What Are T pins Used For?

January 14, 2021

T pins are an incredibly versatile and useful type of pin. They have been used for many years across lots of different professions. 

They are made of one long piece of steel. This has a long, straight, and pointed end like a pin. The other end of the metal has been folded back on itself similarly in design to how a staple folds. This forms a T-shaped head, giving them their name. 

What Are T pins Used For
t-pins in pincushion

T pins often have a shaft that is about 1½ inches long and they are commonly plated in nickel. This makes them resistant to rust and easy to insert into the backing material.

They are very strong and do not bend or break, even when pressed into very hard surfaces.

What are the different elements of a pin?

The head of the pin is the bit at the top that you apply pressure to. This then forces the pin through the fabric. Flat head pins have a small, flat disc at the top.

These can easily be lost in fabrics due to their small surface area. You can get pins with small balls at the top made of glass plastic, or metal. T pins are a type of flat head pin.

The point is the sharp end of the pin that pierces the fabric. You can get sharp, extra-sharp, and ballpoint pins. 

The thickness of pins comes in a range from 0.3mm to 0.8mm. Thinner fabrics should use a thinner pin as these will create a smaller hole and damage the fabric less. 

The length of the pin depends on the fabric you are working with. For thicker fabrics, you will need a longer pin. 

The metal content often consists of steel or brass, plated with nickel or chrome.

Sizes of T pin

There are 5 main sizes of T pins. 

  • X16T-05 is a 1-inch long pin. You will get 3,200 of these pins per pound, which will set you back around $38.
  • X20T-05 is a 1 ¼ inch long pin. You will get 2,200 of these pins per pound, which will set you back around $35. 
  • X24T-05 is a 1 ½ inch long pin. You will get 900 of these pins per pound, which will set you back around $25.
  • X28T-05 is a 1 ¾ inch long pin. You will get 800 of these pins per pound, which will set you back around $25.
  • X32T-05 is a 2-inch long pin. You will get 750 of these pins per pound, which will set you back around $25.

In sewing

They are commonly used in upholstery when working with heavy and dense fabrics. This is because they are very tough and will not break under the tension of the fabric.

They are also commonly used when working with heavy pile fabrics and loose knits. This is because the wide head shape of the pin means that they cannot get lost inside the weave of the fabric.

T pins tend to have quite a thick shaft. This means that they are generally not used in conjunction with thin fabrics as they will more often than not destroy them.

They are also often used to pin fabric through buttonholes and with blocking lace. T pins are also commonly used when you need to press your fabric with heat.

There are some specialty T pins known as Quilters T pins. These are made with a much thinner shaft and can be used to hold finer-textured fabrics in place. 

For modeling

T pins are popular with people who enjoy models. This is because the pins are very strong and can easily permeate even tough surfaces. The head design has a much larger surface area than most regular pins. 

This gives the modeler the ability to push the pin through with less effort and with more control over the force applied. They can easily go through surfaces such as wood and cork as well as fabrics.

In the hair industry

T pins are a common tool used with wigs and hairpieces. They are also often used in beauty and cosmetology schools to secure wigs onto styrofoam heads for easy styling. 

Wig makers describe them as a vital tool to make, repair, maintain, and clean wigs. 

For crafting

If you are an avid macrame creator, you can use T pins to hold the macrame project in place on a piece of wooden board. This will help to anchor your creation, making it easier to work on. 

They can also be used to hold pieces of balsa wood to your blueprints during woodworking projects. 

In science

T pins are commonly used in biology, during animal or tissue dissections. These can be used to hold the organic matter in place or to keep delicate elements still while you are working on them.

You can also get colored and labeled T pins. These can be used to mark and highlight certain tissues and areas in a dissection process. 

For decorating

The strength and structural integrity of T pins make them highly suited for hanging lighter objects onto drywall or office cubicle walls. 

You will need to firmly push the T pin into the wall at a slight angle and ensure it is pressed in almost all the way. 

Once the T pin is securely in the wall, you can hang up whatever decoration you like to brighten up your space. 

In knitting

T pins are used by knitters to block project pieces. Blocking is the process of steaming or making wet your finished knitted project. This is useful to see the finalized size of your creation and allows the stitches to settle evenly. 

T pins are used to hold the knitted project onto the knitter’s block backing. This ensures that your project remains the correct size and dimensions. 

For construction

If you are working with woods for construction, T pins are ideal.

They are very strong and will securely hold your wood in place while you secure it properly. 

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