How To Thread A Needle: Thread A Machine & Hand Sewing Needle

Needles for threading come in multiple varieties, each accompanied by its own set of tips and tricks. The tools needed for each method vary slightly.

Would you mind telling me what type of needle you are trying to thread? What is your goal, and how are you planning to accomplish it? Here’s what we at SewingWithEase found.

Key Takeaways

  • Four easy ways to thread a needle:
    • Wet the end of your thread.
    • Use a needle threader.
    • Use the fold and pinch method.
    • Use a self-threading needle.
  • Wetting the thread end: This makes threading easier by stiffening the thread; it can be done with water or saliva.
  • Needle threader usage: A small tool that simplifies threading and works for both hand sewing and sewing machines.
  • The fold-and-pinch method involves folding the thread over the needle and pinching it to create a loop that is pushed through the needle’s eye.
  • Self-threading needles: Feature a V-shaped opening at the top, allowing easy threading by pulling the thread down into the needle.
  • General tips:
    • Cutting the thread to a fresh end helps avoid fraying.
    • Needle threaders and self-threading needles are small and convenient for those who sew regularly.
    • These methods facilitate quick and easy sewer threading at any skill level.

How to Thread a Regular Hand Sewing Needle?

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Your needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors or thread snips
  • A needle-threader (optional)
  • Beeswax (optional).

How to Thread a Self-Threading Hand Sewing Needle?

You’ll need to be equipped with the following:

  • A self-threading needle
  • Thread.

How to Thread a Sewing Machine Needle by Hand?

To succeed, you will need the following:

  • Thread
  • Your sewing machine needle
  • Scissors or thread snips
  • Sewing machine needle threader (optional)
  • Beeswax (optional).

How to Thread a Self-Threading Sewing Machine Needle?

The following are essentials for success:

  • Thread
  • Self-threading sewing machine needle.

How to Thread a Sewing Machine Needle With an Automatic Threader?

You must have the following equipment:

  • Thread
  • Your sewing machine needle
  • Your sewing machine’s attached needle threader.

3 Different Ways How to Thread a Needle for Hand Sewing

3 different ways how to thread a needle for hand sewing

Method 1: Needle Threading for Regular Hand-Sewing

If you lose a button, you might carry a hand-sewing needle in your emergency kit. The tool consists of a thin metal rod with an eye on one end and a point on the other. The thread must be threaded through the eye. As you probably know, it can be more complicated than it seems.

Gather your materials

  1. You’ll need a needle
  2. Thread
  3. Snips or scissors
  4. Beeswax (optional)
  5. A needle-threader is also helpful (optional)
  6. Even though needle threaders aren’t strictly necessary, they simplify life. You should pay particular attention to the needle’s eye, especially if it is small and hard to see.

Preparation of your thread

  1. A thread jammed through the needle’s eye might be possible. Preparing the thread makes it much easier.
  2. The thread should be cut at an angle at the end. This serves two purposes. The first step will be to remove the fuzz and fraying. These two factors can make threading a needle difficult. The remainder of the thread will be guided through the eye through the angle made by snipping.
  3. You can also apply beeswax to the end of the thread if you wish. This will make the thread end straighter and stiffer, making it easier to pass through the needle’s eye.

Your needle threader

  1. There is something cool about needle threaders. You can get them for cheap, they’re easy to find, and they do the job well.
  2. What is the best way to use it? You’ll see how easy it is! Even the most minor needle eye can be threaded through the thin wire “eye” of the threader. To begin with, poke the wire through the eye.
  3. When it’s through, see how it expands. Isn’t the opening nice and big? Through that, thread your needle.
  4. Removing the threader is now as simple as pulling it back out. A thread will follow. That’s all there is to it! It wasn’t hard at all.

Method 2: How to Thread a Hand Sewing Needle without a Threader

Although needle threaders are lovely, you don’t have to own one. If you’ve snipped the end of your thread and applied beeswax, the thread should go through the needle’s eye reasonably quickly.

Method 3: Sewing With A Self-Threading Needle

There is a very small gap in the eye of self-threading needles, whether for hand sewing or sewing machines. The thread is loaded from the side of the needle with a self-threading needle. No cutting, poking, or waxing is allowed.

  • There’s still work to be done, even with a self-threading needle. But thanks to the needle’s unique eye design, the job is a bit easier. Here’s how self-threading needles are threaded.
  • Thread the needle by looping the thread around it.
  • Pull it down as soon as it reaches the eye. Inserting the thread from the side will easily fit into the eye.

4 Ways to Thread a Sewing Machine Needle

4 ways to thread a sewing machine needle

In the same way, hand-sewing needles can be threaded in various ways, and sewing machine needles can be threaded in various ways. However, it would be best if you first prepared your machine.

Sewing Machine Preparation

At the end of threading a sewing machine, the thread travels through the needle’s eye. Before proceeding to the next step, you must thread the top and bobbin threads. Here’s how you do it.

Follow the threading diagram on your sewing machine’s top thread

The top thread is threaded differently on every sewing machine model. When you examine your machine closely, you’ll find a diagram that shows exactly where your top thread should run. Different steps help to keep the thread from tangling, regulate the tension, and keep it flowing smoothly.

The bobbin thread

The bottom thread is called the bobbin thread. Top-loading or front-loading bobbins are found on every sewing machine. The bobbin cover should be removed for a bobbin that loads from the top.

Once the bobbin is in place, slip it into place. Your bobbin cover should have a diagram. Some machines require the thread to be pulled from the left side of the bobbin, while others require it to be pulled from the right side.

Using the bobbin well slot, pull the thread through. By pulling it up and to the left, it will come out. Bobbins that load from the front (or side) undergo a different process.

First, the bobbin case needs to be removed. Once the bobbin case is complete, insert the bobbin with top-loading bobbins. Direction matters, so you should follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.

After you guide the thread into the slot, pull it through the metal band. Place the bobbin case back in the bottom compartment and close the door.

The Automatic Needle Threader Method: Threading a Sewing Machine Needle

The Automatic Needle Threader Method: Threading a Sewing Machine Needle

Many modern sewing machines have an automatic needle threader. The design may differ from machine to machine, but the function remains the same. Threading your sewing machine needle is made easier with an automatic needle threader.

No need to worry about poking tiny thread ends through tiny holes. In the same way, there is no need to cut or wax.

What is the best way to use an automatic needle threader? Different sewing machines have different designs, but the steps are the same for most. The top thread is now ready to be threaded through the needle.

  1. Double-check your top thread first. How well did you guide it through the threading diagram? Are you sure? That’s good.
  2. The second step is opening the needle threader. It is common for automatic needle threaders to be spring-loaded. The needle threader can be opened by pressing the lever or button.
  3. The third step is to load the thread – The thread is usually pulled or pushed through the eye of your sewing machine needle by an automatic needle threader.
  4. The fourth step is to release the threader – The threader can now be released. It guides the thread through the needle and automatically returns to its original position. You can do it!

Using A Hand-held Needle Threader To Thread Your Sewing Machine

Automatic needle threaders aren’t always included with sewing machines. The situation can be irritating, but it’s not a catastrophe.

The needles of sewing machines can be threaded manually using a hand-held needle threader. They are cheap and easy to find, like threaders for hand-sewing needles. Similar to an automatic needle threader, they work by threading the needle.

  1. The first step is to position your threader. Holding it in your right hand, the pointy bits should face to the left, and the hooks should face up at the top. The needle threader has a plunger similar to a syringe. Your thumb should be on top of this, facing to the right.
  2. The second step is to insert the thread. Through the Y-groove, insert the thread horizontally. Above the needle’s eye, place the needle threader loaded with thread.
  3. The third step is to bring the threader down—When the inner wire of the threader catches the eye of the needle, slide the threader down the needle toward the eye.
  4. The fourth step is to push the plunger—Press the plunger as soon as the hook contacts the eye. This action should push through your sewing machine needle’s eye.
  5. The last step is to finish the job—What is the purpose of the little plastic hook on the end? You’ll use it to pull the thread through the rest! The loop should be slipped through the hook and gently pulled. That’s it!

Sewing Machine Needle Threading Method 3

As with self-threading hand, sewing needles, self-threading sewing machine needles work similarly. It is possible to pull the thread through the gap in the eye without having to squint and poke at it.

Thread your sewing machine needle by looping the thread around it. Next, gently pull it toward your eye. You can now tug it sideways into your eye. That’s it!

No Threader, No Problem with Method 4

Last, there is the most straightforward method, but it isn’t easy. However, it can be made less painful.

  1. Prepare your thread—Just as with a hand sewing needle, a fuzzy or frayed thread end can make threading a sewing machine needle difficult. Make sure your thread is ready. If you wish, add a dab of beeswax to the tip. Cut the edge at an angle.
  2. Guide it through—The thread should now be guided through the eye. Thread is usually inserted from front to back on many sewing machines, but in some cases, it may need to enter from the side.

How to Thread a Needle FAQs

What are some effective methods for threading a needle?

Threading a needle can be done using various methods to suit different preferences and needs. The four most straightforward techniques include wetting the thread end, using a needle threader, employing the fold and pinch method, and opting for self-threading needles. Each method makes the process easier, whether for hand sewing or using sewing machines and can significantly reduce the time it takes to start a sewing project.

How can I thread a needle without any special tools?

To thread a needle without special tools, you can use the classic method of wetting the end of your thread. Firstly, ensure the thread’s end is freshly cut to avoid fraying, complicating the threading process. Dampen the end with water or saliva to stiffen it, making it easier to pass through the needle’s eye. This method is convenient as it requires no additional tools and can be done almost anywhere.

What is a needle threader and how do I use it?

A needle threader is a small, simple tool designed to facilitate the threading of needles. It typically features a thin, diamond-shaped wire loop. To use it, insert the wire through the needle’s eye, thread the thread through the wire loop, and then pull the threader back through the needle, bringing the thread along with it. Needle threaders are incredibly useful for hand and machine sewing, making them a valuable addition to any sewing kit.

Can you explain the fold and pinch method for threading a needle?

The fold and pinch method is an effective way to thread a needle without using any tools. This technique involves folding the thread over the needle’s shaft and tightly pinching it between your fingers to create a small loop. Then, carefully pull the needle out while keeping the loop, position the needle’s eye over it, and push it through. This method requires some skill but is highly effective once mastered.

What are self-threading needles, and how do they work?

Self-threading needles are designed with a unique convenience feature—a V-shaped opening at the top of the needle’s eye. To thread, lay the thread over the V-shaped cut and push it down; the thread will slide effortlessly into the needle’s eye. These needles are particularly useful for individuals who sew sporadically or find threading traditional needles challenging.


A needle can be threaded in so many ways. Who knew? How did you know there were so many tips, tricks, and devices to make it easier? To ensure your thread stays in good shape, you need the right tools, so give it a little tender, loving care.

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