What is a Bodkin?

In the world of sewing, certain tasks can be quite challenging, like pulling a drawstring through a garment or a bag’s casing. This is where a versatile tool called the bodkin comes to the rescue. A bodkin is a small but essential tool used by sewers to make various tasks easier and more efficient. From threading drawstrings to turning tubes of fabric, a bodkin proves to be an invaluable asset in any sewing kit. In this article, we will delve into what a bodkin is, its different types, and most importantly, how to use it to pull a drawstring with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or just starting with sewing projects, understanding the bodkin’s functionality will undoubtedly elevate your sewing experience. Let’s explore the world of bodkins and discover the tricks of this useful tool!

What is a Bodkin? ... and why do you need one? Picture of a bodkin and loop pouller on white fabric on a cutting mat with a spool of purple thread follows.

If you’re in a hurry (or just curious!) –

Check deals on our Favorite Bodkin Pack!

Pictured here – Multiple Bodkin Types

What is a Bodkin?

A bodkin is a specialized sewing tool designed to make various sewing tasks easier and more efficient. It typically consists of a slender, elongated metal or plastic shaft with a pointed end and a loop or eye at the other end. The pointed end allows for easy insertion into fabrics, while the loop or eye facilitates the attachment of threads, ribbons, or drawstrings.

There are different types of bodkins available for various sewing tasks. The basic straight bodkin is the most common one, featuring a slender shaft with a pointed end and an eye for threading. Another type is the ballpoint bodkin, which has a rounded, ball-like tip suitable for delicate fabrics like knits to prevent snagging during insertion. The flat-tip bodkin, as the name suggests, has a flat, wide tip, making it useful for guiding ribbons or trims through casings or loops. For pulling thicker or multiple strands of threads through small openings, the threader bodkin comes with an additional wire loop at the pointed end. Lastly, the elastic bodkin is specially designed for threading elastic through waistbands, cuffs, or other garment areas requiring stretch. Each bodkin type serves a specific purpose, providing sewers with versatile options to tackle various sewing challenges.

How to use a Bodkin to Pull a Drawstring

Using a bodkin to pull a drawstring through a casing is a simple yet valuable technique in sewing. To get started, ensure you have the appropriate bodkin for the task, such as a basic straight bodkin or a ballpoint bodkin for delicate fabrics. First, take hold of the bodkin’s loop or eye and securely attach one end of the drawstring. Then, insert the pointed end of the bodkin into the drawstring’s open end and gently pull the bodkin through the casing, guiding the drawstring along with it. The bodkin’s smooth surface and pointed end make it easier to navigate through the fabric, preventing any snags or tangles. Gradually work the bodkin through the casing until the drawstring emerges on the opposite end. Once the drawstring is entirely pulled through, you can adjust its placement within the casing, ensuring a neat and even appearance. By mastering this straightforward technique, you’ll find that using a bodkin to pull a drawstring is a practical and efficient way to complete sewing projects with ease.


How do I take care of my bodkin?

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your bodkin, it’s essential to take proper care of it. After each use, make sure to clean the bodkin thoroughly, removing any residual thread or fabric particles. Use a soft cloth or mild soap and water to gently wipe the bodkin clean. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the bodkin’s surface. Additionally, store the bodkin in a dry and safe place, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Proper storage prevents rusting or deformation, keeping your bodkin in excellent condition for many sewing projects to come.

Where can I buy a bodkin?

Bodkins are commonly available at sewing supply stores, craft stores, and online retailers specializing in sewing tools and accessories. You can find a wide range of bodkin types, including basic straight bodkins, ballpoint bodkins, and more. Check with local sewing shops or explore online platforms to find a bodkin that suits your sewing needs. When purchasing a bodkin, consider factors such as material quality, size, and any additional features that may be beneficial for your specific sewing projects.

Can you turn a tube with a bodkin?

Yes, a bodkin can be used to turn a tube of fabric right side out. To achieve this, sew the fabric tube with the wrong sides together, leaving both ends open. Next, insert the bodkin into one end of the tube and carefully guide it through the inside of the tube, ensuring the pointed end reaches the opposite end. Once the bodkin emerges from the other end, attach your fabric tube securely through the bodkin’s loop. Next, gently pull the bodkin, turning the fabric tube right side out. This technique is particularly useful for straps, belts, and narrow fabric tubes where using a bodkin makes the turning process much more manageable and efficient.


The bodkin is an indispensable tool in the world of sewing, simplifying various tasks and enhancing overall efficiency. With its slender, pointed end and loop or eye, the bodkin facilitates threading drawstrings, ribbons, and threads through fabrics.

As you embark on your sewing journey, consider the bodkin as a valuable addition to your toolkit. Mastering the art of using a bodkin to pull drawstrings or turn fabric tubes opens up a world of possibilities in your sewing creations. Embrace the convenience and ease that the bodkin brings, and let your sewing projects flourish with precision and finesse. Whether you are a seasoned sewer or just beginning, exploring the bodkin’s versatility will undoubtedly elevate your sewing experience to new heights. Happy sewing!

Related Posts: