A hand sewing needle is a long, slender steel shaft, with an eye at one end. The shaft tapers to a fine ball point tip or wedge end. These needles function to carry the thread through the fabric while hand sewing. Needles are designed in a variety of sizes, types, and classifications developed according to specific use.
For each needle type, sizes range from a low number, (coarse needle) to higher number (finer needle). Diameter of the needle shaft increases proportionately at the eye end according to the length and size.
Hand needles are selected according to the following factors
- Structure of fabric
- Weight and type of fabric
- Type of thread
- Size and weight of thread and
- Intended use
The needles available for hand sewing are specified below
- Ball point needle
A needle is designed with a rounded tip and a small round eye, designated as medium length, sizes range from 5 to 10 for knits and lingerie fabrics. Ball point needle slides between the yarns instead of piercing as it penetrates the fabric. It reduces occurrence of holes and runs in fabrics such as jersey and tricot.
- Ball point needle
This needle is very fine, long with a small round eye used for beadwork, sewing sequins, pearls, etc.
A needle designed with a small rounded eye and designated as short length; sizes range from 1 to 12 to produce short fine stitches as in tailoring, handwork and open work
A needle is designed with a long oval eye and designated as medium length; sizes range from 1 to 12 to carry multiple strands of thread for embroidery.
Large-eye needle with sharp point for ribbon embroidery,
A coarse needle designed with a large, long oval eye. Designated as long length, the sizes range from 14 to 18. It can carry multiple strands of thread for weaving on loosely woven woolen and open weave knit fabrics.
A needle with a small rounded eye and of medium length is called the sharp. Sizes range from 1 to 12. These are general purpose needles with sharp point for sewing and appliqué
Large-eyed needle with a blunt point for cross stitch, needle point and for stitching knitted items.