Posted on Wednesday, March 7 2012 at 3pm
Welcome to our second 'Needle Knowhow' feature.
Last month we launched with a tapestry feature, but we've got five more features to share with you as industry leaders John James Needles present all the technical advice and information you'll ever need to know about your needles.
We'll be covering everything from beading and quilting to darning and embroidery. Plus, each month we'll be offering you the chance to win the entire Pebble range!
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This month, we're focusing on embroidery needles.
What is a embroidery needle?
Embroidery needles are sometimes referred to as Crewel needles. Crewel is a form of embroidery using twisted yarn rather than thread and is traditionally worked on heavier fabrics. They always have long eyes, designed to make threading the needle as easy as possible - especially when using multiple strands of thread! They're used in cross stitch for creating outline stitches around the design (back stitch) and for when creating 1/2 stitches.
How can I tell if my needle is an embroidery needle?
Essentially, they're the same as a Sharp sewing needle, except from the shape of the eye. Both needle types have the same length, the same diameter and a sharp point but whatever the size, you'll notice they all feature long eyes, making them easy to thread.
The most popular sizes used in embroidery are sizes 5 through to 10, size 7 being the most popular. The larger sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are ideal for embroidering on heavy fabric using yarn. In addition to embroidery, it's worth noting that size 5 can also be used in general sewing because the larger eye is so easy to thread.
Which embroidery needle do I need?
Depending on the work you are doing, there are a variety of embroidery needles to choose from.
Standard embroidery needles come in ten different sizes and can be purchased as same size or mixed sets. From just 85p a pack - they're a dead-set needlebox essential!
Or you could invest this dusky pink embroidery Pebble (code JJP13550) on the left, which includes 16 needles in mixed sizes 5 - 10 for all your embroidery needs.
Click here to see the assorted packs or click here to see the same-set packs on offer at John James Needles.
Click read more to see what other needles for specific techniques are on offer in from John James Needles...
1. Ball point bead embroidery
Ball point bead embroidery needles are short sewing needles which are the same diameter as regular embroidery needles, but a rounded point. This is so that the user can embellish pieces of cross stitch or tapestry with beads, sequins and pearls, without splitting the fibres of the base canvas. They come in packs of ten, in an assortment of sizes 3 - 7.
If you're adding seed beads to a design, then you'll need a size 10 (0.46mm diamter) or size 12 (0.36mm diameter) ball point bead embroidery needle. They have an extreemly fine diameter to accomodate even petite seed beads!
2. Silk ribbon embroidery
The silk ribbon embroidery collection is very special indeed and is designed for the disconcerning needle enhusiast! It is a superb collection of 25 sewing needles including Chenille, Tapestry, Embroidery, Beading, Milliners Sharps and Quilting needles. All of these techniques are used in the art of embroidery and embellishing fabrics using silk ribbons, organza ribbons, beads, sequins, metallic threads, silk threads and of course, the trusty stranded cotton. Perfect for all your needs!
3. Heavy embroidery
Heavy embroidery needles are not actually heavy to use (despite thier name!), they are in fact the largest needle in the embroidery family. Typically, they're used when working with twisted yarn in the art of Crewel mebroidery, for example yarn embroidery on a chunky sweater.
The heavy embroidery needles are available in a pack of two size 14 needles - one pointed and one round blunt point. Usage of the two needles will depend on the openess of the fabric on which you are embroidering.
What are the Pebble sets for?
John James sell a great variety of needle sets in handy cases called Pebbles. They start at just £1.25 and each set of needles are represented by a different colour of Pebble so you can easily tell them apart. Their oval shapes mean they're easy to hold, transport and store. It's like they say; great things come in small packages! Click here to see the entire range of Pebbles on offer.
* WIN the entire Pebble range from John James Needles! *
If you fancy getting your mitts on all the needles we'll be talking about in our 'Needle Knowhow' features, click here to enter our Pebble competition!
Keyword = ENTACO2
Each month we'll be running a new competition, so if you're unlucky this time, you can check back next month and try again.
For more information on tapestry needles, visit the John James website.