How to Keep Sewing Pins Sharp

Written by rebekah martin
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How to Keep Sewing Pins Sharp
This pin cushion has emery inside, which helps sharpen pins. (pin cushion tomato image by robert mobley from

Pins, although small and cheap, are a vital part of sewing. There are over a dozen different types of pins; dressmaker pins, safety pins, or the most common, basic craft pins. Because they are inexpensive, it is always good to have a lot on hand. Dull pins tend to snag fabric, so keeping them sharp is important. Pin cushions, especially the common tomato-shaped ones, help sharpen the pins as well as store them.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pin cushion

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  1. 1

    Push your pin into the little strawberry attachment on the tomato pin cushion. This is called the emery. Most pin cushions have an emery, even if it is not a strawberry; it is typically a smaller section or piece attached to the larger pin cushion.

  2. 2

    Pull the pin out and push it back in several times. The back-and-forth motion against the gritty silica inside sharpens the pins.

  3. 3

    Repeat the motion with your other dull pins.

Tips and warnings

  • If your pins are sticky, the emery will also clean them.
  • The emery works on needles as well.

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