Skip to Content

Large Needle Guide: Sizes, Types & Techniques for Sewing Success [70 Chars 2024]

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

large needleImagine the accuracy and ease of sewing with complete control over your projects. It lies in choosing the correct large needle for your work.

This guide will walk you through some of the large needle sizes available, why they are unique and special, and how they can be of service to you.

You’ll be able to conquer thick threads and upholstery while saving your eyes from the strain of such tasks. Get prepared to feel empowered by learning about large needles and techniques for sewing success with confidence

Key Takeaways

  • You’ve got the eye of a tiger: Large needles make threading a breeze, even for those who are as blind as a bat.
  • Don’t be a needle in a haystack: Find the right needle for your project, and you’ll be sewing like a pro in no time.
  • Practice makes perfect: The more you sew, the better you’ll get at handling large needles. So don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way.
  • Safety first: Always handle large needles with care, and you’ll avoid any painful pricks

Understanding Large Needle Sizes

Understanding Large Needle Sizes
You’ll find that larger needle sizes are represented by smaller numbers in the needle sizing system. When comparing large and small needles, you’ll notice that large needles have thicker shafts and bigger eyes, making them ideal for heavier fabrics and thicker threads

Needle Size Numbering System

Mastering the sizes of needles can be a little confusing, but it’s the key to your sewing success. If you think that the numbering system for large needles is intuitive, you’re wrong:

  • Smaller numbers indicate larger needles

    • The higher the number, the finer the needles

    • Size normally ranges from 1 through 12, where 1 is the largest and 12 is the smallest

The factors that affect your choice include needle length, point shape, and gauge. Keep in mind that the larger the needle, the more compatible it will be with thicker threads and heavier fabrics, while it will also be much easier to thread and handle.

Comparison of Large Vs. Small Needles

Now that you understand the numbering system, let’s compare large and small needles. Large needles boast longer needle length and bigger eye size, perfect for thicker fabrics and heavier threads. They’re easier to handle, reducing hand fatigue.

Small needles, with their finer point shape, excel at delicate work. Your choice depends on fabric thickness, thread type, and project needs. Remember, bigger isn’t always better – it’s about finding the right tool for the job

Types of Large Eye Needles

Types of Large Eye Needles
Embroidery needles, darning needles, and tapestry needles are common types of large eye needles, each serving specific purposes. Embroidery needles have large eyes for easy threading, darning needles are ideal for mending with thick threads, and tapestry needles come with blunt tips that are perfect for working on open-weave fabrics

Embroidery Needles

Embroidery needles are precisely what you need for bright designs so that stitching can mirror your creativity. Choose sizes based on thread and fabric thickness.

If the eye is large enough, it won’t be difficult to thread. Materials like nickel-plated steel guarantee durability.

Proper storage saves a needle from damage. Techniques for cleaning include wiping with a soft cloth.

Dull needles have to be disposed of safely for perfect precision

Darning Needles

Darning needles are designed for jobs in mending and darning. Large eyes enhance the ease of threading; these high-precision needles work well with even medium-sized threads.

An ideal hand quilting needle, its particular medium ballpoint glides through the fabric to avoid visible damage. Their size ensures better control and, therefore, efficiency—just perfect for dealing with heavy fabrics or intricate hand-sewing projects

Tapestry Needles

Tapestry needles have blunt points suitable for open-weave fabrics like tapestry canvas. The eyes are large enough to accommodate tapestry threads or yarns. You’ll find these most helpful in tapestry kits and patterns. Though seemingly comparable to upholstery needles, tapestry needles work smoothly using either size ten needles or big needles when knitting to avoid damage to the fabric.

Benefits of Using Large Needles

Benefits of Using Large Needles
Using large needles makes threading easier and reduces eye strain due to the larger eye and thicker thread capacity. This makes them ideal for projects requiring heavy fabrics, thick threads, or when eye comfort is a priority

Ease of Threading

Large needle use brings significant threading efficiency, reducing eye strain and making your projects smoother. Whether you’re sewing heavy fabric, embroidering, or doing upholstery work, the large eye makes threading a breeze, especially with Colonial Needle Company needles.

  • Quick threading
  • Less eye strain
  • Ideal for heavy fabrics
  • Efficient for upholstery applications

Suitability for Thick Threads

Large needles are perfect for thick threads and tough fabrics. They make embroidery projects, darning repairs, and upholstery applications a breeze. With sizes like 26s to 20 gauge, they pierce through tough materials effortlessly. Large eye needles, including leather needles, give you control and precision, making them ideal for heavy-duty sewing tasks. Maximize efficiency with fewer thread breaks

Reduced Eye Strain

Large needles greatly reduce eye strain while providing better vision and higher comfort. This is how:

  1. Easy to thread: The more substantial eye makes threading easier; mainly with thick threads.
  2. Less strain: Your eyes won’t squint, so it creates less fatigue.
  3. Needle shaft size: This size of the needle shaft is designed for smooth fabric navigation, like knit fabrics.

This ensures longer, stress-free sewing sessions.

Applications for Large Needles

Applications for Large Needles
Large needles excel in applications like embroidery and cross-stitch, ensuring smooth threading and handling of thick threads. They’re also ideal for mending, darning, upholstery, and working with heavy fabrics, offering strength and efficiency

Embroidery and Cross-Stitch

Large needles are more accessible to thread—rather important when working on embroidery and cross-stitch. Their larger eye is designed for thicker threads needed for big stitches.

Now, with the proper thread tension in place, move on to fabric choice; use embroidery needles on delicate fabrics and appliqué pins on details.

One last thing: take good care by storing your sewing notions properly to keep them pristine

Mending and Darning

While mending and darning, the usage of appropriate needles is significant. The larger the eye of the needle, the easier it’s to thread—ideal for thicker threads and tough fabrics.

Use the proper techniques so your repairs are vital. But it doesn’t have to stop there; creative embellishments can bring worn items into exceptional pieces.

Inaccurate repair improves strength and appearance, making your work well worth doing

Upholstery and Heavy Fabrics

When working with upholstery and heavy fabrics, one must select the appropriate chisel. Apply a big, curved needle for advanced manipulation through thick material. Make sure your thread is appropriate for the density of the fabric. Use an adjusted stitch length so it’s strong, and finish techniques to support seams. This ensures that what one makes remains strong and long-lasting.

Techniques for Working With Large Needles

Techniques for Working With Large Needles
Always hold sharp needles properly to achieve a smooth stitch and reduce tension. Take regular breaks to avoid hand fatigue, which can help you in maintaining your sewing efficiency.

Proper Grip and Handling

Placing your fingers carefully is required in mastering large needles. The pinky and the ring are curled under, thus supporting the needle to help control the tension of stitches.

Work slowly to prevent straining your muscles. Work at a pace that allows you to make accurate stitches that will leave you not too fatigued to sew more. This way, you can have practical, enjoyable sessions sewing

Adjusting Tension

Adjusting tension is essential when one has to use large needles. Be careful not to have too high a thread tension for the thickness of your yarn; as it happens, excessive friction will cause avoidable wear on your needle and strain on your musculature. Loosen your grip on the shaft so that stitches can glide along effortlessly.

Loosen grip: This avoids tight stitches.

  • Match tension: Same as yarn thickness.
  • Smooth motion: Reduce the drag of the needle.

Proper tension makes your stitching efficient and comfortable.

Avoiding Hand Fatigue

To avoid hand fatigue with large needles, focus on finger support and proper needle grips. Take frequent pacing breaks to stretch your wrists and hands, ensuring flexibility. Regular wrist exercises help maintain dexterity. Manage your tension by knitting loosely to reduce strain. These techniques will keep you sewing comfortably without cramps or discomfort

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What size needle has a large eye?

A needle with a large eye is typically used for embroidery or appliqué. Examples include Chenille, Tapestry, and Darning needles. They accommodate thicker threads, making them ideal for intricate, detailed sewing tasks

Which is bigger a 24 or 26 needle?

A 24 needle is larger than a 26 needle. The higher the number, the finer and shorter the needle. So, a 24 needle is thicker and longer compared to a 26 needle

What is the biggest sewing needle size?

The largest sewing needle size typically available is Size 10, which is thicker and often used for upholstery and heavy fabrics. These needles feature a more robust design suitable for penetrating tough materials effortlessly

What are the different types of needles and sizes?

Needles come in various types and sizes: Sharps, Ballpoints, Chenille, Tapestry, Crewel, Upholstery, Quilting, Beading, Bodkins, and Darning. Sizes range from larger numbers for finer work to smaller, thicker needles for robust tasks

What are large eye blunt needles?

Imagine threading a needle effortlessly. Large eye blunt needles, with their wide eyes and rounded tips, are perfect for open-weave fabrics. They glide through without splitting fibers, providing you with precision and control

Is knitting on Big needles the same as knitting on normal needles?

Knitting on big needles isn’t quite the same as using normal ones. Big needles make larger stitches, require lower tension, and involve more effort to move stitches along, impacting pacing and muscle strain

What is a needle shank?

Don’t worry about the terminology. A needle’s shank refers to the middle part of a needle you hold while working on a project. This is the most crucial part for control and precision in stitching, preventing the slipping of the needle.

How long is a large eye hand sewing needle?

A large eye hand sewing needle, like the finest quality English needles from the Colonial Needle Company, typically measures around 5 inches long. This length provides ease of handling and threading, ensuring precision in your sewing tasks

How should large needles be properly stored?

Keep big needles in a needle case, just like a sword in its sheath, to prevent damage and injuries. Ensure they’re dry, sorted by size, and out of the reach of children so that they stay precise and long-lasting.

What is the optimal needle material for strength?

High-grade stainless steel is preferred in the production of needles for optimum strength because it demonstrates great resistance to bending and provides a sharp point, hence precision and reliability while sewing, embroidering, or knitting.

Are there specific safety precautions for large needles?

It is very much like handling complicated machinery with large needles. Always wear protective gloves; make sure the needle is sterile, and handle it with controlled precision to avoid an unwanted puncture. Maintain cleanliness of the workspace to avoid contamination.

How do you prevent large needle injuries?

Use large needles carefully: always handle with a firm grip, keep sharp ends away from your body, store securely when not in use, and avoid distractions to maintain focus while working. Safety first, always

What maintenance practices extend large needle lifespan?

How do you make your needles last longer? Keep them clean and dry after use; sterilize them as recommended; at regular intervals, inspect them for damage; and store them in a protective case to avoid dulling or bending.


Mastering large needles will open up a whole new world in sewing projects. You can know the right size and type of needle to use with thick threads and heavy fabrics easily.

Benefits such as reduced eye strain and easier threading will make you effective. Proper techniques such as adjusting the tension and proper grip ensure one works out smoothly.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to confidently sew to success by using large needles as your new tool of choice

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.