top of page

Guide To Hand Sewing Needle Types

Updated: Apr 5

Whether you're a couture sewer or just need to finish off a few loose ends, using the right needle for your hand sewing helps ensure the best results. Keep reading for more information on the different styles of hand-sewing needles and their uses, and check out our printable Hand Needle Guide for a helpful visual comparison. Looking for the perfect hand-sewing needles for your projects? WAWAK offers a full line of professional-quality hand-sewing needles for beading, quilting, and everything in between!

Needle and thread for hand sewing project
Learn more about the different styles of needles for hand sewing.


If you're looking for a general hand-sewing needle, Sharps Needles are the ideal choice. These versatile needles are (as you might guess) very sharp, with a thin shaft and a short, round eye. They're an excellent all-purpose choice for hand sewing and applicable for everything from mending to dressmaking. Sharps Needles are available in a range of sizes.

For any projects involving beading, these specialized needles are a must-have. Long, thin, and flexible, with a long eye, Beading Needles are specially designed to fit through beads, sequins, or pearls. They can also be used to add trims or for ribbon embroidery.

Also known as Quilting Needles, Betweens Needles are short and sharp. Their length allows you to sew quickly with short, even stitches, making them a popular choice for quilting, piecing, and appliqué, or for particularly fine seams and hems.

Originally used for crafting gloves, Glover Needles are now used for hand sewing any tough material like leather, suede, or vinyl. Sturdy and sharp, these leather needles feature a triangular-shaped tip that neatly pierces through the material without causing excess damage. Glover Needles are perfect for hand sewing leather goods, belts, or shoes.

Tapestry Needles are some of the thickest hand-sewing needles, with a blunt tip and elongated eye. These are the perfect choice for sewing any open-weave fabric because the rounded point will push the fabric's fibers aside without puncturing them. Use thinner Tapestry needles for cross stitching or sewing open-weave fabrics and thicker Tapestry Needles for weaving yarn into crochet or knitted fabrics.

Using a needle specifically designed for embroidery helps keep your threads looking their best. Similar to Sharps Needles in length, width, and sharpness, Crewel and Embroidery needles also feature a wider, elongated eye to accommodate multiple strands of embroidery floss or fragile decorative threads.

Anyone who does a lot of fabric repairs or mending is probably familiar with Darning Needles. Featuring a either a blunt or sharp (and sometimes angled) tip, Darning Needles are used to repair fabric holes or reinforce worn parts of a garment by weaving threads into the damaged fabric. They vary in size, shape, and sharpness for mending different types of fabric. Darning Needles are also a great option for finishing or repairing knitted and crocheted fabrics.

For particularly large fabric holes, you'll need a needle that's long enough to weave across the length of the tear. That's where Long Darning Needles come in handy! These extra-long darning needles feature a sharp tip and long eye, and are great for mending and darning with either thread or yarn.

These long needles traditionally used by hat makers feature a thin shaft and small, round eye that's about the same thickness as the shaft. Sometimes called "straw needles" because of their long, thin appearance, Milliners Needles are perfect for gathering, pleating, and smocking. They can also be used for some specialty embroidery stitches where the added length is helpful, like beaded embroidery or bullion knots.

Use this handy guide to compare Hand Needle sizes and styles.

WAWAK Hand Needle Styles and Sizes Chart | Choosing the Right Hand Sewing Needle

665 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page