3 Steps to Using a Needle Threader

What Is a Needle Threader?

A needle threader is a device for helping to put the thread through the eye of a needle. Many types of this low-tech device exist but the most common consists of a diamond-shaped thin and flexible wire attached to a coin-shaped metal, plastic, or wooden handle.

Needle threaders can be found in the sewing notions section of a store and often accompany a package of sewing needles. A purchased sewing needle threader might even have a cover to protect the wire section of the needle threader.

Most hand-sewing needle threaders end up at the bottom of a sewing box and are never used even though they would save hours of frustration threading a sewing needle. Sadly, though, most often no directions are given for their use. Here is how to use one. 

History of Needle Threaders

It's unclear when the first needle threader was invented, but they certainly date to the Victorian era. Many examples of threaders with the queen's head stamped into the tin handle exist today. In the early 1900s, several models also were patented in the United States.

In more recent years, needle threader attachments are included on modern sewing machines (Juki designed the first in 1978). Modern needle threaders for hand sewing include those with miniature LED lights to make seeing what you're doing much more manageable.

Place the Wire Through the Eye of the Needle

Hold the handle of the threader between the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand. Insert the diamond-shaped wire through the eye of the needle, bringing the needle into contact with the handle. 

Place the Thread in the Wire

Once the wire is all the way through the eye of the needle and the wire is now open again, place the sewing thread into the tip of the wire and loop the thread in half. 

Pull the Thread Through the Eye of the Needle

Holding the thread with one hand, pull the needle away from the handle and back up the wire. When you pull the needle off the wire completely, the thread will pass through the eye of the needle and your needle will be threaded.

Knot your thread, and you are ready to hand sew.

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