Updated March 2, 2021.
“Why Use Needlework Tacks?” I kept asking myself.
My answer always was “I have no idea.”
For many stitchers, regular thumbtacks or quilter’s tacks (larger heads) work just fine. For others the gold needlework tacks from Clover are a better choice.
You should be using these tacks if any of these things are true for you.
- You live in a humid climate. Regular tacks rust. They will leave marks on your canvas. Because the Clover tacks have that gold coating, they will not rust.
- You use a tack pusher tool extensively.These tools make it easy to pick up a tack and push it into your stretcher bars. These tacks fit the head perfectly and stay inside it. Quilter’s Tacks have heads that are too large to fit. Other small tacks just aren’t held as well. These tools come with a small box of Needlework tacks to get you started.
- You have poor hand strength.I was noticing that my hands couldn’t get quilter’s tacks into most of my stretcher bars. I have a friend with the same problem. These tacks have very sharp points. Because of that, you need less strength to push them into the bars. I can use even my most resistant bars with little trouble.
One caution, if you switch from large-head tacks to needlework tacks, some holes might be too big to hold the needlework tacks in place. Just move them.
I use these tacks exclusively. There are so many advantages to them that even in low-humidity California they are a great choice. Because I have so many projects going, I keep several boxes worth in a plastic storage jar with a lid. I use the lid to put tacks when I’m mounting a canvas. If I find a tack with a bent spike I throw it away immediately because it can be difficult to insert.