What’s so special about Spiral Eye Needles?
Spiral Eye Needles have a slot in the side of the eye. This makes it easy to thread. And, it stays threaded.
None of the needle manufacturers wanted my Spiral Eye needle idea.
They said there was no need for one because “No one bought the self threading needles we already make.” I thought…”Of course not…they don’t stay threaded.” I was positive they would change their mind if I made them a prototype. So I made one. I ground a point on a piece of wire using a slow wet grinder and a Dremel. I then used the Dremel to grind out the shape of the inside of the ey and I folded the “eye” section to make the actual eye.
My first handmade needle
If I was going to fix the needle I wanted to fix all of it.
Not just the eye needed to be changed. Spiral Eye Needles would be made in America. . . out of surgical grade stainless steel (so it would not kick up nickel allergies and would not rust).
Obviously my primitive prototype was not going to be the final solution, but it gave me credibility as being serious about my endeavour. I told anyone who would listen I was going to change the world with my invention. Because I truly believe that. I kept thinking of the older women in poor countries in humid climates without electricity whose value to their society was sewing. They needed my needle. I could give a simple pleasure back to women with vision issues and shaky fingers. And it would have made my mom Happier…that was important to me. Mom’s should not cry over not being able to do a simple task.
Finally, I even found a company to make the tooling to make my needle professionally. I quit my “real job” October 1 2007 expecting the promised 30,000 needles on October 7th. Well, that did not happen. And I questioned my sanity many times as I sought out someone else who could make my needle.
Fortunately I found a wonderful, family run machine shop, Unity Tool, also known as Unity Precision Manufacturing. They had the ability and the willingness to take a huge risk with me and put the Spiral Eye into pieces of wire so I only had to put the points on them.
The original Spiral Eye Needle made by Unity Tool, called the SE-1
When I managed to get a booth lined up at the Minnesota State Fair I was still hand grinding the points of my needles. By the time the fair was open, Unity Precision Manufacturing had invested in equipment and was manufacturing the eye and the point of my needle.
At the Minnesota State Fair in 2008, I only sold one size needle. Attached to popsicle sticks (It was the fair after all). I still have a booth at the Minnesota State Fair…in the Grandstand on the upper level. Over the years I have listened to my customers as they told me what they needed. I currently offer 16 sizes of Spiral Eye Needles as well as all the other needles and products I sell under “The Needle Lady” brand.