HOW TO

How to Use a Needle Threader

How to Use a Needle Threader

Two Parts:Loading the ThreadThreading the NeedleCommunity Q&A

If you’re over it with the frustration of attempting to thread a needle the old-fashioned way, try using a needle threader tool. Just insert the wire loop through the eye of the needle, then slip your thread through the larger threader hole and double it over. When you slide the needle off the loop, it will catch the thread effortlessly, and you can knot it and get right to stitching without a lot of unnecessary squinting and poking.

Part 1

Loading the Thread

  1. 1
    Hold the threader in one hand and the needle in the other. For most people, it will probably be easiest to have the needle threader in your dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, for instance, you’ll hold the tool in your right hand, while left-handed sewers will use their left. You’ll have much more coordination that way, which will allow you to focus on manipulating the small items you’ll be working with.[1]

    • Make sure you’re gripping the needle so that the eye is pointing upwards.
    • Those with unsteady hands may find it helpful to stabilize the needle using a pincushion or piece of cork. The larger object will hold the needle in place while you’re threading so that you won’t have to.[2]
  2. 2
    Insert the wire threader loop through the eye of the needle. It may take a few attempts to get the two pieces lined up correctly. Push the threader until the needle rests in the shallow groove next to the base. This will keep it from accidentally slipping out.[3]

    • If you’re having trouble getting the threader loop through, turn the needle slightly so you can see the opening a little better.
    • You may need to push the threader gently to force it through the eye of a smaller-sized needle.
  3. 3
    Guide the end of the thread through the threader loop. The wire threader loop will give you a much larger target to aim at. Once you’ve got the thread inside, pull the loose end to continue feeding it through.[4]

    • Needle threaders take the imprecision out of threading by working in reverse. Instead of guiding the thread straight through, the threader allows you to anchor it in place, then pull the needle around it.
  4. 4
    Double the thread over on itself. Pull the loose end back on itself so that it runs alongside the length of the thread. Gather up both ends between the thumb and forefinger of your free hand. Be sure to create enough length to keep a secure grip on the folded thread.[5]

    • You’ll load the threader the same way whether you want to work with single or double thread.

Part 2

Threading the Needle

  1. 1
    Slide the needle over the thread. Pull the needle out of the groove at the base of the wire loop and fit it over the double thread. Continue moving it along until it clears the folded end. At the same time, pinch the ends of the thread together tightly.[6]

    • At this point, it may help to set the threader down on the tabletop or your lap so you can get a better grip on the needle.
    • Be careful not to let the needle slip back off the thread.
  2. 2
    Pull the loose end of the thread free. Give the thread a gentle tug to work it out of the wire loop the same way it went in. Work the loose end out with your fingers if needed. The thread should now be running straight through the eye of the needle.[7]

    • Once you’ve successfully threaded the needle, unwind the spool to make the thread as long as you need it.
  3. 3
    Knot the thread around the eye of the needle. If you’re content with using single thread, simply tie off the loose end. You can then begin sewing as usual. That’s all there is to it![8]

    • Tie off the knot 2-3 times to make sure it’s secure enough to hold.
    • When you’re done, snip the thread off the spool. This will get the excess material out of the way while you’re stitching.
  4. 4
    Leave the thread folded for stronger stitches. If you’d prefer to work with double thread, keep pulling the loose end back on itself to add more length. You can then tie the thread off when you’re finished making your stitches.[9]

    • Using twice the amount of thread creates a more durable seam, which is good for reinforcing items like torn clothing, buttons, pillows, and stuffed animals that see a lot of hard wear.[10]
    • Doubling up your thread is particularly useful when you’re working with thread that’s thin or old.
  5. 5
    Keep practicing until you get the hang of it. Needle threaders are handy little devices, but they can take a little while to get used to. Don’t worry if your first couple attempts feel a little awkward. After a few passes, you’ll be threading like a pro!

    • By using a needle threader, even crafters who know their way around a needle and thread can cut down dramatically on overall project time.

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    Tips

    • A basic wire needle threader can be purchased for as little as $ 2-3 at most craft supply stores.
    • It may be a good idea to buy more than one needle threader in case any of the delicate metal parts break.
    • The needle threader’s slender wire loop is small enough to fit most sizes of sewing needles.
    • Needle threaders can make the perfect aid for those who are just learning how to sew.

    Warnings

    • Keep your fingers a safe distance away from the needle point. Getting pricked doesn’t feel pleasant!

    Things You’ll Need

    • Sewing needle
    • Thread
    • Wire needle threader
    • Pin cushion or cork (optional)

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