Learning how to use a needle threader will just take a few minutes and will change how you think about hand sewing forever. If you find yourself squinting at the eye of a needle or searching for your reading glasses and still squinting at the eye of a needle (that's me!), then perhaps it’s time to consider the fancy little gadget that came with the last packet of needles you bought. It’s a needle threader and although small and rather odd-looking, it is an efficient way to thread a needle that you are battling to see eye to eye with!
What is a Needle Threader?
A needle threader is a simple low-tech device for passing a thread through a needle eye without the aid of a magnifying glass or increasing your frustration.
What Does it Look Like?
The needle threader is a shiny little gadget made of a wire part in a diamond shape and a metal part that looks like a coin.
The wire part sticks out of the metal part which is the piece you hold, and the wire part is going to be inserted into the needle.
You can also purchase slightly more durable ones with plastic heads but essentially they all do the same thing - get the thread through the eye of the needle.
The pack that you bought the needles in often has a needle threader included and this makes threading a needle a really easy operation if you follow these simple steps.
Why Use a Needle Threader?
The eye of the needle comes in different sizes depending on the needle and its use in the sewing world.
Sometimes a fine needle with a fine eye can just about be impossible to thread without learning how to use a needle threader!
Further reading: Types of Hand Sewing Needles
How to Use a Needle Threader: VIDEO
Watch this YouTube video I made to show you just how easy it is to use a needle threader.
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How to Use a Needle Threader - Instructions
Step 1 - Insert Wire
Insert the diamond-shaped wire loop of the needle threader through the eye of the needle.
It should squash through because of the diamond shape and the soft wire it is made of.
Step 2 - Thread Wire
Hold the needle threader and the needle in one hand. It’s a bit fiddly but you will manage to keep control with practice.
Put one end of your thread through the wire loop of the needle threader. Pull the thread through so you have two tails hanging off the wire threader like in the photo below.
Step 3 - Pull
Pull the threader wire back through the eye of the needle. The diamond-shaped wire will squash back down and the threads will go with it through to the other side.
Step 4 - Knot the End
Grab one of the threads and pull it through the eye of the needle. You want to end up with just one piece of thread going through the eye.
If you plan to sew with a double thread you can pull the threads together to make an even length of thread and knot at the bottom.
For a single thread, then pull one of the threads to be higher than the other and knot the longer one.
If you are not sure whether to use a double or single thread, make a decision based on the strength and thickness of your cotton. If it is thin, then do it double, for thicker threads or embroidery threads, thread and knot it as a single strand.
How to Use a Needle Threader for Knitting
The needle threader can also be used in knitting and crochet circles! A snag in a cardigan is easily pulled through with a threader.
It is also an ideal way to pull the ends of the yarn through to the other side.
Poke the diamond wire through the knitted from the wrong side to the right side. Thread the end of the snag or yarn through the diamond wire and pull the thread backward through to the wrong side. Now your threads are invisible on the right side!
Happy sewing and knitting with your useful little low tech needle threader!
Starting to Hand Stitch
Now I assume you have ended up on this blog article on how to use a needle threader because you are about to start hand stitching! So where to go next?
A running stitch is a simple up and down stitch which is one of the easiest you can do regardless of your sewing experience.
A backstitch is still easy but takes a little more time. The advantage is that it creates a really strong hand seam that will hold up to washing. The smaller you can do the length of the stitches, the stronger it will be.
If you are looking to close a seam with an invisible stitch then you should read my article on the ladder stitch.
If you are not sure which stitch to use, read my article on hand embroidery stitches to see which one best suits your project.
Here are some links that will help you navigate my hand sewing section
How to Use a Needle Threader - In Conclusion
Now you know how to use a needle threader you will never look back and will stop thinking that you need stronger glasses or a magnifying glass!
Learning how to use a needle threader makes threading that tiny needle-eye so much easier and cuts back on frustration before you start to hand sew.