Stitch Pro: Threading the Needle

There's always something to learn, isn't there? Even though you've been beading for decades, you can still learn a little something about your craft. And that little something might be about simply threading a needle.

I've been giving tips about needle-threading to my students for a long time. These tips include:

-Never do the cartoon-version of threading a needle by holding the needle out in front of you, biting your tongue, closing one eye, and aiming the thread end in the general direction of the needle! Instead, hold the thread between the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand so just a speck of thread shows; place the needle eye on that speck with your dominant hand while you scooch (technical term) the thread through the eye.

-Wax the thread well, then use sharp scissors to cut the thread at an angle, making it easier to guide the thread through the hole.

-Employ chain-nose pliers to squoosh (another technical term) the end of the thread, making it very flat to mimic the needle hole's shape (which is oval, not round). This works especially well for braided beading thread, which can be beefy and round at the end after it's cut.

-Try using a needle threader.

But my latest advice is this: After too many frustrating attempts at threading a needle, just try turning it over so the other side of the eye faces up. Why might this work? I'll tell you: When needles are made in a factory, the eyes are punched with a machine. You might have to get out your microscopic lens to see the difference, but when they punch the hole, they've created a convex and a concave side. The concave side, since it's cupped, is naturally easier to thread because the hole holds the thread end in, helping guide the thread through.

Do you have other tips you'd like to share for threading needles? Do it right now, right here on the Inside Beadwork magazine blog!

Happy beading-

Jean Campbell

Senior editor, Beadwork magazine


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About jeancampbell

Jean Campbell is the founding editor (and currently the senior editor) of Beadwork magazine and has written and edited more than 45 beading books. She has written for Beading Daily and has appeared on the DIY Jewelry Making show, The Shay Pendray Show, and PBS' Beads, Baubles, and Jewels where she gives how-to instructions, provides inspiration, and lends crafting advice. Jean teaches jewelry-making workshops throughout the United States and calls Minneapolis home.