Choosing Needles

Needles come in so many lengths and sizes that it is confusing. You don’t need a needle for bead wire (acculon, soft flex) but for stringing or bead weaving with silk, nymo, silamide or fire line. The higher the number of the needle, the smaller the needle and its eye opening. The length of the needle depends on your preference and the size of your piece. For instance, if working on a large piece on a bead loom, you may want to choose a longer needle so you can weave an entire row at once. Sharps are needles that are short and sharp. English beading needles are a little longer and slightly less sharp. Asian beading needles (my favorite) only come in size 10 and 12, but are much less expensive. They bend a bit more, but still last a long time. Glovers have an almost triangular point and are meant to go through something dense, like leather – they are not a good choice for regular bead weaving. Big eye needles are two needles fused together – you squeeze the ends and there is a huge opening to thread your needle – much easier on the eyes. Twisted wire needles are good for knitting and pearl stringing. You put your thread through the needle and then string your beads – the needle eye collapses so you can pull it through a bead with a very small hole.