If you are going to do any kind of off-loom beadweaving or any loomed beadwork, threading your needle is the first step to making your first stitch. But threading your needle can be difficult and frustrating, particularly if you are new to beading. These are a few simple steps and tips that can help make threading your needle easier and make your beadwork more enjoyable.
1. Check the Eye of Your Needle
Before you use your beading needle, if you are using an English beading needle or milliners needle, look into the eye and make sure that it is open and clear of any tiny bits of metal debris. The manufacturing process can sometimes leave behind tiny bits of metal that will make threading your needle difficult. You should also make sure that you are using the appropriate size thread for your needle.
2. Wet the End of the Thread
If you are using a nylon beading thread, wet the very end of the thread in your mouth. It will flatten the end of the thread and make the nylon fibers stick together better, making it easier to pass the thread through the eye of the needle without splitting your thread.
You can also use this technique if you are using a gel-spun or fishing line type thread, but with the added step of flattening the thread with a flat nose or chain nose pliers.
Some beaders swear by wetting the eye of the needle instead of the thread. Experiment with both techniques to find out what works best for you and the needles and thread you prefer to use.
3. Hold the Thread Properly
To thread the needle, hold the very tip of the thread in your non-dominant hand and the needle in your dominant hand. Only hold the last half inch or so of thread to make it easier to pass the thread through the eye of the needle.
4. Insert the Thread into the Needle
Gently slide the very end of the thread into the eye of the needle. You don't need to push a lot of thread through the needle at first - just a fraction of an inch will do.
If at this point you see any split ends or frayed threads, remove the thread from the needle, trim the end of the thread and start over. You don't want to pull the thread through the needle if the fibers are frayed - it will weaken the thread and make it impossible to stitch properly.
5. Pull the Thread Through the Eye of the Needle
To pull the thread through the eye of the needle, grasp the thread and pull it slowly through the eye. You can use a chain nose pliers or needle grabber to help if you have a hard time getting hold of the thread.
Don't be discouraged. Threading your needle takes practice. Even experienced beaders have days when their needles and thread won't cooperate. Practice threading your needles and try some of these tips to make threading your needle easier.