‘Tulip’ is based in Hiroshima, Japan, where the tradition of needle-making dates back over 300 years, and where 90% of Japan’s needles are still manufactured. In 2013, to celebrate Tulip’s 65th anniversary, the company developed their current range of over 50 types of specialist needle, harnessing cutting-edge precision technology to produce a premium product. I have tried many, many types and brands of needles over the years, my preference being for the glorious packets of antique needles, which are of course tricky to source in sufficient quantity. Until I tried Tulip needles, I had not been able to find any to replicate the smoothness, accuracy and delicacy of antique needles. Tulip needles provide this and more.
Tulip have made a large part of their range of needles with a superior polished finish (their ‘gold label’ needles) which is unique and, in my opinion, makes a huge difference to their use, stitching through fabric like a knife through butter, even through layers and heavy padding. When finished in this way, the needle is polished in streaks along its length, this means that the cross section of the needle has the appearance of a star, with many tiny points, rather than being fully circular. Thus, the overall surface area of the needle in contact with the fabric is greatly reduced, decreasing friction significantly and producing a vastly smoother stitching experience.
The needles are packed in lovely little, clear acrylic tubes with cork stopper and anti-tarnish paper, displayed in their beautiful colour coded cardboard packets which are too lovely to throw away.
The needles command a premium price, but the quality is worth every penny. I worked with Tulip to produce the no. 12 embroidery needles as they did not have this size in their range, and it is one of my favourite needle sizes. They sent me a selection of eight no.12 needles, made to my specification but with different levels of tempering, and I was able to select the one I preferred for strength, flexibility and smoothness.
They also helped me to develop the bespoke set of needles for my Wordsworth Harp Needlecase. This company’s attention to detail and customer service is second to none and they are a delight to work with
- If you are looking for the perfect no. 10 embroidery needle, I would highly recommend Tulip’s gold range ‘No. 10 Appliqué Big Eye’ which is the equivalent of a crewel embroidery no. 10. These are amongst my favourite all-round embroidery needles.
- No. 8 Embroidery/Crewel Needles, (0.61 x 36.5mm), sharp tip, 8 needles per pack – a lovely needle for slightly heavier threads and ease of threading.
- No. 9 Embroidery/Crewel Needles, (0.53 x 34.9mm), sharp tip, 8 needles per pack – a lovely needle for fine threads
- No. 12 Embroidery Needles, (0.41 x 29mm), gold label superior polished finish, 4 needles per pack – made to my specification, these beautiful needles are a delight to use for any fine stitching.
- No. 22 Chenille Needles – (0.89 x 40mm, equivalent to a UK no.22 Embroidery/Crewel Needles Assorted THIN sizes (2 x no.7, 8, 9 and 10 per pack) sharp tip – A lovely selection of fine embroidery needles for all sorts of uses.), sharp tip, 6 needles per pack. Chenille needles are equivalent thickness to tapestry needles and have the same extra-long, easy-to-thread eye, but have a sharp tip. This size is excellent for use with heavier embroidery threads and wools through fabric, for ribbon work, and for plunging metal threads.
- No. 24 Chenille Needles – (0.76 x 37mm, equivalent to a UK no.24 chenille), sharp tip, 6 needles per pack. Chenille needles are equivalent thickness to tapestry needles and have the same extra-long, easy-to-thread, eye, but have a sharp tip. This size is excellent for use with slightly heavier embroidery threads and wools through fabric, for ribbon work, and for plunging finer metal threads.
- Chenille Needles, assorted – (1 x no. 18, 1 x no. 20, 2 x no.22, 2 x no. 24), sharp tip. Chenille needles are equivalent thickness to tapestry needles and have the same extra-long, easy to thread eye, but have a sharp tip. Excellent for use with heavier embroidery threads and wools through fabric, for ribbon work, and for plunging metal threads.