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The Small and Mighty Pin

You can never have enough pins. Whether you are an experienced tailor or just helping out with a school project, pins are essential. They can do anything from holding pattern pieces in place as you stitch them on, keeping multiple layers of fabric together so you can make an easy stitch, and make it easier to work with delicate beading and sequins. There are an overwhelming amount different pins available each with their own special uses. This is your quick and easy guide to pins.

As with any other sewing tool, you should take note that at the first sigh of damage, rust, or dullness you should stop using the pin and throw it out. It is not worth a pin that costs pennies to ruin your fine fabrics. The four main components of a pin to consider are the head, point, thickness, and metal content.


Lets start with the most noticeable part of a pin, the head. There are four main types of pinheads: flat head, round plastic head, flat plastic head, and glass head.

  • Flat head pins are often described as having “no head.” The best part about these pins is that you can run a hot iron over them if you need to without worrying abut melting a plastic head. You may want to avoid a flat head pin if you are using thick, loose, or textured fabrics that the head will slip though and get lost in.


Heavy Duty Bank Pins - Pins
Heavy Duty Flat Head Pins


  • Plastic pinheads come in a variety of shapes, sizes, finishes and colors. The flat pinheads are great if you need to lay down a ruler against the pinned fabric or if you are using lace or loose weaves. Just be careful not to touch a hot iron to a plastic pin head! They WILL melt and possibly ruin your fabric.


Plastic Ball Head Pins
Plastic Ball Head Pins


  • Glass pinheads come in a variety of colors as well. These pins can be used with an iron without the fear of melting.


glasshead pins 40 pinwheel
Glass Head Pins



The tip or point of the pin should slide easily into your fabric without any tearing or snagging. Most pins are available in sharp point, extra sharp point, and ballpoint. As stated before, at the first sign of dullness or snagging, throw away the pin!

  • Sharp point is a good all-purpose needle that can be used for almost any fabric.
  • Extra-sharp points are made for very fine and delicate fabrics.
  • Ballpoint pins are designed only for loose knits. The round point allows the needle to slide between the threads without tearing.

Different sewing jobs require different pin lengths. Shorter pins are designed for sewing on applique or beads. Medium length pins are good for all-purpose garment sewing. And longer pins are made for quilting and pinning through many layers of fabric.


straight pin chart



The thickness of the pin is determined by the thickness of your fabric. Thin, lightweight, delicate fabrics require the thinnest pins. And thick, sturdy fabrics need thicker needles.

Metal Content

You should be aware of the metal content of pins and needles if you either have allergies, or if you are in an area where certain metals will rust easily. Rust can damage your fabric. Never leave a pin in place for too long.

Banasch’s has all the sewing supplies you need to start your next sewing or alteration project. Check out our collection of pins today. And be on the look out for our next blog post – Why do Pincushions Look Like Tomatoes?