Hey there book nerds! What needle do you use? A few years ago my friend Kirin introduced me to my all-time fave, the gauge 19 harness needle. I immediately threw all my old gauge 22 tapestry needles into the sea* and never looked back.
Tapestry needles (yawn) and now harness needles (hooray!) are my needles of preference because they have a dull tip. Unlike some binders out there, I never pierce my holes while I am sewing. I do that job earlier with my awl. Having a dull tipped needle helps keep things running smoothly and prevents me from piercing my thread and causing all kinds of problems. Look at those tips:
So dull. So beautifully dull.
Speaking of tips, that first photo above reminds me of this one: Always keep your packaging. I am such a space cadet that if I hadn’t ripped the label off of that little sack of needles five years ago, I would not have any idea now what they are. In such an alternate universe, I would be forced to lie to anyone who asked about my favorite needle, thereby rendering that universe an evil universe.
I’ve got family in town this week, so I’ve got to run off and show them a castle. If you favor another needle, please post a comment!
*I would never actually throw needles into the sea. I’m not a monster.
UPDATE: NERD ALERT
Some bits and pieces from a facebook needle discussion:
Daniel Mellis points out that sharp needles can be dulled out with sandpaper and also let me know that harness needles are sold by Talas as their #1 Bookbinding Needles. Shall I pretend that I knew that all along? Erm.
Joe Lengieza, my boat expert friend, has this to say: “Osborne makes really good sail maker’s needles, too. They come in a range of sizes, up to gargantuan. The distinguishing feature is a triangular cross section at the entry, which spreads apart the fibers of the canvas without damaging them. In England, it might be easier to find W. Smith & Sons, which is also an excellent brand.”
Here is a video from Joe showing a sailmakers palm and needle to sew sails. I wonder what a bookbinder’s palm would look like.