Needles & Pins

Beading needles are thin, flexible needles that are designed for stringing beads and making jewellery. They come in various sizes and are essential tools for anyone interested in working with beads and creating their own beaded items.

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What is a beading needle?

A beading needle is a thin, flexible needle that is used for stringing beads and making jewellery. Beading needles are typically longer than regular sewing needles and have a very small, narrow eye that makes it easier to thread them through the tiny holes in beads. There are a multitude of different needle and thread projects available and it’s an amazingly satisfying craft to master.

These needles are available in different sizes and types. The size and type of needle you choose will depend on the size of the beads you are working with and the technique you’re using. For example, if you are working with very small beads, you will want to use a smaller needle so that it can easily pass through the tiny holes in the beads. For beading onto felt or fabric, a sharp needle will be required, whereas for weaving through beads, a flexible non-sharp needle would be best.

Beading needles are commonly used in a variety of crafts, including bead weaving, bead embroidery, and stringing beads onto wire or thread to make jewellery. They are essential tools for anyone who enjoys working with beads and making their own jewellery or other beaded items.

Which beading needle to use

Beading needles come in various sizes and types. It’s important to consider the projects you plan to complete when deciding which needle will be best. When using beading needles, it’s important to choose the right size for the beads you are working with. You’ll want to use a smaller size needle for smaller beads and a larger size needle for larger beads.

It’s also important to handle beading needles with care, as they can easily bend or break if used improperly. To prevent damage, try not to pull the needle through the beads too forcefully, and avoid bending the needle at sharp angles.

  • Flexible Eye Needles: These needles are made of a twisted wire with a loop at the end. The large loop makes threading very easy, making them a popular choice for those with limited dexterity or vision impairments. Once the thread is dropped through the eye, it can be squeezed shut to allow the needle to pass through even the smallest beads. Being a non-sharp needle, they’re ideal for bead weaving and stringing projects.
  • Big Eye Beading Needles: Imagine two parallel wires soldered to a point at both ends. That’s the big eye needle! Its split almost the entire length meaning the eye is almost as long as the needle. You simply pinch in the middle with two hands and pull it open. These needles are non-sharp and offer good flexibility. Loom beaders, and woven pattern beaders love these needles! They’re available in various lengths which you can select based on your own personal preference.
  • Sharp Needles: Our Pony beading needles are more like a traditional needle, rigid and sharp. The difference with Pony needles over sewing needles is the hole. It’s designed to thread easily with NYMO, Fireline, K.O. and other beading threads, yet the eye end of the needle remains no thicker than the needle itself. This makes threading and stitching with fine glass seed beads easier and reduces bead breakage. If you’re stitching beads onto an outfit, or working with the finest seed beads, these needles are a great option. You may like to consider using a threader to make the threading of these needles easier.

If you’re wondering what size bead needle do I need, consider the beads you’ll be threading. Twisted wire needles are usually best for Freshwater pearls, the smallest size 15 seed beads work best with size 12 Pony needles, Miyuki Delica seed beads and other 11/0 sized beads can use a size 10 sharp needle, a big eye needle or a flexible eye needle, depending on your project and preference. It can be a good idea to have a small assortment of various needles in your kit so you can select what size bead needle to use for each project you complete.

Beading needles are a useful tool for anyone interested in making jewellery or other crafts involving small beads and it’s important to select a needle to suit your particular project.

How to bead with a needle

A surprising question we hear every day is “How do you use a bead needle?” The truth is, you don’t always need a needle. If you’re making elastic bracelets, beading gemstones onto tiger tail or threading hemp cord, for example, a needle may be of little use. But if you’re using bead thread, Fireline, KO or Miyuki thread, multi-filament elastic, or cotton, a needle will be your best helper!

Here’s a quick general guide on how to bead with a beading needle and how to thread a beading needle:

  1. Choose your materials: Select the beads you want to use and the appropriate thread or cord. Be sure to choose a beading needle that is the right size for your chosen beads.
  2. Thread the needle: Take the end of your thread or cord and pass it through the eye of the beading needle. If you’re using a very fine sharp needle this may be a little difficult without a needle threader. Make sure the thread has passed through adequately to ensure the thread doesn’t slip out.
  3. Begin beading: Slide your first bead onto the needle and let it slide down the thread to the end. Add more beads onto the thread, one at a time, until you have the desired length.
  4. Finish the project: Once you have added all the beads, tie off the end of the thread by knotting it a few times. You can then use the finished piece however you desire. Consider adding a clasp to make a bracelet or necklace.

TIP: When beading with a needle, it’s important to keep the thread taut as you add beads to prevent tangling or knotting. You may also need to use pliers to help grip the needle and pull it through tight spots. Practice and patience are key to mastering the art of beading with a needle.

Where to buy bead needles

If you’re looking for the most concise range of beading needles, look no further. Beads N Crystals has the best selection of needles in Australia for beadwork and crafters of every skill level. If you need any assistance on selecting the right needle for your project, please email or give us a call. We’d love to help get you started!

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