October 28, 2007

A variety of needles work well for hand appliqué. For years I was content with my John James No. 11 sharps. Then I tried milliner/straw (same thing) and now that’s what I prefer. They’re longer and you can just get a good grip on ’em. I bent the No. 11’s quickly, so now I’ve settled on my abfave as Richard Hemming No. 10 milliner needles. I can use them until they wear out without bending them, and they feel right in my hand.

Whatever the brand or size, the important thing for hand appliqué is that it’s a skinny needle that slides through the fabric easily without resistance.

Here’s a photo comparison.

Top to bottom:

Richard Hemming No. 10 milliner
Richard Hemming No. 11 milliner
John James No. 11 sharp

What’s your favorite appliqué needle, and why?

Until next time,


2 Responses to “Hand appliqué needles”

  1. Marina Rosario on November 11th, 2007 7:00 pm

    Greetings from the Great State of Oregon!

    I stumbled on to your blog, and have to comment about needles. They are so important to applique, and I find people often get turned off to applique because they don’t use a needle that is right for them. I, like you, loved the #11 John James milliners, but I also bent them badly, and my body chemistry caused them to oxidize quickly. My only remedy was to carry an emery bag to clean them regularly. Then I learned about the John James “Gold ‘N Glide” which are essentially the same needles with a coat of Teflon and the eye plated gold, I’m assuming to make it more visible for easier threading. The Teflon coating makes them more rigid and less likely to bend, and they glide through the fabric almost effortlessly. Very cool!

  2. admin on November 12th, 2007 8:30 am

    Greetings yourself Marina! Very happy to have your good information about the coated appliqué needles. I had not come across them, but now I’m intrigued and will definitely be keeping an eye out for them.

    Hey gang, Marina used to live in my area until she moved to Oregon, so I can testify that she is one awesome appliquér!