Is there a “Best Sewing Needle”? Check Out Our Needle Comparison

on April 8 | in Products, Products & Books, Sewing + Quilting Tips, Sponsors + Partners | by | with 313 Comments

Teresa Coates and her sewing friends compared a wide selection of needles to see if the price or brand corresponds to a difference in quality. Which brand of needle is best for the job? Teresa and her crew hit the pub for a hard-hitting investigative comparison to try eight different needles from five different companies. Learn all about their results below, and comment for a chance to WIN all of the needles in a darling, handy needle book made by Teresa. Teresa sewed the books, and Fabric Depot donated all of the needles and thread! We will select 10 winners from all comments on this post. Tell us a little about your experiences or your favorite needles.

Teresa Coates picked up needle and thread as a child and hasn’t stopped sewing since. Her quilting and sewing patterns have appeared in Quilty, Generation Q, Stitch, American Quilt Retailer and Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazines, as well as for Fabric Depot, Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Luke Haynes. She is the social media maven and sewing instructor at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon. Follow her sewing adventures at and on Instagram.

Road-Testing Sewing Needles

A year ago I started hear lots of buzz about different brands of needles and which were the absolute best needles ever made. My curiosity was piqued. I’ve used hand sewing and quilting needles for decades and while there have been a few that I was utterly disappointed with (bending with use into a crescent moon is a problem), I hadn’t yet found any that made my heart sing.

Some quilters told me how amazing John James needles were. Others heartily endorsed Tulip. I had my own set of Clover that had been working quite well for my hand-quilting project. But was there really a “best” needle? A brand that would make every stitch a breeze? I wanted to find out and asked a handful of sewing friends to join me for a little needle testing.

We met last week at a pub in Portland for some rudimentary needle trials. It wasn’t an exhaustive test and truth is it would take a month of stitching every day all day to give every needle and brand a try. We gave it a couple hours instead.

Purpose: Try out eight different needles from five different companies to find the best needle.

Needles: Tulip #9 Applique, Tulip #9 Sewing, Tulip #9 Quilting, Clover #9 Gold Eye, John James Applique #9, John James Sharps #9, Dritzs Sharps #9, Professional Sewing Supplies #9

Thread: Gutermann 100% polyester thread

Batting: Quilters Dream Cotton Request

Fabric: Scraps of Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Moda Fabrics quilting cottons

Each needle was threaded with a different color of thread to make it a “blind” testing. No one knew which thread went with which brand of needle and were simply requested to complete three tasks with each needle: piecing, applique and quilting.

After trying it for as long as they wanted, each sewist recorded their reactions on cards labeled by thread color. Some of us had immediate reactions to some needles and moved on quickly to the next when we were unhappy. When a needle seemed like a good fit, we’d sew for longer, giving it a slightly longer “workout.”

Contrary to what many of us expected, the responses varied widely, some of us loving and hating the same needles. Here are a few of our comments:

Tulip #9 Applique (6-pack, $1.75 ea.)

    “Super tiny eyes that required a needle threader (and magnifier!).”
    “Strong, but slightly flexible in a good way.”
    “Moves through the fabric so easily”
    “Nice and sharp!”

Tulip #9 Sewing (8-pack, $1.25 ea.)

    “Impossible to thread without a needle threader.”
    “Slides through the fabric nicely.”
    “Really smooth for piecing and didn’t bend at all.”
    “Super sharp!”

Tulip #9 Quilting (6-pack, $1.67 ea.)

    “Butt of needle is sharper than point!”
    “Okay for applique, but not for quilting.”
    “Too short and hard to thread.”
    “Hard to use— Does not slide through fabric easily.”

Clover #9 Gold Eye (15-pack, $0.19 ea.)

    “Slid through the hexies easily.”
    “Nice feel in my hand.”
    “Smooth pass through the fabric, but not great for binding.”
    “Shorter than other needles, so hard for my fat fingers to hold.”

John James Applique #9 (10-pack, $0.43 ea.)

    “Smooth quilting through batting, but not flexible.”
    “Easy stitching for appliqué.”
    “Longer than the other needles— Yay!”
    “Meh, nothing special for sewing.”

John James Sharps #9 (20-pack, $0.13 ea.)

    “Bigger eye didn’t require needle threader— Phew!.”
    “Not smooth at all. Got stuck in thicker layers of fabric.
    “Longer than other needles, but uncomfortable in my hand.”
    “Sharp point, but not good for applique.”

Dritz Sharps #9 (20-pack, $0.09 ea.)

    “Super smooth and easy to maneuver.”
    “Barely any flexibility.”
    “Good for hand-quilting; very sharp.”
    “Thicker needle felt weird after such thin needles.”

Professional Sewing Supplies #9 (25-pack, $0.77 ea.)

    “Sharp butt!”
    “Small eye made it really hard to thread even with threader.”
    “Shorter and easier to maneuver when sewing hexies.”
    “Wouldn’t hand-quilt or piece with this one, but okay for appliqué.”

After trying them all out, we chatted about the needles and who liked which and why. The prevailing thought: It’s mostly a personal choice. The cheapest needles were not as comfortable, sharp or smooth as the others, and the most expensive had positive responses. But we each liked what we liked, having different opinions on the hand feel, smoothness, sharpness, flexibility and length. And just because a needle is labeled for one technique (e.g. quilting or appliqué) doesn’t mean that you will love it for that.

The best needle is the needle that works best for you and your project.

Want to try out the eight we tried? Fabric Depot is giving away 10 sets of 8 needles for you to try out! I’d love to hear what you think too, so comment below for a chance to win.

Special thanks to Becca Cleaver, Denise Shoup, Juline Bajada, Gail Weiss and Petra Anderson, as well as Sweet Hereafter for hosting us.

Photos by Teresa Coates. All photos with white background by Robert Hart.

This post is sponsored by Fabric Depot, one of the largest, most complete, locally and independently-owned fabric and craft stores in the country. With over 40,000 square feet of retail space in Portland, Oregon, also sells internationally online (since 2000!).

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313 Responses to Is there a “Best Sewing Needle”? Check Out Our Needle Comparison

  1. Kriss says:

    A fun experiment! I’ve tried out so many needles that my needle collection is competing with my fabric stash! However, I’m not familiar with John James. Hmmm…

  2. Carla says:

    Always looking for a better needle. Thanks for testing these out.

  3. Alison says:

    Ladies, really! How naughty of you to do your experiment in a pub, just think what would have been the result if you’d spilt gin and tonic on your quilt fabrics? How scientific a test would that have been? Just kidding, think you’ve proved one woman’s needle is another woman’s barge pole,

  4. Mia says:

    Wow. I just used the cheap ones that came in a big set. I keep losing needles or at least I don’t remember where I put them, so I never gave them too much attention. I lately started paper piecing, so maybe I should give it a go with better needles.

  5. diane beavers says:

    Now you have me shopping for needles! Thank you for the comparison(s)…I’ve always used Clover, hand quilting.

  6. Jean says:

    What a neat experiment! Got a chance to find out about other companies I didn’t know before. I’m excited to try some out!

  7. Rebecca says:

    Very interesting findings. I must admit I was hoping for a better conclusion. Guess I’ll just keep trying until I find my “fit”

  8. Tessa says:

    Would love to win!

  9. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the great info! What a fun way to test out the needles.

  10. Denise says:

    I just discovered Bohin needles for embroidery. What a difference a good needle can make! Love the John James’ for quilting.

  11. Ellen says:

    Thanks! I have been wondering what needles I should upgrade to. Very helpful!

  12. Angela says:

    I still remember my first quilting class when the teacher gave me one of her needles — it was so tiny I could barely see it! Now I use them all the time (she swore by John James)

  13. Carole says:

    What a really great, useful, interesting post!

  14. Margaret says:

    This test was a new concept for me! I tend to use needles inherited from my mom’s stash, which means they’re old! Never thought about it. Thanks, ladies!

  15. ginny stevens says:

    I tend to like needles that are easier to thread and are longer rather than shorter for my purposes.

  16. kelly says:

    I’m still learning and would love to have a chance to try out different needles and see what works for me.

  17. Pat says:

    Appreciate the comparisons and the conclusion that personal preference is the ultimate determination. I’ve used all of those tested except the Tulip. I used to use Piecemakers all the time, but they have become difficult to find in my area so have been using John James Gold n’ Glide for the last couple of years. Would love to try other brands.

  18. Deb says:

    I too am looking for the a good fit in the needle department, especially for embroidery. Thanks so much for the great article and for the giveaway!

  19. Karen says:

    Great comparison, but Applique needles are indeed better designed for applique, quilting needles fo quilting, etc. So, testing them on all of those types of work seemed odd to me, and I would expect folks to be unhappy trying to quilt with an applique needle! I do like the Tulip sharps/sewing for piecing. And the John James used to be my favorite “betweens” for quilting, but Now I get mine from JLyle… his English imported size 11’s are fabulous! I also recommend the black gold Clovers for applique too… To each his or her own! I kept wondering if you gave them all a thimble? I could not imagine doing any sewing safely without one!

  20. Kaesmene says:

    So true! I have lots of different types and sizes of needles for different projects, although I gravitate towards smaller ones. My current favorites are the Roxanne sharps.

  21. Marty says:

    would love to find a needle these hands would be comfortable using -thanks for the opportunity

  22. Mara says:

    Would love to try the Tulips, I have some John James and they bend a lot I have to use a new one with each project ????

  23. LauraB says:

    It had never occurred to me that there were different kinds of hand sewing needles for different kinds of quilting purposes. So thank you for posting this. I would love to have some of those needles to try out.

  24. Brit says:

    Hi, A girl can never have enough needles and I would LOVE to win some more:-) Interesting to see the difference in comments and how they (maybe?) reflect the focus of each tester – ie most important that the needle is easy to thread etc.

  25. Heather says:

    Very interesting article. I have noticed that I often change needles depending on what I am specifically doing. I wondered if there was a perfect needle. I guess it really depends on the use. I like thin needles, but not when they bend. Thank you for the article. Your prizes are wonderful!

  26. Jeanell says:

    Perfect time for this give away. I have seven quilts to finish by hand and I never do that.

  27. Ginger says:

    i have never heard of tulip needles but now I want to try them.

  28. Elisabeth says:

    I am just getting back in to embroidery and applique and have been wondering what needles are best. While the “personal choice” conclusion doesn’t really help me decide, the tips above are helpful. Would be perfect to win and get to try ’em out for myself!

  29. Cricket says:

    I am a compulsive needle buyer – always looking for the right one, the best one, the one that doesn’t make me crazy! Most of my hand sewing is sashiko or some other sort of embroidery, and there is a fine line between a needle being too big (leaves a hole) and too small to thread easily. Plus, I like really long needles. Those betweens? Half the time I lose them right in the fabric! I think I would do better if I could remember to spthrow out the ones I hate so they don’t trick me into trying them again. Thanks for the article.

  30. Pauline says:

    I have not heard of some of these brands, so it would be interesting to give them a try. There is nothing more frustrating than needles that bend, or are difficult to thread. Thanks for the comparison and comments on each brand.

  31. MaryAnn says:

    I tend to like a medium length needle that is strong enough to not bend, that has a large enough eye so I can thread it with ease so I usually end ip using an embroidery needle for hand quilting. I have so many needle packages from trying suggestions made by other quilters. When I am comfortable sewing I have usually forgotten which package I pulled out my needle. Bohn and John James are my favorites.

  32. Sandy R. says:

    I would love to try the different needles..I am always buying another type to try and see if it works better than the last…

  33. Fran says:

    Enjoyed reading the needle test! I am a “threadie” and would really like to try all the different needles. I took a hand quilting class and used Richard Hemming & Son needles. I also have
    Bohin needles on hand.

  34. Fran says:

    What a great research endeavor ! Years ago I bought one of those expensive needles to quilt with
    ….I must not have been impressed because I lost track of it ! Now I use primarily John James &
    Bohin ( love the large eye…easy to thread ! ) Never tried a Tulip or a Tokyo ….would love to try !
    Thanks for a chance to win !…..but wine for me while testing !

  35. Bonnie Favorite says:

    This blog and contest come at the perfect time for me. I have spent the last 3 hours trying to find the best needle for me to use for hand quilting. The quilt I am working is to be a surprise gift for a very dear friend, and I want every aspect of the quilt – especially the hand quilting – to be as perfect as possible. I have been doing “practice sandwiches” all afternoon, but still just don’t feel as if I have found exactly the right needle for me to use, especially for an extended period of time. An added challenge in my case is that my thumb on my dominant (sewing) hand is shorter than average (and certainly shorter than the thumb on my other hand). So I have to grip whatever needle I use tighter and hold my hand at a bit of an off angle in order to be able to quilt. It is very tiring. Maybe with your assortment of needles, I could find one that would work better for me than what I have been using.

  36. Beth says:

    it would be so much fun to get to try some of the needles I’ve heard about and see if they really are special! I appreciate the article because it is something I have wondered about. Your conclusion totally makes sense. I would love to try for myself!

  37. Claire says:

    It seems that the older I get, the more I look for large-eyed needles! That’s really what is important to me at age 56.

  38. Susan says:

    I’ve always thought there were only a few different types of needles … Basic sewing needle (for sewing buttons on) … Darning needles …. Embroidery needles and just a very large needle, that I wouldn’t know what to use it for.

    I’m kinda new (well getting back to sewing since Home Ec) at sewing, so I never knew there was really that much of a difference.

    I guess I have a lot to learn . . .

  39. Phyllis says:

    It would be interesting to try other needles. I use John James for applique. Other then that I use what I have on hand.

  40. Lee in KS says:

    When the topic is sewing machine needles there is a lot of emphasis on using the right needle for the thread and fabric. I have not given much thought to hand sewing needles, so an assortment of new needles would be a good lesson for me. (My current needles are things I picked up over the years and the combination of old miscellaneous needles with aging fingers is probably not helping my sewing)

  41. Marlena says:

    I would love to try some of these myself.

  42. Cate Williams says:

    I think that I like John James the best, but that might just be the packaging. I also have a small pack of Japanese needles that I bought from Susan Khajali’s online shop which are pretty sweet in an insanely sharp way.

  43. Susan says:

    I’m still learning to see by hand. I can sew all day on my machine but when faced with even a small hand sewing project I struggle a bit. It would be nice to try different needles.

  44. leanne says:

    interesting results ! and I agree that what feels comfortable is the best needle ! thanks for the giveaway

  45. marie says:

    I yet need to find the best needle for handsewing cotton knits.

  46. Kim says:

    I use John James that I got at Lancaster quilt show probably 20 years ago and love them. I did just the other day, grab an old needle that was stuck in a pin cushion that I don’t use often…it was horrid…fat, odd feeling in my hand and got stuck all the time while sewing. I would love to try all the needle you are offering and the needle case is so cute!

  47. Michelle says:

    Needle in a haystack?
    I own five pincushions (six, if you count a tiny travel tomato) and though I have purchased countless needles over the last two decades, I consistently search for those one or two gold-eye needles (whose brands I’ve never known), oft misplaced and sorely contorted from overuse. After reading your reviews, I asked myself why those needles are my favorite; truth be told, it has little to do with sturdiness or length, and everything to do with versatility. When I take a small project on the road, it is ideal to have a needle I can use for multiple applications- including the occasional bead embellishment. A recent felt flower project required applique, embroidery, beading and even a bit of basic construction stitching (pillow form). However unorthodox my methods may seem, I was able to complete the project using one needle. In my (needle) book, THAT’s a great needle!

  48. Peggy Tucker says:

    I have yet to find the right needle for me. Would like to try yours out

  49. Sheetal says:

    Thank you for this survey! I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect needle for hand sewing for ages! I’d love to getting a set and try them all out!

  50. Nancy Lee says:

    I’d love to try these needles. It’s hard to commit to buying a whole set of them when you’re not sure if they fit your needs. Thanks for the giveaway!

  51. Lauren says:

    I am just about to replenish my needle supply and would love the chance to try some different needles.

  52. Jennifer Essad says:

    neat comparison, I’d love to try the Tulip and the Tokyo needles, thanks for sharing

  53. Sue singer says:

    I can’t imagine paying $9.00’for 6 needles. I would love to try out the expensive. Endless and see if they are worth it.

  54. Nicole H. says:

    I would love to find a favorite needle – my mom told me I needed new ones last time she visited – one of mine broke while she was using it!

  55. Christi Pike says:

    Oh my…this is a dream come true! I love needles.

  56. Diane says:

    I am using 20 year old needles and really have not thought about them. I feel silly because I am very careful about sewing machine needles.

  57. Vicki B says:

    Needles are a mystery to me. I never know when I need to change the needle in my machine,

  58. Betty says:

    Loved the article. Recently purchased some Roxanne needles, but have not used enough to have an honest opinion. I have heard straw needles are wonderful. I would just love to test these needles. It would be such an honor to try them. Thanks for the opportunity. Hope to get to try these.b I am a new (old) quilter and am very interested in needles. Would love to see a study on machine needles. Thank you.

  59. I have yet to find the perfect needle for doing bindings. I’ll find some that go through fabric smoothly but then are too short, or too stiff etc. Maybe I’ll find the perfect one for me in the giveaway!

  60. LIvingFabric says:

    This was very interesting. I have to admit I buy my hand sewing needles at the dollar store although I have found I like some better than others. Will you do a similar day with sewing machine needles?

  61. Sheila S says:

    I love hand sewing. It is so relaxing! I’ve never tried any specialty needles. It would be fun to try the different ones. I still have one needle from yesteryear that I still use. I can’t believe it’s still good! Thank you for doing this test! Now, I’ll have to try some new ones. (What a fun way to test out the different needles!)

  62. Sheryl Miller says:

    I would love to try some different needles. There are not many different types available where I live. Thanks for opportunity to win some.

  63. Kat says:

    I find that I like some needles better then others and really the size of thread or ribbon or whatever I’m using makes a lot of difference.

  64. Dana C says:

    Very interesting, I would love to try this out myself. Some of these needles I have never heard of. An automatic hand needle threader that really works would also be great.

  65. Winnie says:

    I just began seeing again after about a 35 year hiatus. I never felt like I knew enough about needles to make an informed choice, so I just randomly grab something and use it. Your methodical approach appeals to me and I would love to figure this out for myself and compare my experience with that of your testers.
    P s does the giveaway include the beer as well??? ????

  66. Marlene says:

    My Tuesday group has had this discussion. We have a talented hand quilter in the group who is fond of the Clover Black Gold size 12. Others in our group lean more to what ever needle is nearby is what I use. So having an opportunity to stitch with your selection would be a fun and useful trial for our group of ladies.

  67. Michelle Holloway says:

    I just grab what is in my supply drawer and they are old as Methuselah. Maybe I need to try some new ones

  68. Evelene Sterling says:

    I am fond of embroidery needles for everything, but I never have really tried and tested others. Thanks for a chance to win.

  69. Dorothy says:

    I’m not sure what brand I currently have , I’ve had them so long. Time to try some new needles. Thanks for the chance to win.

  70. Pat says:

    I am a Tulip convert. Received them as a christmas gift. They are great.

  71. Melanie E says:

    I am intrigued by the results. I have found some brands that work well, but am always looking for a needle that is “the one”. Will be looking into 2 of the brands mentioned, as I have never tried their products before.

  72. Kaye M. says:

    It’s amazing how some needles glide through fabric more easily than others. The older I get, the more I appreciate having a large-eyed needle!

  73. Charlie says:

    I’e had my best results with Roxanne branded needles, #10 sharps. I don’t know which company actually makes them (I’m sure that “Roxanne” doesn’t have a needle factory in her basement), but they’re consistently smooth, sharp (at the correct end), strong, and feel great to use. I hand sew doll clothes and do fine embroidery, and these quoting dept needles do both well.

  74. Kelly Paquet says:

    I have sewn ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, using hand needles and my great grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. I always seem to lean toward certain needles in my stash but never thought too much about why. This is very interesting, and especially to learn that it all comes down to what feels right for each of us! Thank you for the opportunity to win some of those needles to try out for myself! You have a super blog.

  75. I am always wondering if there is a better needle out there, would love the chance to test these 🙂

  76. Nikki Pacheco Theard says:

    I have to admit that my supply and knowledge regarding needles is not as sharp as it could be. I generally grab a suitable looking needle from my sewing tomato pincushion and dash off to sewing my project. This needle comparison is a great idea, and one that I’ll keep in mind. I really should purchase a few more needle supply options. Thanks for the great story and giveaway!

  77. Fran Bott says:

    What a cool review. I have often wondered about all the different needles. I have not had to buy any, due to having so many vintage needles on hand, but looks like I may try a few new ones out. Thanks.

  78. Kathy says:

    I’ve often wondered about the differences. Thanks so much for the interesting overview/comparison. kathleendotlutzatcomcastdotnet

  79. Karen says:

    I don’t think I’ve heard of tulip brand needles before this. I find myself struggling to find a good needle for binding so this comparison is fantastic to see! Thank you for the chance!

  80. Suzanne says:

    As a life-long sewer, loving embroidery, and more recent quilter I embarrassed to say that I never considered different brands of hand-sewing needles. I have bought what I’ve bought and thrown the ones away that I hate. I’d love to try a variety to see what my preference would be….I’m guessing longer, without a sharp butt but who knows.

  81. Stylememary says:

    I love the Clover black gold appliqué needles, but would love to do a road test night like this–even on my own. Having a needle I love really makes it hard for me to put down my hand sewing.

  82. Alexis says:

    I’d worry that the worst needles would start to look better after the second beer. 😉

  83. Donna D says:

    I am always learning something new on this site! Looking forward to reading the opinions of the winners and hopefully trying the needles out for myself!

  84. Jan Richards says:

    What a fun way to try out needles. Thanks for a chance to win some

  85. Jessica says:

    What a fun comparison! would love to try for myself!

  86. Becky says:

    So interesting. I’ve never really thought about which needle to use, but while reading I did realize that I am constantly looking through my supply for a specific needle. I have piles that I never use, too short, eye too small, etc., and I’ve never discarded them. Now I want to run out to the closest fabric store and actually study the needles and pick up ones I know I’ll use.

  87. DeborahGun says:

    Fascinating! In the end personal choice is what matters!

  88. Ellee says:

    I’ve always used whatever needles I had never imagining there could be differences among brands, so I’d welcome the opportunity to test and compare.

  89. Sunshiine says:

    I hand sew all the time and would love to test some needles. I am currently looking for a great embroidery needle that is somewhat thin, sharp, short, large eye, but won’t bend. Thank you for such great contest and articles. Have a splendorous day!

  90. LJ says:

    This was really interesting. What a great place (pub) to stage a ‘testing’! 🙂 I am always struggling to find the right needle. Have you heard that some people discard their needle after completing a project? I’ve had some of mine for years – yikes! Probably time to replace them with some new ones.

  91. dianna eickhorn says:

    I love needle talk! Have accumulated a nice size pile myself, but, I don’t seem to have any of yours.

  92. Barbara says:

    I loved reading this. I fell in love with Colonial Milliner’s Needles many years ago when I was a student in fashion school. I bought so many packs of them back then that I’ve been using up my supply ever since. It’s almost 25 years later, and I am on my last pack. They are harder to thread now since the eye is so small. I’d love to get a sampling of what else is out there now, so thanks for the chance to win.

  93. ANNEMARIE says:

    I am on the hunt for some new needles, I don’t have a favorite yet, but it has to be sharp and strong, Love to try a bunch to get a feel for the differences.

  94. Vivella says:

    I never worried about what type of needle I used, I’ll have to rethink this stance.

  95. Lori Miller says:

    Would love to try the needles for applique, quilting and sewing. Maybe I can find a new favorite!

  96. Judy says:

    I sometimes just grab the nearest needle but if the designer of a project recommends a certain needle I try to use it if I can. I am using Bohin needles on my current project and finding that I like them very much. It definitely would be great to win a package of differrent brand needles to really find out what works best for me.

  97. Heather J says:

    So true that needles are a personal preference and quality matters. Loved the concept of blind test trials in a pub!

  98. Julie says:

    I started making doll clothes when I was eight. In all this time I’ve never really taken the time to learn about the importance of using the right needle. Thank you so much for enlightening all of us sewing enthusiasts. Even at my age there is still much to learn!

  99. Brie says:

    If I look in my draw I have 4-5 different types of needles. Some of these I haven’t tried and I’m interested to give them a go. From the ones I have tried my favourites are Clover Black-Gold #9’s for appliqué/hexies etc they are thin and very sharp so be careful also I broke quite a few by bending them too much oops! My other favourites are just your basic DMC embroidery needles for binding and quilting as these are much longer/thicker and generally more sturdy.

  100. Cindi says:

    I love trying new needles. I use several different needle depending on what I am stitching! Thanks for a chance to win these!

  101. Cindi says:

    I do a lot of hand stitching. Bindings, wool applique and cross stitching. In 1998, I found Foxglove Cottage needles in a quilt shop. I was amazed what a difference a quality English needle made! Since then, I do buy & try different ones because it depends on what I’m stitching. Currently I am trying out several types of Tulip needles, I love that they are hand polished and come in so many types. Thanks for a chance to win, I love researching needles!

  102. Anita says:

    Still looking for the perfect needle. I enjoy hand sewing, but think I’d like it even more if I could find a needle that was just the right length, sharp (but not at the end) and with an eye that was easy to thread. Thanks for this article.

  103. Ellen K says:

    I tend to just sew bindings, etc. with what I have on hand. But my new interest in hexies, and wool applique has made me wonder what the best needle for each specific type of project.

  104. Barbara P. says:

    I would love to try out all kinds of different needles and LOVE those little needle books.

  105. Donnell says:

    this is a great post. I teach a sewing elective three days a week to 1st – 3rd graders at the school where I also teach. We have been looking for a good needle that doesn’t require that I spend most of my time threading needles but is still sharp enough for the kiddos to sew with without too much pressure. I’m going to look into some of these.

  106. Jeannine Polaski says:

    Was hoping for a definitive answer but will just have to give these a try. Interesting article!

  107. Sandy says:

    I never know what needles to buy. I end up bending most of them so I figure I’m not buying the right kind. It’s so confusing. Thanks for this article!

  108. Margie says:

    Thanks for the chance to try some new needles. I don’t have a favourite brand, it’s all about the length for me in my big hands.

  109. Judy M. says:

    I agree that needles used by people are a personal choice. I have plenty that work fine and the brand name is not always my preference. You can try quite a few before you find the ones you like.

  110. Michaela says:

    I kind of hate hand sewing. I’m guessing it’s bevsuse I’m using cheap awful needles!

  111. elsa says:

    My favorite needle for just about anything is a size 10 milliner needle.
    It’s a bit longer and has a smooth glide into the fabric. Not so good for
    applique but I still use it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  112. I have used both John James and Clover needles but never the other tow brands. I really appreciated the comments about threading them as I am finding that many needles and my eye sight don’t match very well these days.
    The ones that I have found that work for me are ones bought on special at a market, made in France the Bohin needle works for me and as it was commented in the article, what it says on the packaging is not always the best or only use of that needle

  113. Mary says:

    Thank you for this great information! The only hand sewing I do is the hand stitching of quilt binding. It is getting harder and harder to thread those needles, though! I will be getting some of the ones that have the bigger eyes.

  114. Kristi says:

    i have mainly used dritz needles because they are readily available to me but would love the opportunity to try out some different kinds. What a fun experiment, bet it was a great time!

  115. Jan says:

    I’ve never actually bought ‘new’ needles. Mine have all come from estate and garage sales. It would be fun to see the differences! Thanks for the opportunity!

  116. Rachel B says:

    love to try out. I have a variety here too cuz you don’t get samples usually. You should do a thimble test too.

  117. Ashley says:

    Just getting into epp, and was at my LQS yesterday asking about needles and got thoroughly confused.
    I’m not naturally a huge fan of hand sewing, so I want it to be as smooth as possible for me.
    Sounds like I’m going to have to try out a few options to determine what’s best for me.
    Thanks for the info and would love the chance to test out some different types.

  118. Libby says:

    This makes me think I could be a little pickier! Thanks!

  119. Cynthia I says:

    How fun to try these together. I don’t hand sew a whole lot but when I do I grab whichever is handy and threaded! Not always well suited for the project! I’m starting to do more embroidery and need to try some different needles and find one that works well for me!

  120. Darcidarc says:

    Thanks for conduction this experiment! I use a lot of vintage needle, because that is what I have. I’ve always felt like I was missing out by not using this one or that one. It’s interesting that there was no clear winner.

  121. Susan Ikin says:

    It would seem that I need to try some new needles too. I have an old favourite that I use for everything, and it is probably getting blunt. I have yet to try hand quilting, but do embroider and applique. I bought a needle threader on sale, so should be able to handle those small eyes. I have found that I don’t like big, thick needles though.

  122. Lori C says:

    I do a lot of hand sewing, but I’ve never really thought that much about needles… Seems strange, now that I think about it. I usually try to get the best supplies I can afford, but have historically bought whatever needles were available… This makes me really want to do a side-by-side comparison, now… Such a good idea…

  123. Andrea says:

    I’ve never paid much attention to the qualities of different needles, but I will now! I’d love to have the sample collection to try.

  124. Lisa Price says:

    This was a very interesting topic for me. I have been on a hunt for the perfect needle. I have tried a lot of different brands and I kept hearing/reading about Bohin needles. I finally purchased some and found them to be only okay. I seem to keep going back to John James, but I have never tried Tulip. So I guess that will be my next needle purchase!

  125. Lisa Marazzo says:

    hmmm, maybe this is why I don’t get along with hand sewing. Could it be the needles I use? – a.k.a. ‘whatever I can find at the back of the drawer’ lol

  126. JD Brown says:

    i inherited tons of sewing supplies from my mom so i’ve never actually bought a new set of needles. i’d love a chance to “taste test” so many different kids before buying!

  127. Laura says:

    I’ve misplaced my favorite set of needles for hand stitching and could scream. I would LOVE to try out some new needles so thanks for the opportunity!

  128. Merrilee says:

    What fun! I love “blinded” tests- honey, cheese, etc, but have never thought about trying it with needles! Great topic.

  129. Suzanne says:

    thanks for the comparison. I appreciate the research and the exposure to more brands than I knew about.

  130. Kelly P says:

    I haven’t really thought about needles before — I usually just grab whatever’s closest and make it work. This post makes me think I need to rethink that strategy though!

  131. Joen says:

    What fun! sitting around the pub hand sewing. I love hand sewing its very relaxing.

  132. Kristel says:

    My most favourite needles are all Bohin ones, though I tend to use them for heavier crewel embroidery and haven’t used their smaller needles as much. Strong, sharp, smooth and just excellent all around.

  133. Rachel says:

    I’ve found vintage needles to be the best for strength! (No crescent moons!) I always do a little happy dance when I find vintage paper needle envelopes full of needles at thrift stores:)

  134. Kay Mc says:

    I’m always looking for the perfect needle, one that’s not too big or little & has a large eye for easy threading. This gives me some ideas for ones to try.

  135. Corky says:

    Thanks so much for the info, although the conclusion was pretty much what I had decided. I won’t purchase the ones with the ‘sharp butt’. Who likes to be poked by a needle??

  136. I’d love to try them out – if there’s one that makes hand sewing easier for me, it would be great news! My hands cramp easily and I’ve about given up on hand work.

  137. Deb G. says:

    A friend is teaching me to hand applique and she is set on using straw needles, #11. I cannot thread these tiny needles, nor do I care for the way they bend. I’ve tried out a lot of different needles in the past month, and I really like Richard Hemming & Son Size 10 Milliners for this new process I am learning.

  138. Cinnamom says:

    Apparently i cheap out when it comes to sewing needles. I do a little better with my embroidery ones. i have lots of old ones that i think are quite dull.

  139. Rhonda says:

    I would love a chance to try out all these different needles. I’ve done some hand quilting, and appliqué and have had trouble with finding good needles for both of them. My quilting needles always broke. And my appliqué needles seems to fat and aucward for the job I was doing. This would be a great way to figure out the best needle for the job at hand. Thank you.

  140. Emma says:

    All my handsewing needles are hand-me-downs from Ma and I don’t know anything about what kind they are. The needles with the big eyes are for embroidery and the small eyes are for regular hand sewing. It would be awesome to try out different needles though 🙂

  141. Mel J. says:

    Been using some vintage needles from Grandma’s stash – good to hear about the brands available now, would love to try some out 🙂

  142. Jennifer says:

    This is very informative. I like small needles but threading them can be quite difficult! Maybe I will try a different brand for a smoother “slide”

  143. Linda says:

    I have just spend a long time looking for the needle trial with no luck and did not find the cute little needle book either.

  144. Brenda Melahn says:

    Would love to test these needles because mine are in a plastic case all mixed up so I rarely know what type or size I’m using. I can spot my “quilting needles” and the larger upholestery or heavy weight fabric needles, but the applique, embroidering, regular sewing (hexies, etc.) no idea — it’s just guess, guess, guess. Great test – loved this article!

  145. Mary Lou says:

    I’m fairly new to quilting and have been trying various needles to find that perfect fit. Loved your study – thanks for sharing.!

  146. Mary Furber says:

    Very interesting. I probably have packs of several different needles and could try this at home. I know I don’t like needles that bend, and I find a small eye really hard to thread. Thanks for the give away.

  147. Michele says:

    About a year ago I started quilting which led me to upgrade sewing tools. I found the John James needles and love them. The comparison with some of the decades old and dull needles I was hanging on to was an eye opener. Also like the Clover needles with side threading eye for burying threads while machine quilting.

  148. Sherry B. says:

    First, what a great idea – try stitching with different needles to find what works is something I definitely need to do.

    I recently ventured into hand-quilting, and I was perplexed that which was the best needle for the work. Nope, it was not the time to be testing needles, but I had to find what worked for me. Only problem was that I didn’t keep notes on particular needles. I do have a variety of needles that I use – from blunt points for running in tails on my crochet, to hand-stitching clothing repairs for the grandkids, to hand-piecing quilt blocks.

    It would be great to try some different types of needles without having a large expense to buy them all, and then find out you don’t like particular ones. I think having an opportunity to try out the ones you referenced would be fun.

    Thanks for the needle insight!

  149. Michele says:

    For years I used whatever needle I spotted first in my sewing box – many decades old. About a year ago I started quilting, and started thinking more about upgrading my sewing tools. Tried the John James needles, and I do like them, although tiny eyes are hard to thread. Getting old stinks! Found the Clover needles with the side opening for burying threads while machine quilting and love those. Obviously there are a lot more out there to try. Thanks for this piece.

  150. Barbara Carr says:

    I’ve gotten away from a lot of hand sewing because I haven’t been able to find ‘my’ needle. This is a reminder to go out there and keep trying! I have larger, thicker hands, so I may need to look at the longer needles.

  151. Kate says:

    Current obsessed with the Richard Hemming & Son #11 Milliners. Using it with Superior Bottom Line thread for EPP and just used this needle to bind a quilt made of old jeans I saved from my boys when they were little to give to my baby who is now 21! Would love to try other needles.

  152. Cindy says:

    I have a lot of hand needles. I like to be able to thread them without too much difficulty, and it seems like so many times the one easiest to thread drag going through the fabric.

  153. Lori says:

    Would love to try these out. My needles vary with what I am sewing.

  154. Becky says:

    I am sure my heritage hand sewing class I meet with weekly would love to try different needles. This is a subject we discuss often. I would love to experiment as well especially with the hand applique needles.

  155. Cheri Barker says:

    Great study, I haven’t done hand sewing in years, and am just now getting back to it. I’m struggling to find a needle I can thread and feels comfortable in my hand…can’t seem to find both. Hopefully with your comments I can narrow my search.

  156. Glenna says:

    i would love to do a needle comparison. I have a hard time finding the right needle for different projects.

  157. kriswithmany says:

    I’very always grabbed the cheap ones, and just looked for the length, eye, and thickness I want for a project. I’m skeptical on whether I’d notice enough of a difference to justify the cost, but I’ll try it sometime.

  158. Nancy B says:

    This is a very interesting article. I never know which needles to purchase. I would love to win this giveaway to have the opportunity to try all these different brands.

  159. Karen A says:

    I have a great selection of older needles and I simply pick one that works. Never seem to have major problems but there are some that make my stitching easier.

  160. AryaForel says:

    Great post girls!!! For these needles I only knew Clover, in the shops I never see those others. I used differents, but I still love the needles that used my mother. The needles specials for patchwork, appliqué or quilting usually end up warping.
    I’d like the possibility to use these ones.

  161. Susan says:

    My needle preference changes depending on whether I’m appliqueing, embroidering, hand quilting, or doing wool work. The right needle makes all the difference.

  162. Wendy says:

    I have been using some needles I got in a vintage sewing box at an auction and they work great! But I am running out and was wondering what modern needles would perform as well so thanks for the post it has given me food for thought!

  163. Brenda Mackinnon says:

    I loved the study. Always looking for that elusive ” best fit” needle. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  164. Terry says:

    I would love to try all the needles. So far my favorite needles to use are Bohin sz 10 Betweens/Big Eye!

  165. Honey says:

    I found this so interesting, I still use some needles I was given at a Safeway grand opening…I forget how long ago. Apparently, I needed this education and definitely need some new needles. Thanks especially for the insight on eye size and threading ease.

  166. Jenny Brooks says:

    this is interesting, I would love to try my own test!

    Jenny in Florida

  167. sue says:

    For hand applique I like John James #10 milliners and Aurifil 50 weight thread. So smooth to use but a mighty tiny eye and that’s why the 50 wt. thread. It would be lovely to try an assortment of needles! Thanks for the opportunity.

  168. Kris P says:

    Thank you for this post. I found it particularly interesting. Earlier this year, I began teaching English Paper Piecing at my LQS, and was amazed how difficult it is to recommend a needle to my students. When I started EPP 3 years ago, I used whatever was in my pin cushion, likely needles inherited from my great aunt, when I received her sewing chest. As they became dull, I went in search of new needles and found it difficult to find just the right needle. I have large hands, so needles that are too short tend to give me cramps in my hands. Needles with too large an eye, are the worst, since I don’t get much stitching done when I have to rethread my needle with every stitch. With too long of needles, I poke my thumb too often.

  169. Leslie says:

    I do a lot of hand sewing and embroidery and would love to try out some different needles. Thanks for the opportunity!

  170. Would love to try the tulip but my fave to use is John James.

  171. Donna says:

    I would love to try your needles. I seem to always be chasing a better needle. I hand applique and had quilt . I also have a Hexie project going . Hand work is relaxing if you find the right needle and thread.

  172. Michele says:

    This is so timely! A friend recently asked which needle I use for hexies and I had no idea! Whatever is at hand! I’d love to try these out.

  173. Sally says:

    I’m always on the quest for the perfect needle! I’ve gone through John James and Clover Gold Eye phases. Would love to do the test myself! Thanks for the chance to win!

  174. erikam says:

    I’d love to try out some needles!

  175. Amanda says:

    i have been wanting to try more hand quilting and was wondering about needles. Thanks for the info!

  176. SandyK Willmott says:

    Always wondered about different needles, but never could try them all in as many different techniques. Thank you for doing this! Would love to use the different brands for myself! Thanks!

  177. Theresa M. says:

    What a great idea to test out needles! One would think there wouldn’t be much difference. Thanks for the great article! Would love to win the needles!

  178. Peggy Jebavy says:

    I’ve been using Straw needles #11 for years. They bend a little and I mostly have to use a threader but they are very sharp and glide very smoothly. I try to buy them at quilt shows or when I find them at a quilt shop. They last a long time, though. I like that they are longer and easier for me to hang on to. I’ve tried short needles and wasn’t happy with them. I usually do applique or binding by hand…not much else.

    It would be fun to try some other brands.

  179. Linda W. says:

    Thanks so much for this try-out of major brand needles. No surprise that the results showed a personal choice. Also that what we like best for piecing might not be best for binding or applique. I’d love to see more posts like this!

  180. db says:

    The most important part of this “test” was the companionship of friends. Testing needles was an bonus. Having used many brands others recommended for hand stitching your conclusion was as I expected. Needles are a personal preference and depend on the project! Great job!!

  181. Kim says:

    I’ve noticed the sewing needles that I purchased at a local chain store in the last couple of years seem to be coated with a shiny silver plastic? I purchased a pack tried one and put it away, the second time I figured out they are all like this, at this store now. I have held on to my old needles, which are a dull silver, that are real metal and they always worked well. I have looked into getting a red tomato pin cushion because they sharpen the needles but I would instead like to purchase new needles like my old ones. It’s sad because I sew a lot and some of my old needles are curved from so much use.

  182. Margot says:

    I’d been thinking that it would be a good idea to somehow keep track of which needles I preferred. When I start a new needle I have good intentions but somehow all my pins end up together and I can’t tell one kind from another. I had been thinking of a needlebook but couldn’t figure out how to mark the different needles. Your sample made me realize I could just keep a note with the descriptions. Thanks for the chance to win.

  183. Maureen Reite says:

    That Isis interesting. I thought that might be the outcome, as I have sometimes tried a needle that a friend liked and I did not. Winning a set would be fun, thanks for the chance to do so.

  184. Lindsay says:

    I just hate when I am hand quilting and the needle snaps on me! I would love to win these!!! Thanks for the chance!

  185. charlotte m. says:

    I am always on the lookout for good needles. I have tried a couple of these. I need ease of threading and a sharp, smooth needle. Thanks for the info and a chance to win some.

  186. Michele says:

    I’m not all that fussy about needles – except for the ones that are so thin they almost immediately bend!

  187. Charald Comeau says:

    i have tried a few but have not found “the one” that works best. Thanks for a chance to win.

  188. Rhonda Laws says:

    ive often wondered which needle to buy but never taken the time to test for The One. Thanks.

  189. Yasmin Yadi says:

    I was hand quilting a lap top at my sewing group last week and a fellow sewer could see I was struggling with sewing more then one stitch at a time and suggested I try a different needle. She offered me a small Golden Eye as she struggles to thread these and it was glorious to quilt with. It went through all 3 layers so easily and i could do 4/5 stitches each time.

  190. Umaesew says:

    Perfect place for a trial – nice and relaxed. So much choice in needles. It’s just a case of finding one that you are comfortable with!

  191. Sandy Ross says:

    Interesting experiment.I have wondered if there really was a difference that made more expensive needles worth the cost. I wonder about sewing machine needles too

  192. Lisa says:

    It’s funny — I do so much hand-sewing, you’d think I’d pay more attention to my needles than I do. I’m not sure which pricier ones I prefer, but I do know that most of the cheap ones are not worth it!

  193. I do need needle because I only have one I like and I don’t know what brand it is. Thank you

  194. Lucy says:

    I couldn’t tell you what brand I have now in my pin cushion…makes me wish I had kept track of which ones are which because I do have favorites, just no idea where they came from. It would be great to get to try a sample book, thanks for the chance!

  195. Holly Marsh says:

    I looove using Tulip needles, but yes, they have teeny tiny eyes that I don’t think are super easy to thread.

    I would love to try out other brands (and Teresa did an amazing job on those needle books!).

  196. HeatherK says:

    Interesting comparison. I always choose my needles based on the size of the eye and how sharp they are. I like shorter needless that encourage smaller handstitches.

  197. Lace Faerie says:

    Very interesting results. I have often thought about side by side testing, sounds like it was a fun project with friends!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  198. Cristine says:

    i’m often guilty of grabbing the first needle I see and then having a terrible time using them. Maybe it’s time I get myself a nice new pack of needles.

  199. Marcia R says:

    Fun post! If I win i promise to take the needles to a pub and give them a spin!

  200. Ali says:

    Great post! I love hearing the opinions of other hand sewers. I am working on hand quilting tonight using some Clover gold-eye betweens and they’re quite nice. Thanks again!

  201. Mickie says:

    I’d love to try! I mostly use John James sharps and embroidery needles for he is and hand quilting. I need a longer needle and bigger eye because I hate the tiny short ones and I quilt with perle cotton!

  202. Mary says:

    A night out at the bar, sewing. Sounds like fun. Call me next time and I will drive up and join the fun.

  203. Linda Fleming says:

    I have a favorite needle I use for sewing on binding – it’s not too long, not too short and just fine enough – but I don’t know the make.

  204. Karen Rhodes says:

    Sounds like a fun experiment. I guess needles are a personal choice. I’m glad we have a great selection of sewing supplies available. I enjoy your blog daily… so many great patterns/tutorials.

  205. Diane says:

    Interesting! Would love to try them out. Thanks!

  206. Beezus says:

    i learned my lesson about cheaper needles (you get what you pay for), but I’ve rarely had problems with good needles. Well, except for the eyes … As I get older, it gets harder for me to see to thread a needle without my glasses. I’ve started using silk thread for many of my hand-stitching projects, and that has helped me more than anything.

  207. Nancy says:

    I don’t even know what brand of needles I have in my kit… I’m just starting to get into embroidery, so I guess I ought to pay more attention! But I will say that I have chubby fingers, so I do prefer a longer needle.

  208. Ybat says:

    I have been using the same hand needles for a long time and haven’t given much thought to how good they worked but after reading this article I think I will give a more expensive needle a try.

  209. It looks like you guys had a blast trying these out too! I have wondered about this for a while. I just use any old needle I have lying around – ha! Thanks for the chance to win!

  210. Melissa says:

    What a great idea! I need to buy a good pack of needles for EPP. The one I’m currently using are sharp on the wrong end and bend really easily. I’m never sure which needles to buy so I would love a chance to try some out. Thanks for the chance to win!

  211. Susan says:

    Alls I know is, Dritz sucks! I’ve been doing some hand sewing and embroidering and teaching my kids (I’m so tickled they are interested in learning), and the cheap needles bend too easily. John James are okay, and I have yet to venture to other brands. As crafting supplies go, needles aren’t terribly expensive, so I’m willing to keep experimenting 😉

  212. Quinn says:

    I’m still using needles from packets that were in my mother’s sewing table when I was little…I wonder if they were from my grandmother’s sewing basket originally! After reading your article, I’d love to try a variety of needles and see if I have a preference.

  213. Keicia says:

    I’ve never paid attention to the brand. I got my first needles from my mom. Others I’ve picked up at the store; I just never got any that were very expensive.

  214. Cassie says:

    I go back and forth between Tulip betweens and John James… Gotta say I love Tulip the most!

  215. Lynda says:

    I’m a hand-sewing beginner and baffled by all of the needle sizes and types. I’d love to with the sampler so I could try them out!

  216. Kelly says:

    I think I need to think twice about dollar tree needles. ????

  217. Vania says:

    I would love to try this for myself. Great chance, thanks! For me, the thing that matters is the size. I prefer longer needles even though I have small hands.

  218. Lynne says:

    Interesting article! I am a hand quilter and have used several of the needles you tested; John James and Clover. I am also fond of Roxanne needles. Of course, the needle used varies depending on the fabrics and batting!

  219. Ann Dilcher says:

    Was just thinking about this topic. And wondering what people use for binding v. Hand quilting v quilting with thicker floss.

  220. Ellen M. says:

    I tend to use whatever needle is lying around the house, so I would love to try better needles that are meant for the job. Thanks for sharing your test results with us!

  221. Tammie says:

    I have wondered about the differences between brands. Thanks

  222. Kate Yates says:

    Interesting test! I don’t mind my dritz needles for binding and hand piecing, but I still have not found a quilting needle that I like! I should keep trying until I find one I like, thanks for the tips!

  223. --anu says:

    I recently weeded out all the not-so-smooth action needles. Right now I favour Bohin needles that are made in France. The tip is well tapered and the blunt end is blunt enough not to hurt but yet not too thick that it still passes the fabric. And to think I randomly picked them up at a small sewing store. Clover is my least favourite, I’ve actually had one snap in half mid-sewing.

  224. BarbaraP says:

    As a new sewer I am quite often befuddled by the vast array of tools available and, especially needles, so your post today was very welcome. Just knowing which needles you chose to test helps considerably.

    Thank you.

  225. LJ Burns says:

    This was an interesting comparison. I have heard that the Tulip needles are nice, but the smaller eye is a worry. Lots of sizes available so that’s a bonus. I will have to try them. The John James I like as well as the Clover. I do hexies as well as binding and applique–that’s a wide range for one needle to excel at.

    Lynda in Spokane

  226. Deb K says:

    I’d love to try this out, I have been trying to find some good, thin sewing needles. The package I bought recently is way too wide for my tastes, and I’ve had a devil of a time finding new.

  227. Kathy Nicholas says:

    i would love to try some of these needles! Love Fabric Depot in Portland!

  228. Robin says:

    I’ve usually used clover but I hear really good things about tulip and I would love to try them!

  229. Sandra Dodge says:

    Very interesting. So much of our quilting craft is personal preference. Making it more of a unique experience and product. I love it. ????????

  230. Robyn Rae says:

    It would be great to get the chance to try these needles, shame you can’t include the drinks and nibbles they looked good too ! lol

  231. Robin Whiting says:

    I couldn’t agree more that the best needle and that applies to sew many things is the one that works best for you. It can get expensive to find that best one but we keep plugging along with the hobbies that make us happy. Thanks for this article I found it informative.

  232. Jeanne Lelly says:

    I agree! I think a lot depends on the comfort of the needle in your own hand. I have fairly large hands and prefer longer needles. I have a hard te grasping the really small ones.

  233. Susan says:

    I did not realize there were that many brands. I like to try different needles but tend to use the same ones I have, Might be time for new sharp ones.

  234. Trish says:

    i am still trying to find the correct needle and thread for hand quilting.. I use gutermann right now for my thread. I ordered some aurifil but it is very expensive thread. Let me know what the concensus ends up being for hand quilting!

  235. Sue says:

    I would love to try some new needles. I have never heard of some of the brands.
    My needles are all “inherited” from my mother! I can’t even tell you what brand they may be.

  236. Karen L says:

    Oh boy do I need some good needles! Thanks for the opportunity.

  237. I’m just about to give hand sewing a shot and found this interesting!

  238. Amy says:

    Oh my! A group of gals that got together to test sewing needles? I want to hang out with that group. 😉


  239. RuthWW says:

    Yes, I would like to give them all a try. I am not a connoisseur of needles per,se, but would love to feel the difference.

  240. Carol Murphy says:

    liked seeing the ones that got hung up in the fabric thanks for sharing the findings

  241. Jan N. says:

    Great experiment. I would love to try several different brands of needles to find out which would be my favorite.

  242. Sandi says:

    I agree that to each their own is best when it comes to needles. I have larger hands and rheumatoid arthritis so shorter needles don’t work for me. I like a long needle but surprisingly a small diametr. I’d love to have the chance to try out some different needles. Thanks for the chance to do that.

  243. karen says:

    What a neat project. I assumed it would be hard to get consensus on the “best” and I was right. I would love to try them all out. Thus far, I have not really paid attention to the needles I use – I just pick one out of my pin cushion and get going. Maybe I should be a little more scientific about it! I do however love “cheater” needles, because threading them is SO much better.

  244. Marilee Herman says:

    I love shorter needles for hand crafts and longer needles for hand applique to manipulate the fabric more readily. What a fun giveaway!

  245. Kathleen D says:

    What a lovely opportunity to try out some different needles! Ideally, I’d like to be able to see the eye of a needle to thread it and yet, I don’t want the eye to resist going through the fabric. I also don’t want the needle too short to handle…

  246. Susan says:

    I think that I am a little confused by needles. I know that milliners are good for applique and I know about betweens for quilting. Aside from those and embroidery needles, I am not sure what I should use for binding and other small tasks. I think that this article makes it clear that whatever works for ME is the right choice!

  247. Seems like the adages “you get what you pay for” and “to each his/her own” were well proved by this test. Thanks for the neat giveaway!

  248. kim says:

    I do not know much about needles, would love to though. I recently purchased some by Bohin, looking forward to trying them. Thread would be another lesson as well……

  249. Holly S says:

    Man, I would love to see in a pub!! I haven’t actually given a lot of thought to my needles other than for cross stitching, but I think it’s time to experiment! Would LOVE those a adorable cases!

  250. emily furlong says:

    I have often wondered about this and would live to sample them all. I’m a hand stitcher. (I was going to say “sewer” but realized that is the water waste disposal system under the street!) Anyway, I sew every day for relaxation and occasionally make a little money from it! Would love to give all these needles a test run!

  251. Mary says:

    Ive used John James 9’s for hand quilting the past six years and many others before that. Would be interesting to compare.

  252. I usually use Bohin or John James needles. I like the longer length it is easier on my hands. Needles bending seems to be expected, they all seem to give under pressure. I guess that is sign the needle is not really working as you are having to put so much pressure on it. I have lots of needles that were my grandmother’s. I took apart her tomato pincushion not long ago and found nearly 100 needles inside. Most were rusted and unuable but it was fun digging through the sawdust stuffing looking for them.

  253. Sue says:

    I am only familiar with Dritz and Clover. It was interesting to read about the other needles. Thank you!

  254. Emily Johnson says:

    Wow..surprising result but happy to know it really is personal choice .

  255. water works says:

    I love trying out needles and I always “treat” myself to new sizes, types, and brands at our annual quilt show. I don’t always use the correct needle for the intended purpose, but rather try to match the needle to my own hand size, threading needs, etc.

    Thanks for the information!

  256. Rochelle says:

    I sat with 5 ladies this morning sewing labels on donation quilts. I use a Richard Hemming and Sons Milliners #10, which is difficult to find. It’s like a straw and long enough I can hold with my arthritis-distorted hands. Other ladies complained about their needles; too fat, too long, too short, eye to small (I think they all are!). So I agree…the best needle is the one that works for you!!!

  257. Lisa McGriff says:

    I would love to try out the ones that you tried. I have some that are my favorites that were inherited when we bought our house!

  258. Kristen says:

    Interesting! I’ve heard about the tulip needles and the gold needles as well, so it is always nice to get other’s opinions before spending the money on them.

  259. Danielle says:

    I do a lot of hand sewing for the dolls I make and so I’ve definitely noticed that not all needles are created equal. That said, I haven’t done a good job tracking which ones actually hold up the best and sew the most smoothly! Very fun to see the side-by-side comparison – makes me want to do my own!

  260. Logan says:

    I’ve had so many needles handed down to me that I often don’t even know what I’m sewing with, though I have realized that it is time to toss a few and move on.

  261. Savannah says:

    When I started hand quilting last year I ran out and bought three or four different quilting needle sizes and brands to test them out. I had favorites out of the package, but once I stick them in my needle book I can’t tell them apart one way or another. Mostly I care about length. I want something short for quilting, but long enough for my chunky fingers.

  262. Elli says:

    When I started having trouble threading needles, I switched to a small embroidery needle because it has a larger eye. Although, when appliqueing with silk thread, I like the smaller eye in a Sharp type needle, because it doesn’t fall out of the eye as easily.

  263. Katie says:

    Great topic! I enjoyed learning about the different brands.

  264. Jess says:

    I’ve been binding with the Tulip milliner’s needles and really like them!

  265. Artkat says:

    By the time I get around to using a needle, I have forgotten what brand it is. Interesting to see how much of it is personal preference. Love the idea of getting together in a pub

  266. Hilary says:

    I can’t really tell from the reviews which one might be right for me… I’d love to try them!

  267. Angela says:

    I’ve never really paid attention to how a needle feels in my hand, but thinking about, I’m realizing that I like a kind of short needle. And being in extremely early middle age, I like an eye I can thread easily 😉

  268. Oh says:

    I started using Bohin needles for embroidery and pretty much everything else about 1 year ago. They are superior to anything else that I have used. They are incredibly sharp, smooth, and easy to thread by hand (most sizes). The steel is superior so they seem to last forever. Just my personal favorite.

  269. This is thoroughly interesting. That sounds like a really fun group to go to. Quilting in a pub! Who would have thought. I don’t have preferences on needles. Mostly in my house it’s whatever I can find I use.

  270. Jane S. says:

    This was a very interesting post! I’ve always wondered about how various needles perform but I didn’t fancy the idea of purchasing all those little packets and being stuck with needles that I didn’t like. They’re not that expensive but the thought of just tossing them always bugged me. So, thank you for the chance to win a set of “comparison” needles! 🙂

  271. Jenn says:

    I’d love to try out some needles! Thanks for the chance.

  272. Carol Putnam says:

    I’d love to win a chance to try out all these needles.

  273. Elaine Mcd says:

    I am always buying different needles to see what I like best. Would love a chance of a side by side try.Thanks 🙂

  274. Kim says:

    very interesting. I do a lot of hand sewing, and some needles are better than others, but I so rarely take any notice of which brand is which, so I never know which I think is good, in order to buy again. I’d be keen to try a couple of different ones to compare, and try very hard to keep track of which I like!

  275. Verena says:

    Interesting test – I think it is not that surprising, that different people have different preferences. What would be interesting – in case you are planning future tests 🙂 to see whether the more expensive needles actually stay sharp for a longer period of time.

  276. Beverly says:

    I always just pick up whatever is handy at the store. Plus, i have a ton of needles that were my grandmother’s and my great-aunt’s. My mom has also given me needles over the years. That being said, I recently opened a new package of needles and was teaching my daughter how to embroider. I remember thinking how smoothly the needle went through the fabric. I don’t remember the brand, but I believe the were in fact embroidery needles. (I don’t usually pay attention to what kind of needle, i.e. sharp, applique, I am using. I just pick up one that’s handy and start using it. Probably not the best method to use, but it’s worked for me so far.)

  277. Andrea S. says:

    What a fun experiment – and a great setting for it! I never know which hand sewing needles to try, so this is super helpful! Hand sewing intimidates me, but this inspires me to buy some needles and start practicing 🙂

  278. Brooke S says:

    what a great little study! Thanks for sharing!

  279. Karen says:

    Very interesting conclusions. Kinda funny actually. A picture of life right? We are all individuals and like what we like and dislike that which we dislike. Ha.
    Thanks for this post and give away. Mrscummings2u at Gmail dot com

  280. Kellie says:

    Thank you for this! I am a relatively new sewer and quilter and I am still learning, this was great information. Love it!

  281. Susan says:

    I’d love to try different needles! I’ve always just used what I have on hand, so this would be a great way to try several different ones.

  282. thanks for all the info, and for the giveaway! I must admit I dont really know much about needles and usually just use whatever I have on hand !

  283. Nancy says:

    Good needles that work are always a personal choice. I would love to give your test needles a try.

  284. Nancy R says:

    I tend to use the needle I have in my pincushion at that time. The only hand sewing I do is binding and EPP. I rarely applique and have never hand quilted. I have noticed different needles seem better than others but have never found one that I absolutely need for every session.

  285. Suzanne W. in WA says:

    I would love to try out the various needles! I love to hand sew and love it when I find a really great needle for whatever I’m sewing!

  286. lindsey says:

    I definitely have favorite needles! I pay particular attention to keeping them separated from the rest of the pack so they don’t get lost- I even made a special needle book for the favorites. Unfortunately, I picked them up as favorites without noting what kind/ brand they were. I would definitely have to do some experimenting and note taking if I won a pack if needles!

  287. Melissa says:

    I don’t think I ever really thought about different types of needles. I always thought needles are needles. I do pay attention to applique vs quilting, but nothing more. Whichever is on sale works for me. I sew almost everyday but buy them so infrequently. Interesting post.

  288. Brenna says:

    I would love to try these for myself!

  289. Melanie C says:

    such a timely post for me! I was sewing a button on yesterday and thought how my needle was crappy.

  290. LINDA says:

    HELLO,what a neat giveaway! Thanks for sharing!
    Wondering if quilters prefer titainuim needles ?

  291. carrie says:

    Oooh, I want to try! I’ve been searching for the perfect binding needles for a long time, but haven’t tried Clover or Tulip yet. Those needle books are fantastic!

  292. Michelle Wilson says:

    Thank you for setting something like this up. I do like the way you conducted the whole thing. I was surprised to see how contradictory some of the reactions could be but it really makes sense when you think about it. We all have different hands and different ways of holding equipment so we are most comfortable.

  293. Ruthann says:

    Very interesting post. Have always just used the needle I have on hand but have just started EPP so I am more interested in the various brands and styles of hand needles and how they compare. I’ll be testing a few brands to see what works for me. The Fabric Depot ‘sampler’ prize would be a wonderful start to my quest for my perfect hand needle. Thank you for the chance to enter.

  294. Katie says:

    I find with needles the biggest issue is the taper. Some have a nice long tapered point, while others seem to have a pointy tip that seems stuck on a blunt needle. Not great for pushing through fabric. I love Roxanne needles the best. That lady really did her research! I wish more modern quilters knew who she was, because the amount of great information in her book is just incredible.

  295. Julia says:

    Yes, I would love to try out the different needles! I have never given much thought to the needles I use. This would be a great experiment!

  296. Vicki Truesdale says:

    What a fun experiment! I was lucky enough to inherit several packs of all kinds of assorted needles from my grandmother and mother-in-law. I usually just grab what I have threaded and use it. If it doesn’t feel right for what I am doing I grab another! Everyone’s fingers are different!

  297. Lesley says:

    interesting experiment!

  298. Cherise says:

    Thanks for going to all that work to test those needles out. I haven’t tried any of those so I’d love a chance to win and try them!

  299. Becca says:

    I like John James Sharps. More importantly, I love that little needle book! Where can I find instructions?

    • Teresa says:

      Becca, you can find the tutorial at Glad you like it!

  300. Kathy M Boice says:

    I would love to try the different needles. I was just thinking the other day I wish I could find out which needles were the best. I am tired of trying needles that disappoint. Thanks for the chance to win!

  301. Lissa R. says:

    Thanks for the chance to win… and the info on the needles!

  302. Carol Johnson says:

    What a great idea to test all different types of needles!! I would love a chance to test them for myself…thanks for the chance.

  303. Barbara says:

    I would like to trial these needles myself and see what I like best. I find as I get older, NOT having the larger eye is really a deal-breaker.

  304. Jen says:

    Thank you for taking the time to test these out. I had sworn off hand-sewing, but then I discovered the difference a good needle can make. Now I love it!

  305. JoyceG says:

    I think it’s great for people to realize that there are many choices out there, and how important it is to have a “good” needle – whatever that means for you. Too many times we sewers just grab whatever needle is sticking out of the pincushion and make it work for the task at hand, rather than being a bit more thoughtful about the process. And there’s nothing wrong with using a new needle – why do we just use the same dull ones (pulled from the pincushion, bottom of the sewing box, etc) for years?

  306. marilyn s says:

    I would love to try all those needles for myself. Currently I have used dritz and clover. Right now I prefer clover with the gold ends.

  307. Jennifer You says:

    Would love to win – I need some new hand needles 🙂

  308. Carrie says:

    I’ve given up on trying to keep my needles sorted according to package descriptions. I agree with the general sentiment that a needle that works well for the job at hand is the correct needle to use. I’d love to try out these assorted needles to see how the feel in my hand!

  309. Miranda Evans says:

    I Love John James beading needles (for my other hobby) but haven’t had much luck with their sewing needles, although I know some people swear by them! I do a lot of hand piecing, mostly EPP, and I’m still trying to find that ‘perfect needle’!

  310. bekki says:

    I have to admit to sometimes just grabbing the first needle that comes to hand. The only time I choose a specific needle is when embroidering, then I need one big enough to take my thread , or when I’m doing a tricky job so I need a longer or shorter needle. It looks like a fun experiment.

  311. Amy says:

    I just ran out of needles — what a timely post. Thanks for the chance to win.

  312. Joy says:

    Needles can definitely be a personal choice, especially on length. I have a strong preference for shorter needles, to match my small hands, and those drive my husband nuts. To teach his own, as long as there is quality.

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