Sewing needle

A sewing needle, used for hand-sewing, is a long slender tool with a pointed tip at one end and a hole (or eye) at the other. The earliest needles were made of bone or wood; modern needles are manufactured from high carbon steel wire and are nickel- or 18K gold-plated for corrosion resistance. High quality embroidery needles are plated with two-thirds platinum and one-third titanium alloy. Traditionally, needles have been kept in needle books or needlecases which have become objects of adornment.[1] Sewing needles may also be kept in an étui, a small box that held needles and other items such as scissors, pencils and tweezers.[2]

A depiction of needle
A sewing needle

Types of hand sewing needles

Needles (for sewing)
Needles used for hand sewing
Sewing needle eye with thread
Thread through the eye of a No.5 sharp needle

Hand sewing needles come in a variety of types/ classes designed according to their intended use and in a variety of sizes within each type.[3]

  • Sharp Needles: used for general hand sewing; built with a sharp point, a round eye, and are of medium length. Those with a double-eyes are able to carry two strands of thread while minimizing fabric friction.
  • Appliqué: These are considered another all-purpose needle for sewing, appliqué, and patch work.
  • Embroidery: Also known as crewel needles; identical to sharps but have a longer eye to enable easier threading of multiple embroidery threads and thicker yarns.
  • Betweens or Quilting: These needles are shorter than sharps, with a small rounded eye and are used for making fine stitches on heavy fabrics such as in tailoring, quilt making and other detailed handwork; note that some manufacturers also distinguish between quilting needles and quilting between needles, the latter being slightly shorter and narrower than the former.
  • Milliners: A class of needles generally longer than sharps, useful for basting and pleating, normally used in millinery work.
  • Easy- or Self-threading: Also called calyxeyed sharps, side threading, and spiral eye needles, these needles have an open slot into which a thread may easily be guided rather than the usual closed eye design.
  • Beading: These needles are very fine, with a narrow eye to enable them to fit through the centre of beads and sequins along with a long shaft to thread and hold a number of beads at a time.
  • Bodkin: Also called ballpoints, this is a long, thick needle with a ballpoint end and a large, elongated eye. They can be flat or round and are generally used for threading elastic, ribbon or tape through casings and lace openings.
  • Chenille: These are similar to tapestry needles but with large, long eyes and a very sharp point to penetrate closely woven fabrics. Useful for ribbon embroidery.
  • Darning: Sometimes called finishing needles, these are designed with a blunt tip and large eye making them similar to tapestry needles but longer; yarn darners are the heaviest sub-variety.
  • Doll: Not designed for hand sewing at all, these needles are made long and thin and are used for soft sculpturing on dolls, particularly facial details.
  • Leather: Also known as glovers and as wedge needles, these have a triangular point designed to pierce leather without tearing it; often used on leather-like materials such as vinyl and plastic.
  • Sailmaker: Similar to leather needles, but the triangular point extends further up the shaft; designed for sewing thick canvas or heavy leather.
  • Tapestry: The large eye on these needles lets them to carry a heavier weight yarn than other needles, and their blunt tip—usually bent at a slight angle from the rest of the needle—allows them to pass through loosely woven fabric such as embroidery canvas or even-weave material without catching or tearing it; comes in a double-eyed version for use on a mounted frame and with two colors of thread.
  • Tatting: These are built long with an even thickness for their entire length, including at the eye, to enable thread to be pulled through the double stitches used in tatting.
  • Upholstery: These needles are heavy, long needles that may be straight or curved and are used for sewing heavy fabrics, upholstery work, tufting and for tying quilts; the curved variety is practical for difficult situations on furniture where a straight needle will not work Heavy duty 12" needles are used for repairing mattresses. Straight sizes: 3"-12" long, curved: 1.5"-6" long.

Needle size

Needle size is denoted by one or more numbers on the manufacturer's packet. The general convention for sizing of needles, like that of wire gauges, is that within any given class of needle the length and thickness of a needle increases as the size number decreases.[4] For example, a size 9 needle will be thicker and longer than a size 12 needle. However, the needle sizes are not standardized and so a size 10 of one class may be (and in some cases actually is) either thinner or finer than a size 12 of another type. Where a packet contains a needle count followed by two size numbers such as "20 Sharps 5/10" the second set of numbers correspond to the range of sizes of needle within the packet, in this case typically ten sharps needles of size 5 and ten of size 10 (for a total of 20 needles). As another example, a packet labeled "16 Milliners 3/9" would contain 16 milliners needles ranging in sizes from 3 to 9.

History

Prehistoric sewing needles

The first form of sewing was probably tying together animal skins using thorns and sharpened rocks as needles,[5] with animal sinew or plant material as thread.[6] The early limitation was the ability to produce a small enough hole in a needle matrix, such as a bone sliver, not to damage the material. Traces of this survive in the use of bodkins to make eyelet holes in fabric by separating rather than cutting the threads. A point that might be from a bone needle dates to 61,000 years ago and was discovered in Sibudu Cave, South Africa.[7] A needle made from bird bone and attributed to archaic humans, the Denisovans, is estimated to be around 50,000 years-old, was found in Denisova Cave.[8] A bone needle, dated to the Aurignacian age (47000 to 41,000 years ago), was discovered in Potok Cave (Slovene: Potočka zijalka) in the Eastern Karavanke, Slovenia.[9] Bone and ivory needles found in the Xiaogushan prehistoric site in Liaoning province date between 30,000 and 23,000 years old.[10] Ivory needles were also found dated to 30,000 years ago at the Kostenki site in Russia.[11] Flinders Petrie found copper sewing needles at Naqada, Egypt, ranging from 4400 BC to 3000 BC.[12] Iron sewing needles were found at the Oppidum of Manching,[13] dating to the third century BC.

Ancient sewing needles

Tibet.needlecase
Tibetan needle-case

A form of needle lace named nålebinding seems to generally predate knitting and crochet by thousands of years, partly because it can use far shorter rough-graded threads than knitting does.

Native Americans were known to use sewing needles from natural sources. One such source, the agave plant, provided both the needle and the "thread." The agave leaf would be soaked for an extended period of time, leaving a pulp, long, stringy fibres and a sharp tip connecting the ends of the fibres. The "needle" is essentially what was the tip end of the leaf. Once the fibres dried, the fibres and "needle" could then be used to sew items together.

Sewing needles are an application of wire-making technology, which started to appear in the second millennium B.C. Some fine examples of Bronze Age gold torques are made of very consistent gold wire, which is more malleable than bronze. However, copper and bronze needles do not need to be as long: the eye can be made by turning the wire back on itself and redrawing it through the die.

Later sewing needles

MODOHirsch
Metal container for pins from the second half of the 20th century. From the Museo del Objeto del Objeto collection

The next major break-through in needle-making was the arrival of high-quality steel-making technology from China in the tenth century, principally in Spain in the form of the Catalan furnace, which soon extended to produce reasonably high quality steel in significant volumes. This technology later extended to Germany and France, although not significantly in England. England began creating needles in 1639 at Redditch,[14] creating the drawn-wire technique still in common use today.[15] About 1655, needle manufacturers were sufficiently independent to establish a Guild of Needlemakers in London, although Redditch remained the principal place of manufacture.[16] In Japan, Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, dates back to the 1600s.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Antique Sewing Needle Cases". Collectors Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  2. ^ "Antique Sewing Needle Cases". Collectors Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  3. ^ http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/22_110_hand_sewing_needle_guide.pdf
  4. ^ "Some Insight on Needles". www.pumpkinvinecorner.com. Pumpkinvine Corner. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Prehistoric Clothing". www.fashionencyclopedia.com. Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. ^ Fairholt, Frederick William (1860). Costume in England: A History of Dress from the Earliest Period Until the Close of the Eighteenth Century. Chapman and Hall.
  7. ^ Backwell, L; d'Errico, F; Wadley, L (2008). "Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa". Journal of Archaeological Science. 35 (6): 1566–1580. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2007.11.006.
  8. ^ "World's oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history". The Siberian Times. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  9. ^ Odar, Boštjan (2008). "A Dufour Bladelet from Potočka zijalka (Slovenia)" (PDF). Arheološki vestnik. 59: 13.
  10. ^ "Bone and Ivory Needles". humanorigins.si.edu. The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  11. ^ Hoffecker, J., Scott, J., Excavations In Eastern Europe Reveal Ancient Human Lifestyles, University of Colorado at Boulder News Archive, March 21, 2002
  12. ^ Nunn, John; Rowling, John (2001). "The Eye of the Needle in Predynastic Egypt". The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 87: 171. doi:10.2307/3822378. JSTOR 3822378.
  13. ^ Klieforth, Alexander Leslie; Munro, Robert John (2004). The Scottish Invention of America, Democracy and Human Rights: A History of Liberty and Freedom from the Ancient Celts to the New Millennium. University Press of America. p. 27. ISBN 9780761827917. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  14. ^ "History". Redditch.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  15. ^ "How Needles Are Made". www.jjneedles.com. John James Needles.
  16. ^ Kirkup, J (January 1986). "The history and evolution of surgical instruments. V needles and their penetrating derivatives". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 68 (1): 29–33. PMC 2498196. PMID 3511834.

External links

Beadwork

Beadwork is the art or craft of attaching beads to one another by stringing them with a sewing needle or beading needle and thread or thin wire, or sewing them to cloth. Beads come in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes. Beads are used to create jewelry or other articles of personal adornment; they are also used in wall hangings and sculpture and many other artworks.

Beadwork techniques are broadly divided into loom and off-loom weaving, stringing, bead embroidery, bead crochet, bead knitting, and bead tatting.Beads, made of durable materials, survive in the archaeological record appearing with the very advent of modern man, Homo sapiens.Beads are used for religious purposes, as good luck talismans, for barter, and as curative agents.

Bodkin

Bodkin may refer to:

Bodkin (surname), a list of people and one fictional character

One of the fourteen Tribes of Galway

A dagger

Bodkin, U.S. Virgin Islands, a settlement on Saint Croix

Bodkin Island, Maryland, United States – see Bodkin Island Light

Bodkin point, a type of arrowhead

Bodkin needle, a variety of sewing needle

Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.

Cheboygan, Michigan

Cheboygan ( shi-BOY-gən) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,876. It is the county seat of Cheboygan County.The name of the city shares the name of the county and probably has its origin from the Cheboygan River, although the precise meaning is no longer known. It may have come from an Ojibwe word zhaabonigan meaning "sewing needle". Alternatively, the origin may have been "Chabwegan," meaning "a place of ore."The city is at the mouth of the Cheboygan River on Lake Huron. U.S. Highway 23 (US 23) connects with Interstate 75 (I-75) at Mackinaw City and the Mackinac Bridge, about 15 miles (24 km) to the northwest. Rogers City is about 41 miles (66 km) to the southeast. M-27 runs south from the city along the north shore of Mullett Lake to I-75 at Indian River about 18 miles (29 km) to the southwest. M-33 runs due south along the east shore of Mullett Lake to M-68 about 20 miles (32 km) to the south.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Eye of a needle

The term "eye of a needle" is used as a metaphor for a very narrow opening. It occurs several times throughout the Talmud. The New Testament quotes Jesus as saying that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God".

The eye of a sewing needle is the part formed into a loop for pulling thread, located at the end opposite from the point.

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

Needle, Thread and Knot

Needle, Thread and Knot (Italian: Ago, Filo e Nodo) is a public artwork in two parts by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in Piazzale Cadorna, Milan, Italy.

Commissioned by the City of Milan as part of the renovations of the Milan Cadorna railway station, and unveiled in February 2000, the sculpture is made of stainless steel and reinforced plastic, painted with polyester gelcoat and polyurethane enamel. The "knot" is placed in the middle of a fountain on the middle of the square while the sewing needle is on the footpath in front of the train station. According to the artists the needle pulling thread through fabric is a metaphor for a train going through a tunnel. The thread wrapped around a needle also "paraphrased" the city emblem of a snake coiled around a sword. According to the City of Milan it is also meant as a tribute to Milan's influence in the fashion industry and the three thread colours (red, green, yellow) represent the lines of the Milan Metro.

Needle threader

A needle threader is a device for helping to put thread through the eye of a needle. Many kinds exist, though a common type combines a short length of fine wire bent into a diamond shape, with one corner held by a piece of tinplate or plastic. The user passes the wire loop through the needle eye, passes the string through the wire loop, and finally pulls both the loop back through the needle by the handle, which pulls the thread through. The typical needle threader of this type has the image of a woman in profile stamped into the plate handle.Another type of needle threader is mechanically operated. These may be part of a sewing or embroidery machine, or standalone tools.The first known use of needle threaders in Europe was in the eighteenth or early nineteenth century.

Paracanthocobitis linypha

Acanthocobitis (Paracanthocobitis) linypha also known as the sewing needle zipper loach is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus, or subgenus, Paracanthocobitis. This species is known from the Irrawaddy and Sittang basins in Myanmar.

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Tasmanian darner

The Tasmanian darner, (Austroaeschna tasmanica), is a species of large dragonfly in the family Telephlebiidae, which includes some of the world's largest dragonflies. It is found in Tasmania, Australia. The species was first described by Robert Tillyard in 1916 and inhabits streams and rivers.Also referred to as "hawkers", the name "darner" derives from the fact that the female abdomens look like a sewing needle, as they cut into plant stem when they lay their eggs through the ovipositor.

The Tasmanian darner is a stout, dark dragonfly with a very dark colouring and light markings. It appears similar to the lesser Tasmanian darner, Austroaeschna hardyi.

Tiger tail wire

Tiger tail wire (also called tiger tail or tiger-tail) is a thin wire encased in nylon often used in beaded jewellery, and particularly suited to stringing heavy beads and sharp beads, which tend to fray other kinds of thread. For this reason, tiger tail is the thread of choice for gemstones.Some tiger tail has multiple intertwined wire threads under the nylon coating. The wire threads are made of stainless steel.Tiger tail cannot be fashioned into a knot in order to end a sequence of beads as other kinds of thread can, therefore crimp beads are often used for this purpose instead. Crimp beads are also used as spacers between other beads strung on tiger tail.Among the types of wire used for bead stringing, tiger tail is the most common. Tiger tail is easier to use than many other kinds of thread, and it does not require the use of a sewing needle. Tiger tail has high ultimate tensile strength and is therefore extremely difficult to tear, but if it is creased or twisted, tiger tail has a tendency to kink and then become brittle in the kinked area.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.

Uniface

In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Techniques
Stitches
Seams
Closures
Materials
Tools
  • Trades
  • Suppliers
Sewing machine
manufacturers
Pattern manufacturers

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.