NeedlesForEmbroidery-embroidery needles

The two types of needles I use are embroidery and milliner needles. John James needles are good and reasonably priced.

Embroidery – What is the best needle for embroidery?

These are sometimes called crewel needles. They have a long, oval eye that can hold numerous strands of six-stranded thread. This is the needle you’ll use for most embroidery stitches. 

They come in various sizes and your thread should slide eas- ily through the eye when threading the needle, but not so much so that it slips out while you’re stitching. And the needle needs to be big enough to pull the thread easily through the fabric without fray- ing or breaking it. 

What size needle do I need for embroidery?

Size 5 needles are good for embroidering with five to six strands of thread and size 7 for three to four strands of thread, size eight works well for two to three strands and size 9 for one to two strands.

TIP Needle feeling sticky? It’s actually your hands, so give them a quick wash and your needle will glide through the 

fabric again  John James

But if those aren’t working for you, switch to a needle size that does – as your number of strands goes up, your needle size goes down. It may take a bit of trial and error, so if you’re new to embroidery try a few different sizes to get a feel for them and see which one gives you the smoothest stitching experience. 

Milliners – What are the three types of embroidery needle?

Milliners are also known as straw needles and are tra- ditionally used in the making of hats. These needles are longer than embroidery needles and the same width from eye to tip. They are good for knots, bullions and cast-on stitches – and stitches such as pistil that have a knot element – as they pull eas- ily through wraps of thread. 

How do embroidery needles work?

As with embroidery needles, they come in different sizes and you want to use a size that allows you to thread the needle easily without it slipping out all the time. 

TIP : John James has a printable downloadable needle guide,which is handy if you’re not sure about a needle size

A mixed pack of sizes 5 to 10 is good for most projects. Use the lower numbers (bigger needles) for four to six strands of thread, the middle numbers for three to four strands and the higher numbers (smaller needles) for one to two strands of thread. Again, you want the needle to pull the thread through the fabric easily, without fraying or breaking it.

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