Introduction: How to Thread a Needle

Threading a needle is an important step in many crafting projects, however, it can be a step that is skipped when explaining a project. The purpose of this Instructable is to provide an easy to follow review of the steps to threading a needle.

Supplies: Needle



Needle Threader (Optional- there are many varieties but they work in the same basic manner)

Step 1: Check Source Information

The first step in threading a needle is determining the purpose and type of stitch being used. For cross stitch and embroidery specifically, this is the time to check a pattern.

Step 2: Gather Supplies

It is important that the gathering supplies step comes after the step where the pattern or resource is checked so that key materials are not missed. This includes deciding whether multiple needles are needed for the project, gathering scissors and all of the necessary threads, and any extra supplies the pattern may call for.

Step 3: Measure Thread

Measure the thread equal to the length between your thumb and your elbow. Cut the thread at that point.

Step 4: Separate Strands

Check the pattern again. For projects using floss, you may need to separate the thread from six strands into grouping of fewer strands. Separate your thread into the number of strands called for in the project. In the picture above, the left grouping is six strands while the middle and right groupings are three strands.

Step 5: Thread the Needle

If you are not using a needle threader, you will slip the thread through the hole, or eye, of the needle. Do not lick the thread to make this job simpler- that will damage your needle faster. If the end is frayed, trim the thread to create a uniform thread ending.

If you ARE using a needle threader, put the threader through the eye of the needle, loop the thread through the threader, and pull the threader back through the eye.

Step 6: Adjust the Ends

Pull the ends so that one side is longer by a couple of inches.

Step 7: Tie the End

The basic way to make sure that your thread does not pull through the fabric is to tie a knot in the end of your thread

Step 8: Double Check

If the initial knot is not big enough to stop the thread from pulling through your project, which is common with cross stitch, you will repeat this step until the knot is large enough, keeping the first knot in the loop of the new knot so that the two knots build on each other.

Step 9: Trim the Knot

At this point, you want to make sure that the loose ends off the end of your knot are not excessive. If they are too long, they may pull through the fabric with your stitches.

Step 10: Organize

Organization has a large impact on the ease of a sewing project. The last step of threading a needle is making sure that all thread and supplies are placed back in locations which will both be accessible and not impede your work, whether this is a project bag, a sewing kit, or everything in its own place on top of a desk.