| How to Choose a Beading Needle
How to choose a beading needle...well to be honest I really didn't know! As Shanna and I were talking about this, we said that is why we keep a multi pack around! But all kidding aside, I did find some good information regarding "How to choose a Beading Needle?"
What do the numbers mean on the English Beading Needles:
It refers to the thickness of the needle and it ranges from size 10 (thickest and suitable for use with larger beads or beads with large holes) to a size 15 (thinnest and suitable for use with smaller seed beads or beads with small holes). Hmm...and I thought it was to do with the eye hole size and Shanna the length...wow!
English beading needles can be used for both off-loom beadweaving, loomed beadwork and bead embroidery.
Now for the good stuff:
Size 15 Seed Beads, which are the smallest beads available work best with beading needles in size 13 and 12.
Size 11 and Size 10 Seed Beads, Size 11 seed beads being the most commonly available size of seed bead, use beading needles in sizes 10 and 12. You can also use big eye needles and twisted beading needles when using these beads, but their slightly larger size won't allow for quite as many thread passes.
Size 8 Seed Beads are significantly larger than size 11 seed beads, use a size 12 or 10 English beading needle. Twisted beading needles and big eye needles also work very well with these larger beads because they allow for several passes through each bead.
Size 6 seed beads are very large, usually with large holes to accommodate larger needles and thread, use size 10 needles as their larger holes will allow for several thread passes. You can also use twisted beading needles, big eye needles.
So now we know and I feel more informed about my needle choices. I will say that I really prefer the English needles but those Big Eye Needles have their place in our beading world too! As Dena, another Auntie's Employee/Beader, points out, no pun intended, the Big Eye Needles allow you to go forward and backwards through your beads. However I have learned not to use them with C-Lon while doing leather wrapped bracelets, it chewed up my thread!
I would love to hear what you think about your needle choices!
Karla Schafer, Aunite's Beads Designer
Bonnie Goudie Date 2/6/2014
I only use the smallest needles for everything I bead. That way I don't have to know what needle I have been using. It fits everything I try to bead. Maybe someone knows why this would be wrong. Has not given me a problem yet. Be interesting to know if it really does make a difference. b
Cindia Yancey Date 2/6/2014
Thanks for your tips on using different size needles. I've just recently been introduced to Tulip Beading Needles in size 11 and I really like them. They hold there shape well and with the size 11's they will work for just about everything. Big eye needles are good to use when a thread is too short to finish off a piece because it holds the thread in place.
karla schafer Date 2/6/2014
Bonnie, the way I see it, if it works for you, how could it be wrong!
Connie Shivers Date 2/6/2014
Hi Karla -- good information - I generally stick to a size 10 or 12 needle. I too got some of the Tulip Beading Needles and really like them. Just as Cindia Yancey said above, they seem to hold their ship longer than the English needles and the eye has a gold tint to it so it's easier for me to see and thread my needle. Do you think ya'll might start carrying them??
Heather Houck Date 2/11/2014
I use #6 & or 7 Griffin silk thread for making leather wrap bracelets. I am using a collapsible needle which gets very bent & out of shape very quickly.
Can anyone tell me what would work better? Thank You!
Catherine Fabrizio Date 2/26/2014
Hi Karla, I have learned so much from you - thank you. When I use 2 needles i.e. RAW etc., I use a 10 and a 12, makes it easy to keep track.