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Tools glossary

Needles, cutters, pliers, hammers, and more are defined
Beading Needles
Beading needles are used for off-loom stitches and loomwork. Unlike sewing needles, the eye of a beading needle is almost as narrow as the shaft. Both Japanese and English beading needles are available, with the English needles being more flexible than the Japanese. The needles are numbered, and most frequently found in sizes #10 - #16. The thinner the needle, the higher the needle number. To choose a needle, consider your bead and thread sizes, the number of passes you'll make through the beads, and the beading technique. #10 needles are usually used with size 6/0 to 11/0 seed beads, #12s with 8/0 to 13/0 seed beads, #13s with 11/0 to 15/0 seed beads, #15s with 15/0 Charlottes, and #16s with 16/0 to 24/0 seed beads. Several hybrid beading needles, such as #12 longs (often used for loomwork) and #12 sharps or betweens (usually used for bead embroidery) are also available.

Big Eye needles and Small Big Eye needles have a large hole in the center of a flexible shaft. Use them for loomwork, macramé, crochet, and transferring beads, or for tight spots in off-loom bead stitching.

Twisted-wire needles have a large collapsible eye at one end, and are thin and very bendable. Use them for stringing and transferring beads.

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