Misuya Needles

Set of Misuya needles with original paper packaging Set of Misuya needles with original paper packaging TRC reference collection.

Misuya needles are made by a Japanese needle shop called Misuya Chubei, in the Matusbara district of Kyoto, Japan, which has been operating since 1819. Kyoto is a city allegedly so obsessed with clothes that many people would live a life of frugality in order to make sure that they can purchase expensive clothes, produced with the best of materials and tools.

Demands for high quality garments range from daily clothes to spectacular aristocrats’ apparel, which naturally require a high quality of the sewing needles. Needles have to be able to ease the physical strain associated with long hours of sewing, be smooth to work with, as well as being strong. To meet these requirements, Misuya needles are handmade according to the following standards:

  • Flexible: but with a core that will not easily break or bend;
  • A near perfect circle at the eye of the needle. Even the eye is polished and made smoother;
  • A smooth line: the needle becomes smoother and finer from the eye to the point in order to eliminate resistance of the material, enabling smooth stitching;
  • Lengthways polishing: the needles are polished in the same direction as the move of the needle (factory produced needles are polished width ways), which enables an even smoother passage through the fabric;
  • Wrapping: the needles are wrapped in aluminium foil to prevent the build-up of humidity and to prevent the needle from rusting.

By 2014, there were only a few artisans remaining who could make such needles by hand and some of these worked for Misuya Chubai. Misuya needles come in different sizes, depending on the type of material they are going to be used for. A complete set consists of thirteen needles. These include thick needles used for brocades and cloths used for kimonos and obis (the sashes used for kimonos), as well as the finest ‘hair’ needles. The ‘hair’ forms are used for embroidering and sewing the finest silks.

Digital source (retrieved 16th September 2014).


Last modified on Saturday, 20 May 2017 13:02