Have you ever thought, a pin is just a pin? Do you wonder why there are so many different shaped and sized pins? Do you just buy the biggest box of the cheapest pins when you need some?
If you have ever done or thought any of the above you may also at some point have used pins that have verged on being worse than useless. It’s true, all pins are not created equal and some pins are better at some jobs than other pins!
Here’s a quick little look behind the scenes at my pin collection.
This is my beloved magnetic wooden pin cushion with my general purpose pins, some with bead heads some without. Most of the time I use the pins with beaded heads purely because they’re easier to spot and pick up!
This green goddess is my Clover magnetic pin cushion which also has a lid (very handy if you like to do your sewing on the go or regularly take your sewing to meet-ups or classes) On this pin cushion are two different types of pins: with the heads to the left are long entomology pins and with the heads to the right are Tulip Hiroshima glass headed pins, both from Beyond Measure. The entomological pins are made from very fine steel (so fine they bend) and both are over 30mm long. That length and fineness makes both these types of pins perfect for using on very thin delicate fabrics. They don’t snag or weigh the fabric down.
Another jewel of a pincushion, this is hand turned wood, covered with and stuffed with 100% yorkshire wool. It’s also from Beyond Measure. In this cushion I keep these long black glass headed “toilet pins” from Merchant & Mills. These are by far the longest pins in my collection at almost 50mm, but they’re also the thickest. I use these for heavier, tougher fabrics (coating fabrics, such as heavy wools and canvas) and for when I need to pin multiple layers.
Length is important when it comes to pins. I find few things more irritating to use than short thick pins, they just take the joy out of sewing! That red beaded pin above is the shortest I like to use at 30mm, any shorter and I find my hackles rising. Oh and do yourself a favour – have regular pin amnesties. If you have any bent pins, rusty pins or random short pins that have snuck into your collection, get rid.
From now on may you behold the humble pin in a new light!! Happy pinning and sewing.
The Beyond Measure pin cushion is beautiful – I think I may need one of those for myself! I also have a pin question for you, Wendy… what’s the best kind of pin to use for knit fabrics?
Fine and long for lightweight knits, not quite so fine for heavier ones, still stick with my 30mm minimum though!! Hope that helps.
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Super, thank you