What is a Curved Sewing Needle Used for? – [Guide]

Last Updated on February 24, 2024

Curved needles might seem like an enigma to some, but once you grasp their unique benefits and learn the proper technique, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them. One such tool that might pique your curiosity is the curved needle.

What is a Curved Sewing Needle Used for


  • Curved needles are essential for precise stitching when a straight needle proves unwieldy.
  • Curved needles offer versatile solutions for various stitching challenges, from mounting embroidery to mending finishes and slip-stitching.
  • Achieve optimal control by holding the curved needle with three fingers, preventing bending or snapping during stitching.
  • Allow the natural curve of the needle to guide your stitching, ensuring smooth penetration and controlled exits from the fabric.
  • While curved needles may seem challenging initially, dedicated practice will turn them into invaluable tools, enhancing your overall needlecraft skills.

Here, we’ll examine curved needles, including their varieties, applications, and—above all—how to become proficient at stitching with these unusual needles.

What is a Curved Sewing Needle Used for?

What is a Curved Sewing Needle Used for

A curved sewing needle is used for tasks like mounting embroidery on a board, mending finished pieces, and slip-stitching, especially when a straight needle may be challenging to maneuver. The unique curvature and technique make it an essential tool for specific stitching scenarios.

Understanding Curved Needles

Before going into their applications, let’s take a closer look at two common types of curved needles: the number eight and the number 10. The larger the number, the smaller and finer the needle. Both possess a distinctive curvature, a sharp point, and a varying eye size.

When to Use a Curved Needle

Curved needles shine in situations where a straight needle might prove cumbersome. The primary applications include:

  • Mounting Embroidery: When framing or mounting embroidery on a board, a curved needle excels when the fabric cannot flex to accommodate a straight needle.
  • Mending Finishes: Perfect for repairing stitches, beads, or holes on the surface of a finished embroidery piece without compromising its integrity.
  • Slip Stitching: Ideal for joining two pieces of fabric or attaching a backing when the fabric doesn’t flex well.

How to Use a Curved Needle

How to Use a Curved Needle

Using a curved needle requires a different technique compared to a straight needle. Follow these steps to master the art:

  • Hold with Three Fingers: Place two fingers underneath and your thumb on top for optimal control. This three-point grip prevents the needle from bending uncontrollably.
  • Curve into Fabric: As the needle is curved, insert it into the fabric at an angle, using the point to guide and penetrate. Avoid forcing it straight in.
  • Controlled Curved Motion: When inside the fabric, allow the needle to follow its natural curve. Avoid unnecessary strain to prevent bending or snapping.
  • Exit in a Curve: As you pull the needle out, maintain the curved motion. Never pull straight out, as this can lead to bending or breaking, especially with finer needles.


Let’s explore a practical application of curved needle stitching, such as mounting embroidery on a board:

  • Herringbone Stitch: Use a number eight curved needle to easily navigate multiple layers of fabric. The curved motion allows you to stitch smoothly without straining the needle.
  • Slip Stitching: Demonstrate how to join two pieces of fabric using the curved needle, emphasizing the control achieved with the three-finger grip.


What is the primary purpose of a curved needle?

A curved needle is primarily used when a straight needle might be impractical, such as mounting embroidery, mending finishes, and slip-stitching two pieces of fabric together.

How do I choose the right size curved needle for my project?

The size of the curved needle is denoted by a number, with larger numbers indicating larger needles. Choose a smaller number for finer work, while heavier tasks may require a larger one.

Can I use a curved needle for regular stitching?

While curved needles are specially designed for unique stitching scenarios, they are not typically used for regular stitching. Straight needles are more suitable for standard sewing tasks.

Are there specific fabrics that work better with curved needles?

Curved needles can be used on various fabrics. However, they are particularly useful when working with materials that do not flex well, such as mounted embroidery or thick layers of fabric.

How do I prevent the curved needle from snapping?

To prevent the curved needle from snapping, use a controlled, curved motion when inserting and removing it from the fabric. Avoid forcing it in a straight line, leading to bending or breakage.

Can I use a curved needle for embroidery stitching?

While curved needles are not commonly used for intricate embroidery stitching, they are invaluable for mounting or repairing embroidery pieces where a straight needle might be challenging to maneuver.

Is there a learning curve to using curved needles?

Yes, there might be a learning curve when using curved needles, especially for those accustomed to straight needles. Practice and patience are key to mastering the technique.

Can I use any thread with a curved needle?

Yes, you can use various thread types with a curved needle. Choose a thread that can easily pass through the eye of the needle and suits the requirements of your project.

Are curved needles suitable for beginners?

While curved needles may present a challenge initially, they are suitable for beginners willing to practice and learn the proper technique. With time, users often find them indispensable for specific tasks.

Can a curved needle be used for quilting projects?

Curved needles are not typically used for quilting, whereas straight needles are more commonly employed. However, they can be handy for specific quilting tasks, such as attaching bindings or slip-stitching seams.


So, curved needles are indispensable tools for specific stitching scenarios. Though they may seem tricky at first, the technique becomes second nature with practice.

Whether mending, mounting, or slip-stitching, mastering the art of curved needle stitching opens up a world of possibilities in your needlecraft journey. So, next time you encounter a stitching challenge, don’t hesitate to reach for that curved needle – your stitching savior awaits!