabric so that you don't damage the fabric.