‘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.
- No. 10 Silk Needles, (0.56 x 33.3mm), gold label superior polished finish, 6 needles per pack – designed for use on superfine and delicate fabrics such as silk and fine cotton, originally created for making Kimono. Ultra-smooth and with a short, rounded eye to allow smooth threading and stitching of delicate silk threads and flosses.