How Does a Needle Threader Work

One of the most essential steps of sewing by hand is threading the needle. Needle threading is the process of getting the thread to pass through the eye of the needle. This says you are ready to stitch. For those of us who can’t thread their needles by hand, you can always use a needle threader. A needle threader is a device that helps you to thread your needle. A needle threader consists of thin wire with a hook and a handle with a face. It is easy to use.

How does a needle threader work?

Pass the thin wire of the needle threader through the needle’s eye completely until the needle hangs on the wire near the handle of the threader. Pass your thread through the larger hook on the threader then pull the thread through the needle eye. Then take off the threader.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to thread a needle with a needle threader.

Steps to follow when using a needle threader

  1. You will need a needle threader, a needle, and thread. Hold the threader at the handle and insert its thin wire through the eye of the needle until the needle is at the end.
  2. Loop your thread on the needle threader end which looks like a hook.
  3. Holding your thread with the other hand. Using the same hand, pull the needle gently towards the end of the threader with the thread until the threader is on the other side of the needle eye.
  4. Remove your threader and leave your needle threaded and get to work.

Why does a needle threader have a face on it?

The handle of the needle threader looks like a coin. To enhance its resemblance to a coin, the handle has a feminine face on it. Needle threaders have been in existence for a long time. When they were first designed, they bore the image of the head of the Queen.

With this design patented, the needle threader handle has been produced since the Victorian age with a face on the handle.

How do I use an automatic needle threader?

An automatic needle threader consists of funnels that accommodate different sizes of the needle. Here are the steps to follow when using the automatic needle threader.

  1. Put your needle in its respective funnel.
  2. Place your thread around the funnel and press the button.
  3. The thread is then sucked into the funnel and automatically threads your needle.
  4. Remove your threaded needle from the funnel.

How to use an automatic needle threader on the sewing machine

Threading a sewing machine manually is even much harder than just threading a needle. Therefore, you must learn how to use an automatic needle threader to save time and effort when threading your sewing machine.

Modern sewing machines come with the automatic needle threader inbuilt. You must learn to use it well. The automatic sewing machine needle threader is a lever that assists you to thread your needle easily.

Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Thread your sewing machine up to the needle level.
  2. Raise the needle to the highest position by rotating the handwheel in your direction.
  3. Lower your presser foot
  4. Lower the needle threader lever and hook thread onto the thread guide.
  5. Pass your thread into the hook as you pull down your threader
  6. Release your threader, your sewing machine needle will be threaded. Pull your thread tight and out of the way to start sewing.

How do I remove the automatic needle threader?

Sewing machine parts are light and they need to be handled with care to avoid breakages. Sometimes, you may need to remove your automatic needle threader. It may break down and you may want to replace it.

Here are the steps to follow to remove your automatic needle threader.

  1. The first thing to consider is your safety. Make sure that your sewing machine is off and that you have removed the needle. This helps to keep you safe from accidental injuries.
  2. Lower the presser foot lifter.
  3. Lower the automatic threader unit as far as it can go. Unscrew the outer hook to loosen it then pull it out to remove it from the sewing machine.
  4. You can then fix it or replace it with a new threader.

Types of needle threader you can buy

Hand sewing threader

This is the ordinary needle threader that comes with every sewing kit. They are simple to use and understand. Further, they are cheap and can be bought from any craft shop if you need one. They make needle threading by hand much easier.

This needle threader is not made from strong material. Consequently, they are not durable and break after several uses. Since they are cheap, you can buy them in bulk and keep them at home. In turn, you do not have to order one every time the one you are using breaks.

Although this needle threader is mostly for hand sewing, you can use it to thread your sewing machine needle. Follow the same steps as a hand sewing needle and you will thread your sewing machine easily.

Manual sewing machine needle threader

This is a sewing machine needle threader. It consists of a spring mechanism that pushes the thread through the needle. With the hand sewing threader, you have to pull the thread into the needle. With this threader, however, you only pull your thread slightly through the needle as it loads.

Like its hand sewing counterpart, this needle threader also breaks easily. The wire component that pushes the thread through the needle’s eye is brittle. It bends in a few uses and can’t be used properly thereafter. If this is what you use to thread your sewing machine, it is advisable to have more than one in stock.

Inbuilt automatic sewing machine needle threader

If your sewing tool is the sewing machine, you know that this is the easiest of needle threaders to use. Thread your sewing machine up to the needle level. Pull the threader lever towards you and pass your thread under the thread guide. Pull down your threader, this results in the wire hook on your threader passing your thread right through the needle. Release the threader and pull your thread through the loop and behind the needle ready to sew.

Other uses of the needle threader

The inbuilt sewing machine threader cannot have any other uses. It is only used as its name suggests, to thread sewing machines.

On the other hand, manual needle threaders can be used for diverse tasks in sewing as they are in the sewing kit. One of these tasks is smoothing over knots on knitting projects. If your knitting gets knots, you can use the thin wire of the needle threader to undo them and smooth your knitting over. You can also use it to pull threads on the wrong side of the garments you are working on.

What to do if you do not have a threader

Threading a needle without the help of a threader is difficult for many people. Here is a common tip on how to thread your needle easily without a threader.

Cut off the amount of thread you need for your sewing. Lick on the end that you want to go into the needle. This will firm the thread and it will be easier for it to get through the needle’s eye.

Another way to thread easily without a threader is to cut your thread at an angle from the spool. This gives the thread a pointed end that easily goes through the eye of the needle. Make sure that your working area has plenty of light to help you see the eye of the needle clearly as you thread.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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