This guide matches a type of thread to the best needle size.
The smaller the needle the smaller the eye. (Remember, the higher the needle size number, the smaller the needle. For instance a size 6 is bigger than a size 9. That is, a size 9 sharp will have a smaller eye than a size 6 sharp.) You can always put thinner thread into a bigger needle eye, but these guidelines are giving you suggestions for thread that is intended for a particular needle size.
Quite often people choose the needle with the biggest eye, regardless of its intended purpose. Regular needles are called sharps. They have standard size holes. The size and shape of the eye can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Crewel needles are sized exactly like sharps but they have bigger eyes. (Crewels are the ones you used up first in that package of needles you bought at the grocery store.)
Use this page as a guide, but trust yourself to know which needle is right for you. Needles are a very intimate tool. If a needle feels wrong between your fingers, you will not enjoy using it. If you have arthritis or shaky hands you may want a larger needle than recommended because it is easier to hold. There is no “Right” or “Wrong” needle. But you can certainly find a needle that will hold your thread.
All Purpose Thread
Cotton, Polyester, Silk Threads
Heavy Duty Thread
Blue Jean Thread
Hand Quilting Thread
Heavy metallic thread
4 Ply Craft Yarn
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