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Needle Threaders: Indispensable Tools

To most people, the simple needle threader is a bewildering object. How is that thing supposed to help you thread a needle? Yet many who sew find these peculiar objects absolutely essential.

How does a simple needle threader work?

The simple needle threader of wire and tin has been around since at least the time of Queen Victoria and is still the most common kind of threader sold. With a wire threader, you push the wire loop through the eye of your needle. Then, you place the thread through the wire and gently pull the needle off.

What other kinds of needle threaders help with hand sewing?

Some sewers prefer a different simple threader which is made of solid metal (steel or aluminum) and has a hook at each end. With a hook threader, you put the hook through the eye of the needle, push the needle through till it rests on a small ledge, put your thread through the hook and then gently rock the needle up and down till it comes off the hook with the thread nicely placed in the eye.

What is an automatic needle threader?

Automatic needle threaders are usually small plastic objects that sit on a tabletop or desk while you use it. With an automatic threader, you place your thread through the thread slot, put the needle in its proper place, and press a button. Your needle is now threaded. The only drawback to this kind of needle threader is that it won’t work with very thick needles, embroidery needles or quilting needles.

Do sewing machines come with needle threaders?

You will find machine needle threaders on most new sewing machines. There are also separate needle threaders that are shaped like a pen; these can be used for both machine and hand sewing

What are novelty threaders?

Needle threaders can be fun to collect, too. Companies used to print advertisements on the tin part of simple needle threaders. Coats & Clark made one which looked like a spool of thread. A company called Gardiner’s Solutions made a simple threader with a bottle shape. Some automatic threaders are also fun to look for. A widely sold German model from the 1960s was in the shape of a witch and her cauldron. There is a Japanese threader currently being sold which looks like a tulip. Dritz makes a hummingbird threader that can hang from your neck for convenience.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Coats & Clark, Gardiner's Solutions, or Dritz.