Sunday, November 14, 2010

UPDATED: Testing Needles (or, The Mad Scientist Speaks)

You may remember that the last LNS visit I made I picked up two packets of Bohin tapestry needles to test.  I started using some of the needles (I bought size 22 and 24, the sizes I use on 18 canvas the most) when I started Luna.  Now that I've been working on her for a while, it's time to review the needles.

The link below talks a bit about Bohin. Their needles are made in France and are very smooth to the touch.  The packets I bought had six needles to a pack .  I believe that Bohin sells tapestry needles in sizes 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.  I forgot to make a note of all the sizes available when I bought these at Waste Knot, however.

As long time members of Blog know, I have very acidic hands.  It only took me about three hours of stitching to start to wear away the metal coating on my Kreink gold needles.  The John James platinum needles showed wear after maybe 5-6 days of stitching.  So far the Bohin needles show no sign of wear under my magnifier although they don't feel quite as slick as they did when I started using them.

They are not pretty like the gold needles are, however.  There are no burrs in the eye and the coating of the surface stands up to my hands.  Are they my favorite needles?  Well, no.

I prefer Piecemaker needles when I have a choice because they last as well as Bohin needles plus they are very smooth and silky to the touch.  I prefer how they feel in my hands.  However, Piecemakers
are made for quilting and as far as I know, you can't buy size 18 or 20 tapestry needles from them.  Here is the Piecemaker website.

I expect I will buy size 18 and 20 Bohin needles and sizes 22, 24, 26 and 28 Piecemakers from now on due to how well both brands hold up to my acid fingers.

If you are curious about Bohin needles and your local shop doesn't have them, I know you can get them at Waste Knot.  They are around $2 a packet, which is what Piecemaker needles cost me.

Whatever brand necdle you like, remember to discard needles after each project or two.  Amy Bunger wrote in a Needlepoint Plus article long ago that stitchers use their needles too long.  They are not expensive but if you have hands like mine, it is essential that you switch to new needles frequently. If you don't have acid hands, you should still be using new needles periodically.

Save the used needles.  We'll do a Festival of Broken Needles ceremony next February again to honor them before we get rid of them.

UPDATE:  A friend told me she doesn't like the feel of the needles. She thinks they feel ridged instead of rounded and after a while, they hurt her fingers.  The eye is very smooth and great for silk and cotton flosses, though.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at