Types of Pins you really need in your sewing (10 different ones)

When someone looks at sewing as a beginner, it is all about joining fabric pieces with your sewing machine and also about some measuring tools, marking tools, and cutting tools. In this large scheme of things, small things like pins may look unimportant to a beginner. But when you go ahead with sewing, you will realize those small insignificant looking pins are invaluable in sewing – useful in pattern making, draping, cutting, sewing, and finishing. Pins are needed in every step of your sewing.

Pins differ in the way they look, their length, their head, the material they are made of, etc but it is the material you are pinning that determines the pin you choose. You need pins that will hold layers of material together without damaging anything, be it the pins or the fabric or your sewing machine needle. 

Different types of Pins useful in sewing

1.General All-purpose sewing pins

general all purpose pins used in sewing - basting pins
Regular Basting pins

These are sharp thin pins with glass heads; they are used for pinning medium-weight woven fabrics when sewing. Also called basting pins.

You can get these pins in different head colors, finishes (metallic/pearlized) but they all do the same work – Pin layers of fabric together while you do the important job of sewing cutting, etc.  Usually, they are about .6mm in thickness. The heads may be heat-resistant or maybe they are not – so be careful when you press. Nickel plated steel pins maynot rust.

2.Flat button pins

sewing pins - flat head pins
Flat head pins

These pins have a big flat button as their head. This is useful when holding open/loose weave fabrics – no chance of the pinhead slipping through the weave.

3.Extra fine pins/silk pins

Fine pins for delicate fabrics
Fine pins for delicate fabrics

These very thin and fine pins are used for delicate fabrics, thin and lightweight fabrics. They are available in sizes .4mm. You can get them rust-free too. Very useful when you do not want holes on extra fine fabrics. 

4. Upholstery pins /Extra long and thick pins

Thick pins for thick fabrics

Sometimes you need long sturdy pins that will hold thick layers of fabric together- these are like that. These pins can be used for basting large areas like quilts, upholstery sewing. They are usually more than .8mm in thickness. 

5.Ballpoint pins

pins for knit fabrics

These pins have blunt ends – very useful for knit fabrics and stretchy fabrics – these would not cause snags. 

6. Short pins / Applique pins/Sequin pins

Short length pins

These are short pins (about 3/4 inch or shorter) which is useful to keep the applique pieces pinned on the foundation fabric without them coming in between the sewing line. These small pins can be used for pinning small pleats (pleating pins) – they also can be used on delicate fabrics, as they are usually very fine. 

7.Upholstery tacks/T pins/ Tidy pins/bed skirt pins/Twist pins

upholstery tacks for pinning

Uphosltery tacks are pins with a round head. The tidy pins have a long horizontal head and looks like a bun pin you put on hair buns. In T-pins the head is bent into the shape of a capital letter T- this is made so that it is easier to get hold of them. They are all used to hold things down like a pushpin.

Twist pins are also used the same way but they are twisted to pin – so not as easy to take it out. They have a corkscrew shaft. 

8.Safety Pins & Diaper pins

safety pins

Your normal stainless steel pins with a safety latch – can be useful where regular pinning may not be convenient or where you do not want the pins coming out. 

I have used cloth diaper pins (It has a sturdy plastic safety cap which makes it impossible to come open in between) in so many ways in sewing – it is the sturdiest pin you can get and can hold anything within its hold. And very useful when you cannot find your bodkin to thread casings. 

9.Brooch pin/Corsage pin

Brooch pin

The type of pin which is glued on to the back of brooches and clothing patches.

10. Button pin

This is a safety pin with a curve – it is used to hold down buttons temporarily

There are other pins like quilting pins, kilt pins, hat pins, bobbin lace pins, etc which are optional but maybe some one will find them very useful.

All I ever wanted was a pin! But now I have got all these different types of pins I am raring to use them in my projects.

Related posts : A list of Sewing tools ; How to make a strawberry pin cushion; Fold fabric to make a needle book

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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