The Different Types Of Sewing Pins & How To Use Them

Are you looking to learn more about the different types of sewing pins?

I never realized until I started reading more about sewing that there were so many different tools and versions of things. I just thought pins were pins and needle were needles.

There are a multitude of different uses for different sewing pins and they are made in different shapes and sizes for a reason.

I never dreamed that each one would have a different use and be used for something specific. While I was learning all this new information I found it hard to find one source that give me everything I needed to know.

So I decided to put it together myself, so people like you and me can refernce this source to help us when we need it and to be better sewers.

What Are Sewing Pins?

Sewing pins or more commonly known to sewers, seamstresses, tailors and etc as pins.

Pins are small thin pieces of metal that are sharp on one end and dull with a cap on the other. Pins are used to hold 2 or more layers of fabric together.

You can use them for a number of other projects and functions within sewing and crafting but the most common is to hold fabric layers together.

If you struggle to hold the small object like pins and even needle you can use sewing clips that are easy to use and much more manageable to handle.

Do I Need To Use Different Pins For Different Projects?

Essentially yes you should. There are different pins and sizes for reasons. Not all pins are suitable for every type of fabric or project you are working on.

Such as quilting pins are made to use for quilting whereas silk pins are designed to use on silk and delicate fabrics.

We will touch more on the purposes of each of the pins later on.

The Different Types Of Sewing Pins

There are a number of different types of sewing pins. Each one has been designed for a specific use and is meant to work with your fabric to protect it from tears, snags and holes.

These are the most popular styles of pins on the market.

Glass Head Pins

Glass head pins are very popular and are found in many craft rooms. They are made from nickel plasted steel and are strong but are found not to be flexible.

The length of these pins is 1 3/8 which is great for a mulitute of tasks. The these pins are quite fine at a size of 0.5mm which means they will only create small holes within the fabric.

The long length of these pins make them perfect for using with thick materials such as wool, wadding and batting.

Though the length is ideal for thick materials they are best suited to lightweight fabrics due to the nimble and thin structure of the pin.

If you are looking to use these pins they are also ideal for using when ironing. Due to the glass head on the pins, they won’t melt under the hot steam of the iron. Perfect for pressing fabrics and hold layers in place.

Ball-Point Pins

Ball point pins are designed to work with stretch fabrics like jersey. When you sew stretch fabrics you would use a ball point needle so it is only the same method but using a pin.

The ballpoint of the pin enables to ball to slide through the weave of the fabric without piercing a hole and damaging the fabric.

Silk Pins

There are some fabrics that are classes as self-repairing. Which means the fibers of the fabric and weave will open apart to accommodate a pin or needle. Once the pin has been removed the fibers will come back together.

Unfortunately, silk is not one of those fabrics, silk is very delicate and using the wrong instruments can cause the fabric to completely pull and be ruined.

Silk pins are perfect for fabrics like this as they are extra fine and are made to pierce through the weave without causing any damage.

There are other variations which are commonly known as dressmakers pins or satin pins. Each of these varieties come in different range of weights to suit different ranges of delicate fabrics.

You would need to match up your chosen fabric to the right size and weight pins.

Tip: Always test our your pins on scrap pieces of fabric before using on your main pieces.

Also, make sure to number or label all your pins to keep them organized and separate in your sewing box.

Quilting Pins

Quilting is a popular craft that many have taken on and absolutely love. It is also a craft that requires patience and some good quality tools. One of these is using the right sewing pins.

Quilting requires many layers of fabric and batting which means you need long and strong pins to hold these layers together. Quilting pins often come with colored balls on the top to help make them easier to use and find.

The balls on the end are usually plastic which doesn’t matter when it comes to ironing in quilting as they aren’t often needed during the ironing process.

Plastic Head Pins

These style of pins are pretty much what you might expect. They are more of an style and cute tool than a practical one.

These don’t come in any particular range of sizes or are designed for specific use or fabrics. These are the most useful for using on general products, cottons and felt.

You can find these in a number of designs like flowers or hearts and find them on a number of selling sites such as eBay and Amazon for quite cheap.


T-pins are quite straight forward as they are pins that look like a t-shape. They are 1 1/2 inches long and made completely of nickel- plates steel.

These are great for holding upholstery fabrics in place or projects that require pressing while pins are in place. As they have no parts that would melt they are safe to use while ironing.

They are not completely universal but they are useful for more specific projects.

Dressmakers Pins

Dressmakers pins are quite similar to silk pins. They can be found in many different lengths and thicknesses to suit different styles of fabrics.

These are most commonly used for general sewing and crafts such as working with cotton and polycottons.

Fork Pins

Fork pins are a style I have never used and never needed to use them. They are made to look like the prongs on a fork.

They are used to firmly hold slippery and loose fabrics in place. The tips are bent to help make the movement in and out of the fabric easy and effortless.

The two prongs of the pin allows you to pin a seam at both sides to allow you to get evenly matched seams and edges.

Curved Safety Pins

Curved safety pins are pretty simple to figure out, they are just curved safety pins. They are made to be a little more fine and flexible and are made from brass to prevent rusting.

The msot common use for these style of pins is within quilting. They are used to hold the layers together from the base fabric to the wadding and the top layer.

They are there to hold the layers together while the quilting process takes place. The curved safety pins are designed to be easier to use and simple especially as you may find you are using them a lot.

Sequin Pins

Sequin pins are very short pins made from nickel plated steel. The most common use is within craft projects to hold sequins in place.

They are excellent for using with sequins, bead work and intricate designs.

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