Tips on How To Thread a Needle For Hand Sewing
Threading a needle may seem like the simplest of tasks until you’ve fought with that silly thread for a ridiculous amount of time and just can’t seem to make it go where you want it to.
There are a few tricks and shortcuts. The main goal here is to help you find a way that works best for you. These tips are designed to make this simple chore easier and less frustrating.
Tip 1: Use the right needle.
When you buy needles, it’s a good idea to buy a pack with various sizes of both length and eye. The eye is the hole through the end of the needle where the thread must be inserted.
If you are using a very fine thread, a small eye is fine. But if you are using a heavier thread, or even embroidery thread, you will need a needle with a larger eye. Trying to use a needle with too small an eye will only cause trouble. Even with a threader, it may be difficult to get the thread through too small a hole.
Even with a large eye, some thread is just challenging to hand sew with. And if you’re using heavier cord-like thread or yarn, it can seem nearly impossible. When I am threading yarn or a similar-sized material, I find it easier to loop the thread over the needle and pull it tight, moving it down and off the end. There should be a tiny loop between your fingers. You should be able to push this loop through the eye of the needle, then grab it on the other side.
Tip 2: Prepare the thread.
If you’re a germophobe, you may not like this part. I generally always wet my thread with, yes, my mouth, before threading. There’s a reason why this works, and many seamstresses will give you this same advice.
If you look closely at your thread, you will find that it consists of wound fibers that begin to fray quickly once cut. Dampening the fibers causes them to stick together, making it easier to insert through the eye of your needle. It helps, too, after dampening the thread, to snip off the tip to remove loose, fraying fibers that may catch on the edges of the eye.
Tip 3: Use proper lighting.
Threading a needle may require a bit more lighting than other tasks. Make sure you can see both the thread and eye clearly. I also have a pair of fairly heavy reading glasses to use just to magnify what I’m doing when threading needles or other tiny tasks.
Tip 4: Try different methods.
There are actually some different, creative methods that may work better for you than the traditional eyeballing-it method. I’ve seen a few interesting ones on the internet. Feel free to try new ways until you find a threading method that works well for you.
Tip 5: Try a threading tool.
There is an option for buying pre-threaded needles. This can come in handy for quick repairs and can be purchased in kits. But if you sew a lot, pre-threaded needles can become an added expense. Plus, you’ll have a whole lot of needles piling up needlessly.
If your eyesight makes it difficult to thread a needle, or you have any other disability, don’t be discouraged. There are a number of threading tools available, and one of them should work for you.
Here are some of the choices:
- Dime, or gourd, threaders–these are the most common threaders on the market. They got their name from the size and design of the holder. Some needle packs or sewing machines come with one. They’re cheap in packs and tend to last for only short periods, so buy more than one of these threaders.
- Automatic Needle Threading Device–when the needle is inserted in the top and the thread on the side, this threader reaches through the eye to grab a loop of thread. Works similar to the threader on a sewing machine.
- Singer Needle Threader Assistant–Works like the above threader, but is a bit better made.
- Desk needle threader–If you love gadgets and gizmos, this is the ultimate needle threader. Just insert your needle in the hole eye down, lay the thread across the slot, and push the lever. I think I’m going to need one of these in my old age. lol