Use beads to add interest and texture to embroidery and stitching. Seed beads can be hard enough to spot, let alone to thread: save time and energy with a beading needle. (Magnifying glasses sold separately.) An essential tool for off-loom bead-weaving and embroidery projects, beading needles are designed with a smaller eye and finer shaft than regular sewing needles. There are a variety of designs and sizes to choose from, so make sure you pick the right one. Our selection of the best options in each category will help.
1. Shappy Big Eye Beading Needles
Comprising two pieces of metal soldered at both ends, Shappy big-eye needles have an opening that spans nearly the needle’s length. Extremely easy to thread, this type of needle is the best for beginners. This 6-pack includes three each of needles measuring 2.2 and 3 inches. Transport them easily and safely in the protective glass bottle provided.
2. Beadsmith John James Beading Needles
A longtime English manufacturer, John James offers these thin, flexible needles that are 1.75 inches long. The package contains 25 durable stainless-steel needles, so they’ll see you through a good variety of projects and last a long time.
3. Artistic Wire Collapsible Eye Needles
These 2.5-inch needles are made with a collapsible eye and twisted shaft. The flexible eye makes these needles ideal for threading seed beads, but the spiral shaft without a point at the end may snag some fabrics. Best for one- or two-time use, this pack includes 4 needles.
4. Beadsmith Beading Needles
Eliminate the guesswork in which size needle to select with this handy Beadsmith pack of 6 very sharp, very flexible tools, available in an assortment of three sizes (two each in sizes 10, 11, and 12) or 6 of one size. Needles are color-coded by size. Make threading small beads a breeze with the thin shaft and small eye of this model.
5. Beads Direct USA Tulip Beading Needles
Japanese needles are as thin as English needles but have a reinforced eye, a stronger shaft, and a more rounded point. In short, they’re a higher-quality needle choice and last for repeated use, but come at a price. This bundle of 10 includes needles of 3 sizes—4 each in sizes 10 and 11, and 2 in size 12—and each size is packaged separately in a glass tube.