Needles sizes explanation

Mrs Bowden’s Thursday top tip – needle sizes

If you go to a quality haberdashers you can be amazed at the variety of hand sewing needles available to you. It can be a little confusing, so hopefully, this top tip will help.

types of hand sewing needles

Ordinary hand sewing needles, called SHARPS, are often sold in mixed size packs. Needles sizes are defined by number, the higher the number the smaller the needle.

Milliners or Straw needles are very fine and longer in the shank with rounded eyes.

Tapestry needles have larger eyes (for embroidery floss or wool) and a rounded point to avoid separating fibres on embroidery canvas or fabric.

Crewel needle have larger eyes and a point (very similar to tapestry needles) – just avoid using these on very fine fabric as the large eye can make holes in the fabric.

Chenille needles are large eye needles and are identical to a Tapestry needle or a Cross Stitch Needle in length and in diameter. However, the Chenille point is sharp, rather than round and blunt and is used in the art of crewel embroidery and ribbon embroidery.

Quilting needles have very short shanks and are sharp, allowing the sewer to make short, running stitches efficiently.

In stitches, Amanda x

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