A needle is the main stitching tool that has been used since times immemorial. Needles have a sharp tip at one end which is used to pierce through the fabric. The other end of the needle has a small hole or opening called the ‘eye’. The thread is passed through this eye.

Needles come in various sizes and types. While some needles, especially sharp ones, are used for stitching, there are some other kinds that are used for knitting or crochet work.

This page illustrates some needles. Information on more types of needles will be added.

Sharps: These needles are used for common sewing purpose. It has a sharp point and round eye. These needles come medium length, one factor with which you can differentiate it from the other types of needles. Crewel/embroidery needles: These needles are similar to sharps, but has a longer eye to accommodate a number of embroidery floss or threads.
Betweens/quilting needles: These needles are shorter and thinner with a small round eye. They are used for fine stitches on heavy fabric or layers of fabric. Tapestry needles and Chenille needles: These needles have a long eye to accommodate a number of threads and even ribbons. While the tapestry needle is blunt, chenille needles are sharp.
Milliners’ needles: These needles are longer than sharps. They are good for basting and pleating. Its eye has the same size as that of the needle shaft, and so passing through pleats of fabric is comfortable. Beading needles: These needles are very thin with a really thin eye. This thin nature makes the needle pass through the holes of beads easily.
Crochet needles: These are long needles without an eye. These needles are used for crochet work, which does not involve the need to pierce through the fabric, and so, it does not have a sharp end too.
Crochet technique uses hooking and pulling out the thread, and so, the head of the crochet needle comes with hooks of various sizes. What size to use depends on the size of the thread that is used.
Knitting needles: These are long needles that come in various sizes and width. Knitting needles do not have an eye, as it is not used to stitch through fabrics, but knit. So, it does not even have a sharp end, but a tapering end.
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2 Responses

  1. Johan Terlouw Netherlands Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Regarding knitting needles: they are available with a single point (capped at the end) and with a double point (no cap present). The latter are used for knitting socks/hose, or (when the needles are longer) for knitting a guernsey.

  2. Darlene United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Thank you for this information! It has been years since I have done much needlework and I appreciate having a place to refresh my memory. Darlene

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