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How to Use a Beading Needle

how to use a beading needle

A beading needle is an essential tool when doing off-loom bead weaving and other forms of beading projects. But do you know how to use a beading needle properly? In general, for you to be able to string beads or pearls, a beading thread must pass through the holes of the beads.

The beading needle will be responsible for making it pass through the holes easily. The beading needle will let you pull the thread easily and quickly as you try to push it through the beads. However, the usage of the beading needle will differ depending on the types of needle that will be used. Please see below.

Method No. 1: Through the Used of a Sewing Needle

You are probably not aware, but an ordinary sewing needle can also be used in your beading projects. But how do you use it? The size of the sewing needle will be dependent on its usage for any beading project.

Using an ordinary sewing needle that is slim enough to pass through the beads’ holes makes it qualified for your beading project. However, if you are using seed beads or any other type of beads that requires force, the other types of beading needles below must be used.

Method No. 2: Using the Standard English Beading Needle

This beading needle is probably the most popular use of all types of beading needles. This needle comes in different sizes and assortments and must be used in bead weaving. This beading needle can also be used with beads with smaller holes or a fine beading thread.

The sizing of these needles indicates that a higher number means it is a thinner needle. For example, if you are working on something more delicate, you will need a higher number. On the other hand, if you are working with bigger holes, you can choose a needle with a lower number.

The thread is also important in using this needle and must fit through the needle’s hole. It will easily fit in through the holes as you insert the threat. Also, the English beading needle will give you a slim profile that is enough to fit through the holes of smaller beads, including the seed bead or even a Czech glass bead.

Method No. 3: Through the Used of Big Eye Needle

Among all its types, the next commonly used beading needle is the big eye needle. If you are doing more stringing in your beading project, then this needle is the right one to be used. This type of needle comes in different sizes, assortments, and even lengths.

So, using a thicker string will be handy when using the big eye needle. A thicker thread such as silk cord, super-lon, nylon cord is perfect for big eye needles. Also, when threading the needles, all you have to do is pull the sides of the needle apart then put the tip of the thread inside while pulling it towards the end. Then tug at it.

The big eye needle is the easiest to thread, but you also need to have slightly bigger holes on your beads, preferable to a medium-size hole bead as it fits nicely. In the meantime, using this needle with a small-hole bead is not allowed since it will not pass through the holes.

using a beading needle

Method No. 4: Using the Flexible Twisted Wire Needles

The flexible twisted wire needles are also built for beads with slightly bigger holes. But what is unique about this needle is its flexibility. This needle is made up of twisted wire with a loop at one end.

This needle is not particularly sharp or pointy since they are only used to pull through. Also, the loop with its flexibility will contract a little. So, if you are going through to put a large hole bead, you can thread it easily without encountering any problem.

If you are working on a bead with a slightly smaller hole, it will contract while closing the loop a little bit as the thread pulls through the holes easily. This needle is convenient if you need to have your needle flex a lot to get through a curved opening, allowing you to move a lot while stringing.

Method No. 5: Through the Used of a Japanese Beading Needle

If there is an English needle, there is also a Japanese beading needle. This type of needle is thin and flexible and comes with a slightly rounded point. The rounded tip gives the ability to decrease the chance of splitting the thread as it makes multiple passes through the beads.

Japanese beading needles and English beading needles are pretty similar, but the former is more durable but is more expensive. The Japanese beading needles do not break easily compared to the English beading needle.

Other Information You Need in Using a Beading Needle

If you do not want to use a beading needle, using a Gum Arabic beading glue will still let you do your beading project minus the help of the beading needle. The beading glue is what you would use in creating a thread needle if you do not want to use the actual beading needle.

A beading glue will just stiffen the thread, which means it will not let you double the thickness of the thread. On all of these options, you end up having to pull a folded piece with two ends through.
With the use of beading glue, you will end up with one. Meaning once you put the glue on the thread, it will just stiffen the tip of the string and make it hard enough to go through on its own without the need to use a beading needle.

In using the beading glue, you will only need to dip the end of the string while wiping off the excess on the thread – no need to wipe your hands after doing it. Then, let it dry for a couple of minutes to make it stiff nicely while stringing on the beads.


Learning how to use a beading needle is essential if you want to learn how to bead or plan to do some beading projects. It is an essential tool that you can use for any beading project. There are different types of beading needles, and the way it is used differs from one another. Each of them works best depending on the size of the beads being used in the project.

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