Hello, bloglandia! Today I finally decided to finish the ends of a flat braid I made with a square Kumihimo disk. I recently blogged how to finish the ends of round Kumihimo braids (versions of which can be made with either the square or the round disk). What stalled me on finishing my flat braid was lack of a needle.
Since the flat braid is well, flat, you need stitch through the braid to keep it from unraveling. Sadly, needles and I don’t get along too well. It is never the poor needle’s fault. It is my fault for not choosing the right needle. When you treat all needles the same, instead of appreciating their unique qualities and character quirks, you can quickly run into frustration.
So today when Amy loaned me a needle, warning me it was a size 15, I said, “oh, that’s fine!” even though I had no idea what she meant. After several frustrating minutes trying to thread the darn thing, I learned. Size 15 is tiny. Check out this great bead needle and thread size chart from New Native Nation. You gotta love Spudmama!
While I’d long suspected that beading needles must be different than regular sewing needles, now I know why. As Spudmama explains, beading needles don’t “bulge” around the eye – this is what allows them to pass through seed beads multiple times for bead stitching and bead weaving projects. The smaller the number, the bigger the needle. (ex. size 10 needles are larger than size 15). Plus, “sharps” are stiffer than standard beading needles. Therefore, the smaller the project, the tinier and flex-ier the needle should be.
So, if you need a needle for something other than seed beading (like finishing a flat braid or making a wrapped leather bracelet) I recommend using size 10 sharp beading needles since they are (relatively) large and sturdy.
If you are brave enough to make tiny seed bead jewelry, refer to Spudmama’s chart and stock up on aspirin and magnifying glasses! Oh, and needle threaders! ~ Cindy