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Choosing the Right Sewing Needles and Craft Pins

If you have ever undertaken a craft project, you know how important it is to have the right supplies. And the simple truth is that not all needles and pins are the same. Each one has its own specific purpose. Choosing the right one for your next project can make a world of difference.

Sewing needles & pins: what’s the difference?

The main difference between needles and pins is that needles accept thread for sewing while pins do not. Other than that, they are very similar. In a pinch, you can use a sewing needle in place of a pin, but you cannot use a pin to sew.

Which sewing needle should you choose?

The right needle for your project will depend on the materials you are working with. Delicate fabrics will require a fine needle with a small eye. Medium-weight fabrics will generally take a standard-size needle. A large eye can help make threading easier in that case.

Heavier weight materials like leather, canvas, or furniture upholstery will require a much stronger one with a large eye that can accommodate thick, sturdy thread.

If you are sewing with yarn, large plastic needles are probably a good choice. They offer rounded tips that won't damage finished products and extra-large eyes that allow you to easily feed the yarn through.

While most sewing needles are straight, some are curved to allow you to work them through thick layers of material. Some also come with gold tips that make threading slightly easier.

What types of pins are available?

Craft pins are generally between one and two inches in length. You will find some that are longer, such as those used for displays and floral arrangements. Some may be smaller as well. Tiny safety pins are a good example because they are widely used. They can range from utilitarian with a plain metal head to very decorative. Here are some examples of common craft pins you will find:

  • Safety pins that offer a secure closure
  • T-pins feature an easy to grasp design
  • Straight pins with standard, glass and pearl head designs
How are sewing needles and pins sold?

Sewing needles are generally available in small sets aimed at a specific purpose, such as leather crafts, upholstery, or general sewing. While you may be able to get by for a while with just a few sewing needles, more often than not, you will need a larger number of pins. Luckily, they are often sold as a multipack so you can get several in one package. Most are grouped according to their size and shape although you may also find assortments that offer several sizes together.