No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Know Your Needles

Martha Stewart Living, September 2008

Unless you've memorized sewing-machine manufacturers' numbering systems, you won't always know which needle to use with which fabric.

Make designated pincushions to keep track: a denim cushion for denim needles; a woven-fabric one for woven-fabric needles; and so on. With a glance, you'll know which needle to reach for.

Comments (12)

  • chosengrandma 22 May, 2012

    Several major sewing machine companies, recommend that a machine needle ONLY be used for one project, and discarded. I keep my Schmetz needles in their plastic container in plastic box with small separations. I have found that I do not get burrs on my projects. Expensive, yes; however my projects look professional.

  • EmpressPenguin 22 May, 2012

    With what do you stuff the pincushions? I have heard using steel wool (pots and pans scrubbers without soap). Any other ideas?

  • SPV 27 Apr, 2011

    I purchased a large tomato-type pin cushion several years ago and labeled each sectioned portion with a different needle size and if I use a needlefor just one item and must change needles, I put the barely used one in the correct needle-marked section, thereby able to use again for several items. But I reallt like the use of the emery grain. I will have to make myself one. Thanks for the ideas.

  • nblack 27 Apr, 2011

    So clever! Now why didn't I think of that? :-)

  • albanezi 27 Apr, 2011

    I really like this homemade idea and you can add your own flair such as themes. I am going to add a loop so I can hang them. Thank you! :-)

  • stephdaniel 27 Apr, 2011

    Nancy's Notions sells a pin cushion that has the needles markings on it and is really easy to use. This is a good idea also.

  • i310work 27 Apr, 2011

    I'm going to try this. Three small pincushions vs. eyes that can't read the tiny numbers on the needle shaft? Great idea!!

  • ToriR2 27 Apr, 2011

    While this is very 'cute,' space in my craft/sewing area is limited. I just have a list of which needle numbers are for which fabrics. I keep it in my sewing machine takes up no space.

  • Yvil 11 Feb, 2010

    Wootle, it seems nakpunar has moved to Etsy:

  • Teresamcv 11 Feb, 2010


  • Wootle 11 Feb, 2010

    Alas, nakpunar, the link you gave below says "this store doesn't exist".

  • nakpunar 29 Dec, 2008

    This pincushion is very beautiful. You can use emery grain to fill it.

    Every time you stick your needle or pin into an emery pincushion, it cleans it of the natural oils in your fingers and any impurities in your cloth. It also sharpens the very tip of your needle, making your work quicker and easier on your hands.

    You can find in my store: