Whether you love quilting, embroidering, or hand-stitching, thimbles are great sewing tools to keep your finger protected. Usually, when you push the needle into the fabric with your finger, you may feel a “sinkhole” or a tiny puncture may appear.
But with a thimble covering your finger pad, there is no such accident. Especially if you buy open nail style thimbles, you benefit from added comfort.
When to Use an Open Nail Thimble
A thimble is a hard and round object, typically metal or leather, that is usually worn around the middle finger. Since it is a foreign object that you work with while stitching, it may take some time/practice to learn.
So, it is vital that you start to use it when beginning to learn needlework. Experienced quilters and tailors say that stitching with a thimble comes naturally to them.
There are many styles of thimbles: short band, closed-top, and open nail thimbles. Most thimbles are tapered off to suit the design of human fingers, but short band pieces are round and not tapered.
What Is an Open Thimble?
A closed-top thimble covers the fingertip fully, while an open nail thimble is open to show off your fingernail. It is extremely comfortable if you have long fingernails. It facilitates air movement, and your finger doesn’t feel suffocated or sweaty from being covered for extended periods.
Most designs of open nail style thimbles are metal but may accompany a leather or rubber-like material so that the needle doesn’t slip.
The thimble looks more like jewelry than just a practical piece of equipment. It may come in adjustable fit or snug fit, depending on the material. But it doesn’t slip from your finger or let the needle slip while stitching.
An open thimble leaves ample space for long nails without feeling cramped and looks flattering. You can also avoid unpleasant levels of perspiration that impact your work.
It has a cage back that stops just below your nail, and on the opposite side, it goes all the way over the top, covering the fingertip. The pad has a dotted surface to catch the needle snugly, and the lip at the top keeps you from sticking the needle up under the nail, while applying additional pressure on the needle when you are working on tough bits of fabric.
Types of One-Sided Thimbles
Store brand open nail style thimbles are mostly bronze-colored but that may vary based on the material used. They are available in several sizes, primarily categorized as small, medium, and large.
There are also ring-type thimbles that are more decorative, and you can use them even when you are not tailoring. They have mini divots and a little ridge to stabilize the needle.
Finding the Right Open Nail Thimble for You
By now, you may understand that the right size matters when it comes to open nail thimbles. A proper fit ensures that you use the needle faster and minimize stress on your finger. You will also find that you produce more accurate stitches and high-quality output.
In contrast, an ill-fitting thimble means a slippery needle and poorly situated fingers. You may feel like you have to start learning to hand stitch all over again. If the thimble feels like it is falling off, your thumb usually comes to the rescue. If it is too tight, your hand may just think of the thimble as a splint and refuse to use it.
The best way to find the right size thimble is to take precise measurements.
If you are not going to a jeweler but buying thimbles online, use Jan’s acrylic ring sizer. Or, take a narrow strip of paper, wrap it around the base of your nail and measure it. Likewise, do another sizing near the knuckle. Measurements should be to the tenth of a millimeter
Some people use the middle finger for stitching and quilting, but they use the pointer finger for embroidery. In comparison, others use their thumbs for all these things.
If you use your index finger or the thumb, make sure the piece fits you right. Also, consider the motion – whether you push the needle with the side or end of the finger.
How to Know If It Is a Good Fit?
You have bought the thimble and tried it on but are not sure if it fits properly?
Then check if the thimble stays still even when the fingers are facing down. If it is too big a size, it will slide around or even fall to the floor. If it is too tight you will feel your pulse inside the thimble. Sit quietly and listen to your body.
Most sellers also can personalize the open nail style thimbles to conform to your finger’s contours. So, before purchasing, call them with your special request. If you already have thimbles that need repairing, contact the experts and make your sewing time stress and pain-free.