Needles & Thread for Beading
Needle sizes are like bead sizes; the larger the number the smaller the size. A #10 needle can be used with 10/0 beads, a #11 with 11/0, and so on. The #12 Sharps and #15 Beading needles are the smallest sizes available so they are best for 14/0 to 16/0 beads. However, some beads may have holes that are too small even for these needles.
Thread and needle sizes also depend on the beadwork technique to be used. Gourd stitch and loomwork require the needle to pass through the beads twice, so use a thread size small enough to allow this. In lazy stitch, the needle goes through only once but the thread should fill up the holes in order to create the characteristic “humps” in the rows of beadwork.
Nymo thread is best for gourd stitch, earrings, lazy stitch, applique, and weft threads for loomwork. For warp threads on beadlooms, cotton thread is recommended as it does not stretch like Nymo. Use Quilting thread for 12/0 and smaller, and Button & Carpet for 10/0 and 11/0. Nymo can be used for warp threads, too, but it should be pre-stretched before use, even for gourd or lazy stitch. Thread should be coated with beeswax during use as this helps prevent tangling and prolongs the life of the thread.