Pins come in a variety of lengths, thicknesses, shapes, and colors so how do you know which pins you should use for which project?
Let’s walk through a few of your choices:
The T Pin, whose name becomes obvious when you see it’s design, has a variety of uses….everything from pinning papers onto cork boards to working on wigs to creating craft projects. But in the world of fabric they are perfect for working with heavy pile fabrics (like upholstery, home decor weight, and duck cloth) as well as loose knits because the head won’t disappear or slip into fabrics.
That T bar across the top won’t allow the pin to be sucked into heavy layers. However, you should note that these pins are usually thick and are not recommended for use with delicate fabrics…no matter how tempting it may be…..
This is a great all purpose pin. In fact, they are considered a “general purpose” pin. So, if you are only going to buy one set of pins this is what I would purchase.
The ball on the top makes them easier to both see and handle. For example the colored heads are great help when locating different sewing points on patterns and serve as great reminders to pull out pins as you are running fabric through a serger! (Never run a pin through a serger!!!)
Flat head pins come in a variety of lengths and widths to match the fabric and project you are working on.
A good rule of thumb to know is that with flat head pins the longer the pin is the thicker it is as well.
For example a “long pin” is 1 and 1/4″ long, thick, and is used for working with heavy fabrics while a standard dress making pin is only 1 and 1/16″ in length and is thinner than a long pin. Lengths and thickness continue to decrease until you get down to “l” pins which are also called “pleating pins”. These are extra fine and short…they are perfect for using on delicate fabrics. (Although…you can buy pleating pins now in a longer version…which I like better…and is what I liked to here in this post.)
One last thing…if you search for flat head pins online double check before ordering them….a different kind of flat head pins are used for jewelry making and are not sharp! And then there are called flat head pin “findings” that are also not sharp…you do not want these…unless of course you aren’t use fabric.
Aside from a variety of pin widths, lengths, and heads there are also two different pin tips (points) that you should be aware of:
The “standard tip” which is a sharp point and is what you will use on most of your fabrics.
And… the “ball point tip” which is rounded and will slip between the fibers (threads) of your fabric instead of piercing them the way that a standard tip will. These types of pins are recommended for working with knits, lightweight fabrics, and lace. (And…ball point tips come in either the “flat pin” head style or the “color ball pin” style.)
So now the question is…do the subtle changes in widths, tips, and pin lengths really make a difference in your projects?
The answer is yes…it took me years of ignoring that there were anything else to use other than whatever was closest to my reach…but I have come to learn that yes, indeed, these subtle differences make both my construction process easier (especially pin lengths) and my finished projects look more professional (especially pin widths and points).
But don’t take my word for it…try out a variety of pins for yourself and come to your own conclusions!
(And I’m sure as you do you will find your own favorite pins and ways to use them!)
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