Leather needles are used for a variety of tasks, for both hand sewing and machine sewing. There are quality needed available for most any project style. Some recommendations include paid links to products that I trust.
John James makes some of the highest quality needles in the world. They produce a range of needle types, one common to leather crafting is the curved needle, click here to see it on Amazon. Many other types and sizes are available, each suited to a particular type of project and thickness of leather material.
Let’s dive into the range of options available, and recommendations for different needle types for different project styles.
Types of Leather Needles
Choice of a leather needle will generally depend on the material being sewn, the thickness, preferred stitching method, and if holes are already present, or will need to be made by the needle. Some are pointed, some rounded, and some with large eyes. Others are intended for sewing machine use, for varying weights and strengths of materials. Let’s look at the most common types of leather needles.
Saddlers’ harness needles are a specialized sewing needle that have a blunt tip and very strong eyelets (to prevent easy breakage). Since leather can be a thick, tough material, these needles help guide thread and thin lacing through pre-made holes without marking up the leather. They are also strong and hold up well over time.
Often used for the thick, heavy leathers used in saddlery, they can also be used for making shows, bags, and any leather work that requires sewing with thick threads through thick crafting material.
The glover needle has a diamond shaped point, and wide eye, intended for use on leathers, suedes, and thin plastics.
Curved needel, or curved quilting needles, are commly used for very heavy materials, and the curve allows for manuverability and handling that makes it easier to put force on the tip for pushing it through. Often, this is leather or canvas.
Beading needles are useful for pushing through the holes in beads. They can be long or short and have sharp ends.
Lacing needles have a “clip” end where leather lace can be secured in place. This makes it easier to feed the lace through leather with holes alread in it, making the lacing process much smoother.
Machine needles are intended for use in electrically or foot powered mechanical sewing machines. Since they must stand up to powered use, and often pushing through very thick and heavy materials, including leather, machine needes are usually very sturdy. They come in a variety of point shapes which can have unique performance benefits for different materials.
Best Leather Needles
Often, having a few different types of needles around the shop can come in handy, depending on the type of job that needs to be done. Here are recommendations on the best.
Best Leather Saddlers Harness Needle
John James Saddlers Harness Needles are some of the best, click here to see them on Amazon. They are available in sizes 0, 00, 000, 2, and 4, include a blunt tip, and perform exceptionally well while also being quite strong.
Best Leather Glover Needle
The John James Glover Needles are tops in this category, click here to see them on Amazon. They’ll work well for leathers and suede.
Best Leather Curved Needle
The John James Curved Quilting Needles are an excellent choice, click here to see them on Amazon. They work well on heavier leathers, and come in 2″ an 2.5″ sizes.
Best Leather Beading Needle
Beadsmith Sharp Beading Needles are a quality option, click here to see them on Amazon. They generally perform very well, and hold up over time, especially for a thinner needle.
Best Leather Lacing Needle
Best Leather Sewing Machine Needle
The Schmetz Leather Machine Needles are a very sturdy and excellent needle, click here to see them on Amazon. They are thick, heavy-duty, and will perform well for leather stitching.
Having the right tool for the job often makes it much easier, and the end result of the product much better. That is certainly the case with having the right needle. As one gets more familiar with the projects they work on and the style of sewing they like, having quality needles around the shop will become very common and helpful.