Let me start this review by telling you about my friend George. George is fearsomely inteligent a voracious reader, and a great collector of art. George has a problem though, he only has about 10% of his sense of smell. That, in turn, affects his sense of taste. Food has to be highly spiced in order for him to taste it as something other than bland.
I bring up George because I realized I’m like that about needles. I don’t find much difference between brands. If the eye is big enough and it has a blunt point, I’ll stitch with it. A recent shipping mistake brought a package of Tulip Tapestry Needles to me. I’ve been using them off and on and just finished a projectr with them.
Tulips are the current “cult” needle. They are expensive, ut there is a story behind this.
The Tulip Story
Although the history of needle-making in their hometown of Hiroshima dates back three centuries, Tulip started after WWII. The Hiroshima area makes 90% of the needles made in Japan.
Their needles are made using a traditional 30-step process.
Tulip makes needles, crochet hooks, and knitting needles, as well as test probes.
The needles come in packages of six. They are shipped in cork-topped glass tubes in a tall container. Inside you will find your needles and a small pamphlet about the company. Each different type of needle comes in a different color of package. Tapestry needles are butter yellow.The size is marked on both the outside and on the tube’s label.
The needles have a golden eye. This is a nice feature because it makes it easier to find the business end. The tips are slightly sharper than John James needles for example. Their sharpness is similar to that of Bohin needles.
Although reviews I have read of these needles praise them for the ease with which they go through cloth, I could not find that they moved any easier of canvas than any other needle. This characteristic will be of use to those stitching on fabric instead of canvas with its big holes.
While they were slightly easier to thread than my usual, John James, needles, it was not much of a difference. The thread tail stayed parked and it was easy to move the needle along the thread. Neither of these was enough to make them my go-to needle.
It is also possible that they will wear better than other needles, but it’s too soon to tell for me.
In short for needlepoint, Tulip needles are nice, but probably not worth the premium price. Rainbow Gallery now distributes this line, so they will become easier to find in your LNS.