What is a Needle Threader?

wiseGEEK Writer

If you’re tired of trying to thread needles, which can take patience and skill, particularly when the eye of the needle is very small, you may want to look into purchasing a needle threader. Needle threaders are inexpensive tools, and you may already own one if you have a small sewing kit. A sewing kit, usually available for about $5-10 US Dollars (USD), frequently includes scissors, a few colors of thread, a thimble and a needle threader.

Three spools of thread.
Three spools of thread.

Some people take pride in threading needles on their own, but poor eyesight, lack of dexterity or simply a wish to thread a needle quickly, makes a needle threader invaluable. Most look like a small medallion, called the handle, with a wire doubled over and attached via a small hole in the top of the handle. The wire is flexible, so it can fit into the smallest of needle eyes, and is equally adaptive to use with larger needles like embroidery needles.

A needle threader may be a wise investment for a person who has trouble threading a needle on their own.
A needle threader may be a wise investment for a person who has trouble threading a needle on their own.

The main confusion that may occur when you use a needle threader is when to put the needle through the wire. Some people attempt to feed the thread into the wire, before they place the wire into the needle. This will only result in frustration.

Instead, you place the wire of the needle threader through the eye of the needle. Then, you place a line of thread, about an inch or two (2.54-5.08 cm) at most, through the wire of the threader. You don’t want to completely fold the thread in half or you’ll then have to keep pulling on the threader. Gently pull the threader out of the eye of the needle, bringing the thread with you as you do. Then continue to pull the threader off the thread, and you’ve successfully threaded the needle.

You might have problems if you are using embroidery thread and a needle with a very small eye. If the thread is bigger than the needle, your thread will get stuck, as will the tip of the needle threader. Be sure to choose the right needle for the work you’re doing. With the exception of trying to thread embroidery or other types of specialty thread in a very tiny-eyed needle, most threads are thin enough to go through needles with even very small eyes.

Once you get used to using a needle threader, you may never go back to threading by hand again. It doesn’t really make sense to, anyway, unless threading needles is a skill upon which you take pride. Needle threaders are widely available, inexpensive, and they save time, especially for people who only sew occasionally.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


What I would like to know if all needle threaders have the woman's profile on them? was it some kind of trademark that got copied, or is it like YKK zips where one factory makes them all?

Post your comments
Forgot password?