Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thread the needle

I have conflicting information about how to thread a needle. I mean, which end of the thread to put through the eye. To reduce tangles and knotting, of course. For a long time I followed the advice that I should thread my needle using the end that I just cut from the spool. Then I got entirely opposite advice from a knowledgeable individual. But neither of my sources had a very good explanation for their preference. If you have a preference, you can cast a vote in this little poll (edit: poll now closed). If you have insight or explanations, please leave me a comment!

14 comments:

Anita said...

I was taught that the end of the thread that comes off the reel first is the end that you thread - something to do with the twist in the thread.

... Paige said...

I agree with Anita

DrRuss said...

I was alway taught to thread the end that you just cut becuase it is less likely to be frayed and therefore, easier to put through the eye of the needle.

Carol said...

When threading a needle for binding (and let's face it, I never thread a needle for anything else), I thread from the end that comes off the reel first. Usually my thread is waxed so I give the end a firm burnish with my teflon folder to flatten it, making it easier to go through the eye of the needle. I pull through a few inches then very carefully put the point of the needle through the thread leaving an inch or two on the end, then manoeuvre the thread so that it tightens on the end of the eye and both ends of the thread are lying together pointing down from the eye. This ensures that your thread never pulls out of the needle, especially useful if you have 10 or 12 needles in action at once on a coptic book.
Reading this now I can see that it is very hard to visualise - sorry if it seems like gobblydeegook. Rhonda, you may have a more clear explanation.

dinahmow said...

Anita is right about the twist of the thread.
And Carol threads-up the same way I do.

Kiley said...

I had no clue there was even a discussion about it!
I was my own thread and I can honestly say that by the time I'm done I couldn't tell which end was what...
Maybe I should start paying attention :)

Elissa said...

I'm with Kiley - I've never really paid attention. I guess it's something you don't really think about until someone brings it up.

lackriver said...

i use whatever end i pick up after i drop it

Rookie Bebe said...

I know this is a bookbinding blog, but here is a tip about threading a needle with regular sewing thread. Wet the eye of the needle, not the end of the thread. The wet eye wicks the thread through. I do alot of applique and it works better.

moreidlethoughts said...

And one more threading tip - needle eyes are punched so if you have difficulty threading, try threading from the other side of the eye.

Rhonda Miller said...

Thanks for all the great feedback on threading needles... it's such a complex subject!

Gina said...

Which ever end will go through the binder's needle--REALLY! I even resort to that little pre-threader since I can not thread a needle very well!

Suzanne said...

Which end you thread from has to do with which direction the twist is in the thread. You want the thread to travel in the direction of twist. BUT you don't have to get all technical and microscopic about it - there's an easy test.

Holding on to one end of the thread, take it between the nails of the thumb and forefinger of the other hand and quickly run down the thread - sort of "stripping" it. If it bunches up - thread from the bottom end, if the thread stays straight, thread from the end you are holding. If you observed which was the spool end - so much the better.

Rhonda Miller said...

Thank you, everyone, for you comments.

Suzanne, that is terrific information, exactly what I was wanting to know!