How do you Choose a Needle for Hand Sewing?

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Some sewing projects, such as mending, needlepoint and quilting, require hand stitching. Become familiar with the different types of hand-sewing needles in order to choose the right one for your next project.

* STEP 1: Make sure that your needle is small enough to penetrate the fabric without stretching it, and large enough for the eye to accommodate your chosen thread.
* STEP 2: Use sharps for general-purpose hand stitching. Sharps come in a variety of sizes. The larger the number, the smaller the needle.
* STEP 3: Use glovers to hand sew heavy canvas or leather projects. The large size and sharp points allow you to penetrate these fabrics’ thick layers.
* STEP 4: Use tapestry needles for most needlepoint and tapestry projects. These needles have a blunt end, which allows them to slip easily through the canvas mesh and reduces the chances of damaging your needlepoint canvas.
* STEP 5: Use sharp crewel or embroidery needles in place of tapestry needles when you embroider on a tightly woven, non-mesh fabric.
* STEP 6: Use the shorter quilting needle for hand stitching quilts or similarly layered projects. Their size allows you to work through the heavy fabric layers more easily than you can with the longer sharps.
* STEP 7: Use a darning needle for mending holes in woven fabrics. These needles are larger in diameter and longer than general-purpose sewing needles. Their length allows you to draw your thread over large gaps in the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

* Check the needle package for the type and size of needle enclosed.
* Look for needle multi-packs if you are unsure of the appropriate needle size for your project. These packs offer a variety of needle sizes to choose from.
* Make sure to use a thimble or other hand protection when you hand stitch a sewing project.

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