The 7 Best Silk Pins For Sewing: A Guide To Choosing The Right Pins

Sewing with delicate fabrics like silk requires using the right pins that won’t damage or leave holes in the material. The 7 best silk pins for sewing include options like silk pins, glass head pins, quilting pins, ballpoint pins, and plastic head pins. Read on for a complete guide to picking pins tailored for sewing silk.

Silk Pins For Sewing

Silk pins are a must-have when sewing with silk fabric. They are specifically designed for delicate materials and have ultra-fine, thin shafts to avoid leaving holes or markings in silk. The tips are extremely sharp to pierce the fabric easily without tearing. Silk pins are usually made from nickel-plated brass or steel, making them rust-resistant as well – important when working with expensive silk fabric!

Here are the key features of high-quality silk pins:

  • Made of nickel-plated brass or steel
  • Rust-resistant
  • Ultra-fine shaft around 0.5 mm
  • Very sharp tip
  • Come in different weights
  • Length around 1 1/16″

When it comes to your silk sewing project, it’s crucial to choose a silk pin thickness and length that matches the weight and type of your fabric. Always test pins on scraps first to ensure the fabric isn’t damaged.

Image Suggestion:

Close up photo of silk pins

Technical Specifications

MetalNickel-plated brass or steel
Shaft ThicknessAround 0.5 mm
LengthApproximately 1 1/16 inches
TipVery sharp

Best Silk Pins for Sewing

Clover Silk Pins – Made of rust-resistant nickel-plated steel with ultra-fine shafts. The sharp tips easily pierce silk fabric without leaving holes. They come in a convenient box of 100 pins. Clover Silk Pins are one of the highest-quality silk pin options for sewing silk.

Glass Head Pins

Glass head pins are another great choice when working with silk fabric. The clear glass heads on these pins make them easy to spot against your fabric. Glass heads are also ideal because they can withstand hot ironing without melting.

The shafts of glass head pins are made from durable nickel-plated steel, similar to silk pins. This makes them rigid enough to pass through silk fabric layers smoothly. Look for glass head pins with extra-fine shafts around 0.5 mm to avoid leaving marks.

Here are the characteristics of quality glass head pins for sewing silk:

  • Nickel-plated steel shafts
  • Glass heads that won’t melt
  • Shaft thickness around 0.5 mm
  • Length typically 1 3/8″
  • Can be ironed over without damage

Match the weight of the shaft to the type of silk fabric you are working with, using a thinner pin for more delicate silks. Always do a test with scrap fabric before sewing your project.

Video Suggestion:

Short video demonstrating how to use glass head pins when sewing silk

Technical Specifications

MetalNickel-plated steel
HeadClear glass
Shaft ThicknessApproximately 0.5 mm
LengthAround 1 3/8 inches
Heat ResistantYes

Best Glass Head Pins for Sewing Silk

Dritz Glass Head Pins – These glass head pins have ultra-fine 0.5 mm nickel-plated steel shafts perfect for piercing silk without leaving holes. The heads won’t melt when ironing over them. Dritz Glass Head Pins come in a pack of 250 and are excellent for sewing all weights of silk fabric.

Quilting Pins

Quilting pins may seem an unusual choice for silk at first glance. However, their ultra-fine shafts and sharp points make them suitable for piecing together delicate fabrics. Quilting pins are also very long, giving you more pinning power through layers of slippery silk.

Look for quilting pins around 1 1/2″ – 2″ in length if you want the added length for keeping silk firmly in place. The thin, strong steel shafts will pass through silk fabric without creating holes or snags. Bright plastic heads make quilting pins easy to spot on your fabric too.

Key features of quilting pins for sewing silk:

  • Extra-long pins from 1 1/2″ to 2″
  • Steel shafts around 0.5 mm diameter
  • Very sharp points
  • Plastic colored heads
  • Won’t bend or flex easily

One thing to note is that the plastic heads mean you can’t press quilting pins with an iron. Remove them before applying heat to your silk project.

Image Suggestion:

Photo showing assorted colored quilting pin heads

Technical Specifications

Length1 1/2″ to 2″
ShaftSteel, approximately 0.5 mm diameter
TipVery sharp
FlexibilityMinimal – won’t bend easily

Best Quilting Pins for Sewing Silk

Clover Quilting Pins – At 1 1/2″ long, these sturdy quilting pins won’t bend or flex when pinning layers of silk fabric. The ultra-fine steel shafts leave no holes and the plastic colored heads make them easy to remove. Clover Quilting Pins are an excellent quilting pin option for sewing delicate silk material.

Ballpoint Pins

You may be familiar with ballpoint needles for sewing knits – ballpoint pins work similarly and are ideal for stretchy fabrics like jersey. The rounded points slide smoothly between the threads rather than piercing them, avoiding runs or holes. This same concept makes ballpoint pins a good choice for silk fabric.

Like other pin types, look for ballpoint pins with fine nickel-plated steel shafts around 0.5 mm thick. Avoid pressing these over with an iron, as the plastic heads will melt. The rounded tips ensure the woven threads of the silk fabric won’t get broken or damaged.

Key features of ballpoint pins for silk sewing projects:

  • Nickel-plated steel shafts
  • Ballpoint tip smoothly inserts between threads
  • Thin shafts approximately 0.5 mm
  • Plastic heads that shouldn’t be ironed over
  • Range of sizes available

Match the weight of the shaft to the silk fabric you are working with for the best results. Always test first on scrap material.

Video Suggestion:

Brief video showing ballpoint pin inserting smoothly into silk fabric vs. regular pin piercing threads

Technical Specifications

MetalNickel-plated steel
TipRounded ballpoint
Shaft DiameterAround 0.5 mm

Best Ballpoint Pins for Sewing Silk

Dritz Ballpoint Pins – The ultra-fine steel shafts and rounded tips ensure these pins slide between the delicate threads of silk fabric rather than breaking them. They come in an affordable set of 100 pins – great to have on hand for silk projects.

Plastic Head Pins

Plastic head pins encompass a wide variety of novelty pins with oversized, decorative plastic heads. These won’t be your go-to for sewing silk, but they can serve as extra helping hands. Look for plastic head pins with relatively fine shafts to avoid damaging delicate silk fabric.

The oversized, smooth plastic heads won’t get caught in the weave of the fabric. And the fun designs like hearts and flowers add a touch of whimsy to your sewing! Just be sure to remove plastic head pins before ironing, as the heads will melt.

Characteristics of plastic head pins:

  • Steel wire shafts
  • Oversized plastic heads in novelty shapes
  • Larger heads won’t damage fabric
  • Avoid ironing over them
  • Decorative and functional

These pins probably won’t become your first choice for handling silk, but they can make a project more enjoyable. Use them to supplement your glass head and silk pins when sewing with silk fabrics.

Image Suggestion:

Photo collage showing assorted decorative plastic flower and heart head pins

Technical Specifications

ShaftSteel wire
HeadOversized plastic in decorative shapes
Heat ResistanceHeads will melt if ironed over

Best Plastic Head Pins for Sewing Silk

Dritz Flower Head Pins – These plastic head pins have relatively fine steel shafts suitable for piercing silk fabric without damage. The pretty flower heads add a decorative touch and won’t get caught in the delicate threads. Use them sparingly with silk and remove before ironing over your project.


T-pins have a T-shaped head with a very fine, strong steel shaft. The unique head shape makes them perfect for sewing tasks like pinning fabric to buttonholes or sewing slipcovers. The thin shafts mean T-pins can be used for delicate silk fabric as well.

Look for T-pins with ultra-fine shafts around 0.5 mm if you plan to use them for your silk project. The cross shape of the head allows you to easily grip and remove the pins as needed. Just don’t press over them!

Benefits of T-pins for silk:

  • Thin steel shafts approximately 0.5 mm
  • Won’t damage or tear silk fabric
  • T-shaped heads are easy to grip
  • Ideal for pinning small spaces like buttonholes
  • Affordable price for most sets

While not the first option that comes to mind, T-pins can be a useful addition to your silk sewing pin collection when used judiciously. Handle silk delicately and remove pins before ironing.

Video Suggestion:

Short video demonstrating a T-pin being used to pin silk fabric at a buttonhole

Technical Specifications

Shaft DiameterApproximately 0.5 mm
Head ShapeT-shaped
Heat ResistanceShould not be ironed over

Best T-Pins for Sewing Silk

Clover T-Pins – With thin steel shafts and cross-shaped heads perfect for gripping, these T-pins won’t damage or tear delicate silk fabric. Use them sparingly for pinning silk in buttonholes or tight spots. Remove before ironing over your fabric.

Fork Pins

Fork pins have two parallel heads that provide added gripping power – ideal for slippery fabrics like silk charmeuse or satin. The thin metal shafts pierce the fabric without tearing or leaving holes. Fork pins keep fabric precisely aligned when pinning, preventing stretching or distortion of the silk.

Look for fork pins with ultra-fine shafts approximately 0.5 mm in diameter so they slide smoothly through silk fabric. The two heads should be close together to provide a firm grip without damaging the material.

Benefits of fork pins for sewing silk:

  • Parallel heads grip fabric firmly
  • Thin shafts around 0.5 mm
  • Keeps silk aligned and prevents distortion
  • Stainless steel or nickel-plated brass
  • More expensive but worth it for specialty use

Fork pins can be pricier than standard pins but their ability to grip slippery silk firmly without damage makes them worth the investment. Use them anytime you are working with satins or charmeuse.

Image Suggestion:

Close up photo of fork pin with two heads inserted into silk fabric

Technical Specifications

MetalStainless steel or nickel-plated brass
Shaft DiameterApproximately 0.5 mm
HeadsTwo parallel heads
GripDesigned to firmly grip slippery fabrics

Best Fork Pins for Sewing Silk

Clover Fork Pins – The two slim, stainless steel shafted heads grip slippery silk fabric with perfect alignment. No stretching or distortion! The ultra-fine shafts won’t damage or tear delicate silk threads. Clover Fork Pins are worth their price for specialty use with satins and charmeuse.

Choosing Pins for Your Silk Fabric

Now that you know the characteristics and benefits of the 7 best types of pins for sewing silk, how do you choose which ones to use? Here are some tips:

  • For general sewing, silk pins and glass head pins are the best go-to options
  • Match shaft thickness to fabric weight – use finer pins for very lightweight silk
  • Always test on scraps first to check for holes or damage before sewing your project
  • Use ballpoint pins anytime you are working with jersey or stretchy silk fabric
  • Quilting pins add extra length and grip for slippery fabrics
  • Fork pins are excellent for keeping satins and charmeuse perfectly aligned
  • Plastic head and T-pins can supplement when used carefully
  • Remove any pins before ironing to avoid melting plastic heads
  • Store pins properly to avoid bending and rusting

The most important thing is finding pins that are strong enough to hold your silk layers together securely, while also being thin enough not to leave lasting holes or damage. Having a variety of high-quality pin options on hand will ensure you are prepared for any silk sewing project!

Image Suggestion:

Collage of the different pin types used in the silk fabric

Caring for Your Silk Pins

Silk pins and other high-quality pins represent an investment for sewists. Follow these care tips to keep them in top condition:

  • Store pins in a pincushion or box rather than loose in a pincushion
  • Make sure pins are fully pushed into the pincushion so tips aren’t bent
  • Clean pins with rubbing alcohol as needed to remove fabric fuzz and oil
  • Sort pins by type and size into small plastic containers or drawers
  • Replace any bent, damaged, or rusted pins
  • Keep pins away from magnets, irons, and excessive moisture
  • Never cut pins with regular scissors – use special pin cutters
  • Handle pins carefully to avoid scratching or embedding into skin

Taking a bit of time to organize your pins and keep them in good condition will ensure they last through many projects to come!


Whether you are sewing garments, heirloom pieces, or decorative items, having the right pins for your delicate silk project is crucial. Silk pins, glass head pins, quilting pins, ballpoint pins, and specialty options like fork pins all have characteristics that make them ideal for handling silk fabric without damage. Hopefully this guide has helped inform your choice so your next silk sewing adventure can be a success!

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