Tulip is known for their fine quality quilt needles. When we discussed their beading needles, they asked me to answer questions and correspond with their product development people. Long story short. Uh, too late???? I wrote to Tulip that we "want flexible needles that will bend into and through tight spaces and beads that are spaced so perfectly close to each other. Needles that are flexible and springy." This means that they would not become S-shaped with use, they would return to straight.
Those correspondences happened last June during Bead and Button Show, on wifi in the hotel lobby. In December they sent me the first needles produced in response to these specs. They are indeed flexible and springy. The eye is easy to thread. The tip is rounded slightly to slide easily into beads while preventing splitting the thread. I have used only size 11 and these are what I bought up before flying home this January so I could share them with U.S. Beaders. They are a comfortable length. They fit readily into size 15 seed beads. In a couple months of offering them to my students and on my website, at $5 per package of 4, I have very few left. Every week I receive phone calls or email testimonials. Beaders report longevity with a single needle. That their needle remains quite straight, despite their experience of beading with curved needles after just a short while with any other needle. That the needle threads easily. That they experience less hand fatigue. That the beading experience is smoother. It gives me goosebumps to read the glowing assessment of Tulip beading needles.
The size 13 is most amazing. The eye accomodates 10# fireline AND passes through a size 15 Japanese seed bead 5 times. When I told of this on the phone the other day, it felt like a lie, although I did this several times when showing them to beaders at the Great International Quilt Show in Tokyo in January. It kept me awake that night. I came to the studio, threaded one OF THE TWO size 13 needles i have, with 10# fireline and passed through a sizs 15 seed bead 5 times! Yup. It is true.
In addition to the size 11 beading needles I brought from Japan, I'll distribute their fabulous awl
...If you can't tease the knot open with this then put your beads away!
And of couse all the sizes of beading needles: 10 in long and un sharp, 11, and 13 plus a set of tapestry needles and loom beading needles.
Oh, did I mention their felting needles? Nickel plated, smooth and downright luxurious.
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