About Sashiko Needles
Sashiko needles are longer and thicker than the needles most of us use, and most have large eyes for threading thick cotton sashiko threads.
This length allows for packing several inches of fabric onto the needle at once, a practice that makes the stitching faster and straighter.
The strength is necessary to keep them from bending and breaking as the stitching progresses. This alone makes it worthwhile to buy a sashiko needle. I used every type of long, strong, needle I could find before sashiko needles became available in North America, and invariably they bent unless my project was quite small.
I can't tell you for certain which sashiko needle is best for your project. It depends on a few variables.
I've listed some of these below along with my thoughts about the needles we carry at A Threaded Needle , but there is still personal preference to consider. We all have difference size fingers, for instance. My thick fingers are clumsy with short thin needles, but can manipulate large long needles comfortably. For you, it may be the opposite.
Here are the six sashiko needles we currently carry, and some notes:
In general, when choosing, consider the fabric you are stitching and the thread you are using. If the fabric is a little tightly woven use a thinner needle so that there is less resistance in pulling the stitches through. If your thread is lighter weight (thinner) than regular sashiko threads, choose sashiko needles with a smaller eye. If you are stitching through several layers of fabric, choose a long needle. If you are using Kogin sashiko thread, choose a needle with the largest eyes..
Sort of common sense, I know.
The 2 in a package Olympus sashiko needles are my dependable work horse choice. The are strong with big eyes which easily handle Olympus sashiko and Kogin sashiko threads. I have never broke or bent one, and I use them for all sorts of hand sewing.
Clover offers two good quality packages also. I would choose the shorter ones if the idea of such big needles is too much of a jump from what you are used to using, or if you want to stitch lighter weight threads and fabrics. Note that only the largest needles in this package have eyes big enough that you can thread regular sashiko thread so they may be best for lighter weight (#8 - #12) threads.
The Clover long needles are my favorite for stitching on heavy wool fabrics and on rough linen and hemp. I use the smallest needle in this package for stitching regular weight cotton, and it’s pretty much comparable to one needles in each other the other packages.
And then there are the Hiroshima Tulip sashiko needle family.
These are the smoothest needles I have ever used. Highly polished and with beveled eyes for easy threading, they are sharp, strong and such a pleasure to stitch with.