Friday, 28 November 2014

Needles for beading

As it is almost the end of November, I thought you might like a story about needles.

Somehow when I bead, my needles end up like this.

For some of these, I have made attempts to straighten them. But because I use the scoop method of taking a stitch (instead of stab down to the back and stab up to the top.) I guess I will always get a bit of bending.

Here is a comparison of what the needle should look like and the needle I have now after using it a month for the beaded buttons.

Part of the reason for the bending is the size of the needle - the thinness, if you will. They just bend easily. I could choose needles that aren't so thin. But I get so annoyed when I have added a pattern of 5 or 6 beads onto the needle, establish where I want to stitch and then find one or more of the needles won't go over the threaded eye of the needle. So, I go for needles almost every bead will go though. There are random beads in a whole bag where the hole is smaller than the rest, but most beads including size 15 allow the threaded needle to pass through. And for the most part, will allow at least one more pass or even two.

There are long beading needles I could use.

The threaded one is the one I like as shown above. Explained below.
It is great for picking up a whole set of one pattern. But the problem is that the eye is so small I find them very difficult to thread. and then when you are being miserly with your thread and need to tie a knot at the end? Well, being very thin and quite long they become even more bent! They work wonderful for bead weaving though when you need to collect the whole set of warp beads.

Here are a few options.

The long beading needle at the bottom. I can't remember the maker.

The John James beading needle at the top. I find this too short for a set of beads and for working from the top feeling my way through layers without the thread showing on the other side. I also have size 12, which is thinner, but even shorter.

And so, the one I have found to work best. Size 10 Milliners needle by Bohin. The middle one and the ones I showed above that are bent.

Recently I bought John James milliners size 11 just a little thinner than the size 10 Bohin. But I haven't opened it yet. Perhaps in the new year?

What kind of needles do you like to use for beading?


KAM said...

I, too love to use the John James needles...and also have found that the needles sold for applique work that are called "straw needles" work particularly well with tine seed beads.....and whenever I see a garage sale "box" with old sewing stuff....much not worth anything, I grab it especially if the price is low...and tucked into these old stashes are often advert cards that have needles. Some of the long thin needles on those cards are perfect for both bullion knots and beading. Some of the cards I have found are 100 years old and the needles are in mint condition...and often they are "less bendable" than the more modern needles. My needle stash has its own little drawer and I treasure the variety I have gathered. Makes the stitching and beading so much more enjoyable when the tools are just right.

Sandy said...

Thanks Kristin! I seem to collect needles, too. I inherited some cards from a friend’s mother’s sewing box. And I was ashamed to show all those bent ones. I find myself using them so I don’t mess up the ‘good’ ones!
I will have to look out for straw needles...possible original use to sew straw boaters?