Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hand Sewing Needles...

Hand sewing needles, the concept has been around for over 25,000 years.  The very first of it's kind was found in Southwestern France made out of bone to sew animal hides together.  Simply fascinating!
I simply never REALLY thought of dating it that far back. When I think of hand sewing needles I think of women wearing gorgeous gowns in a drawing room during the Victorian era creating embroidery on hoops (don't ask me why, it's crazy, I know but it's the first thing I envision.)

I have done my fair share of hand sewing and finding the correct needle was always key.  Hand sewing without the proper "equipment" can cause havoc on your fingers, nails, hands and overall "like" of the craft.

I never really understood ALL the needles in a large 50 pack for $2.00. I always uttered.."I just need a darn needle, really?  Why so many in a pack?"  Well, after trial and error and reading about the needles, I know why there are so many and I'm going to share some of that with you.

There are Five (5) types of basic hand sewing needles:
* Sharps,
* Ball Points,
* Embroidery,
* Quilting (also called Betweens)
* Milliner's Needles (also called Straw Needles.)

There are also Specialty hand SEWING Needles:
* Darning Needles: (1) Cotton, (2) Yarn & (3) Double Long
* Needle-Arts Needles: (1) Beading, (2) Crewels, (3) Tapestry & (4) Chenille
* Heavy Duty Needles: (1) Curved, (2) Sailmakers & (3) Glovers / Wedged (used for leather)
* Bodkins
* Basting
* Applique

Specialty hand CRAFT Needles:
* Doll Needles
* Yarn Needles (generally plastic)
* Plastic Canvas Needles
* Twin Pointed Quick Stitch Needles
* Weaving Needles (for knitting projects)
* Raffia Needles (for ribbon and elastic)
* Cranked Weaving Needle (also called raffia wire needle)

After I started to create a chart of hand sewing needle information, I found that The Sewing & Craft Alliance has already created a very detailed PDF. So, I'm sharing it with you to help save me some time ( I still have a house of kiddos recovering from the stomach bug and have a full day planned of stripping beds and cleaning).  I recommend to print it out and include it in you TOSN in the needle chapter.

Here are some pics of hand sewing needles.


Other MUST HAVES for hand sewing:
Let's start off with Beeswax!  Yes.. Beeswax!  Why?.. do you ask? It does a multitude of things.. it strengthens/stabilizes the thread, reduces tangling and allows for a smoother glide through the fabric. You would slide your thread through the beeswax 2-3 times to get a good coating. Then press it.. BUT BEFORE PRESSING:  Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise, put the thread in the paper and run a hot/dry iron over it. It saves your fabric from getting wax buildup while strengthening the thread. 
you can buy something fancy or use a disc of beeswax from your local bee farm. If you don't have a local bee farm, there are great sites like AURUM that have great pricing!

Next item on the list:  Needle Threader.  A needle threader has (2) parts: the handle and the wire. 
How to use it: The end of the wire that is away from the holder is folded. Place the folded wire of the needle threader through the eye of the sewing needle, place the thread into the wire loop, then holding onto the handle of the threader pull the wire part back through the eye of the needle, stopping when you have one thread through the eye of the needle. Remove the thread from the wire part of the needle threader. Knot your thread and sew!


we have ALL seen the standard silver thimble that comes with most beginner sewing kits and there also ones that are very ornate. 

I think these are so pretty, but sadly they don't quite fit my fingers:

there are also other "thimbles" available on the market and here is a glimpse:

I use and absolutely LOVE my quilting leather finger "thimble"..
and lastly, thread cutters... while scissors are the most practical, I find these thread cutters are practical while out and about. 

That's it for now! As always, thank you for taking a time out to stop by! Until next time..

Happy Organizing!
=) Kristina


  1. I agree! This is the cutest blog. And now I don't have to do a post about needles 'cause you've done it all for me. Of course I'll still have to come up with an article for my blog 'cause as we know "content is key"; yet I digress.

    This is a cute place. I am interested in hand sewing some things (can you say, Regency gown) and figured I need to know how about needles and how to hand sew.

    Well done, Ms. Kristina.


  2. Have started collecting vintage thread/yard pendants and saw the picture on this post. Do not recognized it and would like to know the brand and if it is for sale?

    Please e-mail at

    Thank you