Which Beading Needle to Use for Different Beaded Jewelry Projects

Which Beading Needle to Use for Different Beaded Jewelry Projects

Posted by Nishka Bhagat on 16th Jun 2023

Hello lovely beaders! One of the most common questions we get is how to figure out which needle you should use for your beading project? Well we are here to help! 

When it comes to beading, selecting the right needle is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. There are various types of beading needles available, each designed to cater to specific needs and preferences. Let's explore some common types:

1. Regular Beading Needles: These are the most commonly used needles for general beading projects. They are thin, flexible, and come in various lengths and sizes. Regular beading needles are ideal for seed beads, small beads, and most standard bead weaving techniques. Beading needles are more flexible than normal sewing needles so that you can more easily weave or stitch your beads in various patterns. The most common sizes are #10, #11 and #12 with size 12 being the thinnest and size 10 the thickest of these. The best most affordable brand is Pony Beading Needles which offers packs of each size as well as mixed size packs. Another great option is the Color Eyes Needles from Beadsmith. They have a color coded coating on the eye of the needle according to size so you can easily distinguish the sizes just by their color!

2. Long Beading Needles: As the name suggests, these needles are longer than regular beading needles. They are useful for projects that require reaching a greater distance or when working with larger beads, such as bugle beads or long-drop beads. The extended length provides more control and ease while stringing beads. These are also sometimes called 'English' beading needles.

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3. Short Beading Needles: Conversely, short beading needles are shorter in length compared to regular ones. They are perfect for projects that require close-up work, intricate beadwork, or when using small beads in tight spaces. These needles are often also called 'Sharps' and are more sturdy and less flexible.

4. Big Eye Beading NeedlesBig Eye needles have a unique design with a split or enlarged eye that allows the thread to pass through easily. These needles are great for individuals with visual impairments or those who struggle with threading regular needles. They can accommodate a wide range of thread sizes and work well with most bead sizes.

5. Beading Needles with a Collapsible Eye: These needles have a collapsible or flexible eye, allowing the thread to be inserted from the side instead of passing through the eye. This feature comes in handy when working with threads that are too thick or when using multiple threads for bead embroidery or stitching. The eye collapses as the needle passes through the beads. There are two types, those in which the eye pops open again after passing through beads which can be used over and over and those that have a permanently collapsed eye which will hold your thread or threads for the one project only and must be cut off when finished and discarded.

6. Twisted Wire Needles: Twisted wire needles consist of a flexible wire that is pre-threaded. They are commonly used in stringing beads onto materials like silk for pearl knotting. They can only be used one time as well. One example is the needles that come with Griffin Silk Cord. These needles can be easily curved or bent to suit specific threading requirements.

When selecting a beading needle, consider the size and type of beads you plan to use, the project's complexity, and personal preferences. It's important to choose a needle that is suitable for the thread thickness and can easily pass through the bead holes without causing damage. Remember to keep spare needles on hand, as they can occasionally break or bend during use.

Ultimately, finding the right beading needle is a matter of experimentation and personal preference. Trying out different types and sizes will help you discover which ones work best for your specific beading projects, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable beading experience.