You have finally decided to start that sewing project you’ve been putting off for the past year. You know, the king-size quilt you want to make but don’t know where to start. There is no better place to start a sewing project than with the best hand sewing needles possible. Having the right tool for the job will make the stitches fly by and, before you know it, you’ll have a completed masterpiece to show off.
Maybe you aren’t looking to take up hand quilting. You might just want to make small repairs or attach a button. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure which needles to get for your project, you want to try something new, or you’ve never picked up a sewing needle in your life. Keep reading to learn about the best hand sewing needles for any project.
Hand sewing needles come in various types and sizes, so finding the best one for your project can seem overwhelming. Most needles are made from metal—most commonly either stainless steel or nickel-plated.
Thread is laced through the eye of the needle. This small opening can vary depending on the weight of thread it is designed to be used with. You’ll want to make sure you check for compatibility if you will be using a heavy hand quilting thread.
Hand sewing needles can accommodate a variety of fabrics and other materials. There are specialty needles for working with everything from ultra-fine gauze fabrics to heavyweight denim and leather.
Read on to find answers to some common questions about the best hand sewing needles.
1. What Makes the Best Hand Sewing Needles?
The best hand sewing needles are those designed for your specific type of project. Features such as shaft length, eye size, ease of use, and durability are all important factors to consider when choosing a needle.
Specialized features can be very helpful. If you have low or impaired vision, consider needles with larger eyes or included threaders. Those with limited hand coordination may want to consider needles with longer shafts.
2. Are There Different Types of Hand Sewing Needles?
There are too many types of sewing needles to cover here. A few of the most common types are quilting, milliners, and sharps needles. You may also find assorted packs which contain a variety of types and sizes. If you work on a lot of varied sewing projects, this is probably the best way to purchase sewing needles.
Here’s a look at the features of some common types of hand sewing needles:
These are a specialty needle for adding details like pleats and decorative stitches to projects. You can use a milliner needle anywhere you need long and consistent stitches. They are available in sizes 5-10 and have a very sharp point and a small rounded eye.
As their name implies, these are good for working on hand quilting projects. They are also good for fine detail work on other projects. Quilting needles are somewhat shorter than others, with a sharp point and rounded eye. They are available in sizes 1-12. Quilting needles are sometimes called Betweens.
This is the most common type of hand sewing needle. Consider it the all-purpose needle if you are unsure what type to get or will be working on a range of projects. They have a thin shaft, extremely sharp point, and rounded eye. You can find sharps in sizes ranging from 1-12.
3. How Long Do Hand Sewing Needles Last?
Left in their package, hand sewing needles will last indefinitely. Repeated use will cause wear on the tip of your needles. However, they can only be expected to last for so long. If you are working on small projects or repairs, a hand sewing needle might last you for several months. A large project, like that king-sized quilt, will cause more wear. You can expect to completely wear out one needle and possibly two on such an undertaking.
4. What Do the Numbers on Hand Sewing Needles Mean?
Much like machine needles, each hand sewing version is numbered. These numbers indicate the size of the needle, which will tell you what type of use it is designed for. Unlike machine needles, as the numbers on hand needles go up, their size goes down. That means that a size nine needle is bigger than its size 13 counterpart.
The size refers to the diameter of a needle, and not the length. As a general rule, though, as sizes go down needles will also get longer.
How We Reviewed
Finding the best hand sewing needle of your project can seem daunting with all the choices available. We compiled this list of the best hand sewing needles based on their features, performance, ease of use, price, and versatility.
Colonial Needle Creative Hands 58912 62E Jingle Bells, 13mm
This pack comes with an amazing 50 needles, making it an incredible value. Each needle is just under an inch in length, so you’ll need to have pretty good dexterity to maneuver them. They have large eyes that are easy to thread. These are handmade in England.
Ease of Use
Large eyes make these needles easy to thread. They are shorter than some people may be used to, but that allows for greater stitch length control during hand sewing projects.
Handmade in England, these hand sewing needles are designed for durability. Their length allows for excellent control over stitch placement and spacing.
These are an excellent choice for hand quilting, sewing patches, or adding designs to other projects.
Mudder 30-Count Assorted Hand Needles, 3 Pack
- Metal stitching needles with large eye; And the threaders are easy for threading those needles even with small needle eye
This is a solid assortment pack of hand sewing needles if you are unsure what types of projects you will be taking on. With 90 needles in total, designed to sew everything from cotton to leather, you are sure to find one that is just right.
Each steel needle is coated with a gold coloring on the eye. This bi-color shaft makes it easy to spot a dropped needle, not to mention avoid stabbing yourself by grabbing the wrong end.
There are three individual sets of needles, each with a convenient dispenser/carry case.
Ease of Use
The rounded, see-through case allows easy selection and dispensing of the desired needle. The gold-colored eye makes finding these needles easy, whether it’s on your worktable or the floor. It’s large size also accommodates heavier thread weights.
These needles perform as well as those costing significantly more, making them a solid value choice for best hand sewing needles in an assortment.
With 90 needles you will be stitching away at a wide variety of materials in no time. The case allows for safely carrying these for travel, too.
Clover Gold Eye Milliners, No. 3-9
- CLOVER-Long needles with round eyes excellent for pleating ribbon embroidery and embellishing on bonnets hats etc
This small assorted pack of milliners from Clover is perfect for adding embellishments like ribbons and embroidery to hats or making pleats in a project. They have small, round eyes, and a smooth, non-tapered design that makes them ideal for passing through heavier materials.
Ease of Use
These are a great choice if you are looking to work with heavier materials. The gold-tipped eyes make finding them easy.
This set of clover milliners should meet the needs of most users. They are sturdy and smooth and hold up well with thicker materials.
These, like other milliners, are designed for a specific task. They are not well suited for quilting or sewing finer fabrics.
Premium Hand Sewing Needles for Sewing Repair, 30-Count Assorted Needles With 2 Threaders
- 👍 All 30pcs Hand Sewing Needles, in 1 Round Compact -- 8pcs 2.9cm, 8pcs 3.6cm, 8pcs 4.1cm, 3pcs 4.6cm, 3pcs 5cm, 1pcs 4.2cm (super large eye needle), and then, we gift 2 quality threaders;
You will find this assortment of 30 hand sewing needles nestled inside a rounded carrying case. There is a good assortment of needles for the most common applications. Each has a grooved design to help with threading. There are also two manual threaders to make the task easier.
Ease of Use
A grooved design and included threaders make these very easy to set up. Sharp tips help pierce fabrics quickly and without causing puckering.
These perform as well as expected for a value assortment.
There is a wide assortment of needles in this package, which can be used on a variety of materials and projects.
Dritz 56S-9 Sharps Hand Needles, Size 9 (20-Count)
- General purpose sewing needles for household sewing, dressmaking and applique projects
This is a nice size package of all-purpose sharps needles. You will find them suitable for most common sewing tasks, like repairs, attaching buttons, and sewing seams. Each needle features a rounded eye and sharp point.
Ease of Use
These are relatively easy to use. Some people may find that the rounded head creates resistance through tightly woven fabrics.
These are a good quality needle and perform as expected. They remain straight and sharp throughout a project.
Sharps needles are considered the multi-taskers of hand sewing needles, and these do not disappoint. They are well suited to a wide variety of common sewing projects.
Colonial Needle HW250-10 16 Count Richard Hemming Milliners/Straw Needles, Size 10
- Finest Quality English Needles
With their round eye, streamlined shaft, and high quality, these milliners really stand out. They are a great way to add appliques or ribbons to your project. These are made in England.
Ease of Use
Their sturdy shaft makes them easy to use. A large eye makes them easy to thread.
These needles do not bend even when used on heavy or thick materials.
Like other milliners, these are designed to be used on thick or heavy materials. They are not suitable for some other common sewing tasks.
Sewline Tulip Milliners/Straw Needles, Size-10, 6/Pack
These are a flexible milliner needle that is great for appliques and ribbon as well as paper piercing. They have an oval eye to maintain their streamlined shaft.
Ease of Use
These are flexible and easy to use. The oval eyes are fairly small, so threading can be a challenge. This can easily be solved by using a threader.
They perform well. Their flexibility means they do bend, but otherwise hold up well to heavier appliques.
These are designed for piercing tightly woven fabric and appliques. They may not be suitable for working with other fabrics.
Singer 01824 Large Eye Hand Needles on Magnet, 12-Count
- Set of 12 large eye hand needles on a decorative magnet
This is a nice assortment of nickel-plated steel needles with sizes ranging from 18 through 22. They have sturdy shafts and sharp tips. In addition, enlarged eyes make thread easy.
This set comes complete with a small magnet that can attach to any metallic surface. It allows you to safely keep your sewing needles handy and within reach.
Ease of Use
The enlarged eye hole makes these needles very easy to thread. The magnet holder means you will always know where you put your needles and can even help you keep track of them on your worktable.
These sharps needles hold up well on mid and lightweight fabric. They might bend and dull quickly on heavier fabrics.
While they are not suitable for heavy fabrics, these are a good needle for everyday sewing projects or quick repairs.
John James Big Eye Quilting Hand Needles-Size 11 12/Pkg
These quilting needles feature a characteristic short shaft. They also come equipped with a slightly enlarged eye to make threading easier.
Ease of Use
Their short quilting needle length can make these difficult to handle for some people, particularly those with diminished strength or coordination in their hands. The slightly enlarged eye makes threading them relatively easy.
These work well when used on quilting projects. They have a short shaft which helps with stitch control. You should expect to see tight, even stitches when using these needles.
As quilting needles, these are designed for a very specific purpose. You will likely not find them suitable for other sewing tasks.
We scoured the internet to find this collection of some of the best hand sewing needles you will find anywhere. Make sure you purchase needles that are designed for your intended use, or you may get frustrated by their incompatible features. Assortments are a great option if you are just getting started with hand sewing, don’t plan to use them very much, or aren’t sure what types of projects you’ll be working on next.
Last update on 2021-05-14 at 13:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API