Needles (2)

Thank you everyone who recommended Tulip and Bohin needles. I tried some, and I like both – on balance I prefer the Bohin, just because they’re more like what I’m used to. I like the little glass test tubes that the Tulip needles come in though.

I started with the Tulip sashiko needle. It’s enormous! It was like sewing with a harpoon. It sews well though and is a good choice for this thick cotton thread.

Tulip sashiko needle on the stitch journal

I also tried the Tulip silk needles, which are meant to be fine enough to glide through silk. I’m afraid it didn’t, really, even after a swipe with the emery. I tried this one on a scrap of fine silk sari ribbon covered with a bit of silk organza, using my finest silk thread (I think it’s Coats fine silk but can’t read the small print on the tiny label. My ageing eyesight frustrates me no end).

I also used a fine hand-dyed silk thread in shades of purple. I used the Tulip silk needle for one half and a Bohin embroidery needle for the other. I don’t think you can tell which is which, but the Bohin was easier to use.

Scraps of fine silk covered with silk organza; running stitch with silk thread using two different types of needle

I guess the moral here is that a good needle is a good needle, whatever that turns out to be for you. It’s useful to try a few different types just to see how they work.

Birdie likes Bohin

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

9 thoughts on “Needles (2)”

  1. a great review, to which I would add that my Tulip trials yielded bent needles in no time at all (although I share your love of their glass tubes) … I’ve yet to bend the Bohins, even at size 11

    it’s amazing how much difference there can be in this most simple of tools … I still love my tiny John James quilting needles, but the Bohins are becoming my go-to choice and have pride of place in my pin cushion (aka the arm of my stitching chair … ha!)

    1. Yes, it really is amazing how different they all feel. The Tulips all feel a bit rough to me, whereas the Bohins feel more like John James but they also seem a little thinner. Good to know that they don’t bend too easily too.

  2. Thank you for all the information on needles. I’ve used john James size 11 hand quilting needles for over 30ys but have never seen them in big eye version I’d like to try that, and some of their embroidery needles.

  3. Thank you from one needle nerd to another.
    Also, on the old eyes that don’t work like they used to: I take pictures of fine print so I can view it at mega zoom.

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