Beading Needles – What Do You Prefer?
Posted by learntobead on April 29, 2009
Connie posted the following on ALL ABOUT BEADS group, and got some of these responses. What do you think?
At my bead group – we have been discussing beading needles. I know that is a subject with as many opinions as thread. So could you please tell what kind of a needle you use and why you like them.
I will go first – for general beading such as peyote, etc. I use Pony needles, or John James – which ever I grab first. I use long needles 99% of the time, but when I do bead embroidery I use short beading sharp size 12.
I use long size 12 loom needles when I loom (which I haven’t done for a while and should think about), and John James long size 12 or 13 needles for everything else. (What I really need is sewing needles because I keep using beading needles for mending.)
|8867.3 in reply to 8867.1|
|I too prefer John James and size 12. Carol Perrenoud from BEADCATS in Wilsonville, OR just gave a presentation to our bead society (Bead Society of Northern California) on the History of Beading Needles and it was amazing. The one thing that she told us that I had NEVER heard before is to match the shape of your needle’s eye to the “thread” you are using. Most beading needles have skinny oval eyes which is best for NYMO-type threads that compress. BUT if you use FIRELINE which is more rounded and has a coating, to pick a needle that has a more oval eye. The needle that she had, I had never seen before ~ they are called STRAW NEEDLES. The issue is that the skinny oval eye will squish/remove the coating on the fireline which can cause it to twist, kink, and eventually even break with the coating gone. I wish I had picked up more packets. marilyn
Size 12 John James are my standard needle of choice. If I must stray I’ll use a Size 12 Pony, but I hate how brittle they can be. And I am super near-sighted so will take my glasses off and bring my work right up to my face to get a “magnified” look. When those puppies break it is a scary moment for sure!
I also like the Mary Arden needles…they are apparently made in the same factory as the John James, just in a prettier package.
When the project calls for it, I’ll move down to a size 13 John James.
I don’t like Sharps…I can’t seem to get a good grip on them. But I have noticed over the years that customers with small, thin fingers enjoy working with them better than a standard length.
We were introduced to Straw Needles last fall.
I’m still looking for them.
I am sold out again….much to Thom’s disappointment. =o/
For beadweaving, I prefer the John James 12’s, for dolls I like the John James 12 sharps. For most other work, I think the John James 13’s are what I use. I may try some of the straw needles, if I can figure out the sizing. May have to buy a packet of each of two sizes to see which direction they go… are the large numbers smaller needles, or vice versa?
|8867.17 in reply to 8867.4|
|I love straw needles. They don’t bend and break easily and they have an easy to thread eye.They are also known as milliner’s needles and I like the size 11.Both Richard Hemmings and John James make these and they are easily available on the internet for about $1.95 to $3.00 a pack.
Some people like the Japanese beading needles because they are stiffer. Some people think that the John James needles went downhill in quality when they started making them in China, instead of England. I prefer the John James regular English Beading Needles, and try to use size 10 and size 12. I like that they are not super stiff. The sharps needs are too small for my hand — my hand cramps when I use them. — Warren
I’m like Sandi, in that I like to use the thickest needle I can get away with. I do prefer long needles, though, it seems easier to pick up my beads with a long needle. Most of my things are done using a John James size 10 needle. I keep some JJ 13’s around as well as a couple big eye needles, but I only like the big eye for loom work and sometimes fringe. I’ve never tried a size 12 long or short, but I don’t care for the 13’s as they seem very fragile and never last very long for me.
I tend to muscle up on my needles, so they get very bendy. I can usually straighten them out by rolling them between my big anvil and a slab of steel I keep around. It does make them brittle, but I get a little more life out of them.
|I prefer sharps (10?12?) for bead embroidery, unless I’m using charlottes and then I have to use a beading needle. As several people have said, I use the largest needle I can get away with – 10 or 12. For awhile I was using size 15 seed beads a lot and used the 15 needles – crispy critters! I’ve had a bad batch of larger John James needles also. That’s when I tried Pony needles, which I liked. And about the same time a friend who sells historical reproduction items for re-enactors gave me some beading needles – I think they are English, but I don’t know if they are JJ. They might be Japanese. They were great though. I really should get some more from her. The most of JJ needles I bought seem to be fine. I have more problems with losing needles than I do breaking them!Cathy
Fortunately, I don’t often lose needles. Stepping on a few has made me very careful. I tend to use JJ 12s and 13s most of the time and the 15s when necessary (for some charlottes and gemstones). I will occasionally use the cheap Indian needles. For me, they work as well and last as long as the JJ. I have some sharps but I don’t care for them. I’ve tried the big eye needles, but the ones I’ve tried have been too large for the beads I use (mostly 15s and charlottes). I just accept that the 13s and 15s won’t last that long. Needles aren’t that pricey, so that’s just the way it is.
from John James Company: