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Gold Plated Embroidery Needles

By August 7, 2011

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This week's embroidery experiment was all about needles. I wanted to see if there was a difference between 18K gold plated needles and standard embroidery needles.

Gold plated needles are considerably more expensive at an average of over $3 per package, with each package containing just four needles, compared that to a package of 16 standard needles at less than $2 per package.

According to manufacturers, gold plated needles are resistant to humidity, body oils and rust which does make sense with their golden coating. Gold does not rust or tarnish. Plating, however, does eventually wear off eventually.

But, is there more to a gold-plated needle than just resisting rust, oils and moisture?

After testing a size 26 gold embroidery needle against a standard size 26 embroidery needle, I did notice a difference between the two as I stitched. The gold plated needle felt cooler in my fingers, and did feel a bit lighter. It also seemed to thread easily when using a strand of size 8 pearl cotton, and penetrated the linen embroidery fabric I was using with ease.

But, from what I can tell through reading and research, the biggest benefit for using gold plated needles has less to do with embroidery than it does with the comfort of the individual doing the embroidery. People who suffer from nickel allergies, or whose natural body oils tend to discolor needles will not have these issues with the gold plated needles - until the coating wears away from use.


August 8, 2011 at 11:18 am
(1) cathartes says:

May I ask what brand of regular needle you were using in comparison to the gold plate? I’ve found some regular needles are better than others in terms of smoothness and how easily they penetrate the fabric. I bought a pack of DMC needles (sorry folks) and every one seemed to have a little burr on the tip. Then I bought a pack of John James and they stitched like silk. I tried the emory berry on the DMC but they were never quite right.

August 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm
(2) Andrea says:

For me, it’s a matter of the needle’s finish interacting with my skin chemistry. Regular needles lose their finish fairly quickly (especially in hot weather), to the point where they feel “sticky” to the touch. They also catch on fabrics and threads. I’ve tried wiping them off to remove any skin oil that may be on them, but this doesn’t help.

I can get a lot more mileage out of a gold-plated needle, because the gold doesn’t react with my skin. Eventually, the gold wears off with use, but it takes a very long time. So for me, buying less-expensive needles is a false economy, as I have to replace them sooner.

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