Whether you want to work on sewing while on a long flight or bring your sewing project with you to your destination, you may be wondering can you bring sewing needles on a plane?
The short answer is Yes, you can bring sewing needles on a plane, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for the airport security checkpoint before boarding a flight. See the TSA official statement on bringing different types of sewing needles through a security screening.
According to the TSA guidelines, you can bring needles for sewing in:
- Carry On Bags
- Checked Bags
In addition to sewing needles, knitting needles and crochet hooks are also allowed in both carry on and checked bags.
Needlepoint tools are also allowed through security screening, according to the TSA.
This is great news when you want to bring your sewing projects on international flights or long-haul flights to pass the time.
As with any item in a security checkpoint, the final decision rests on the TSA officer. When traveling from different countries, the rules could be different. Specific airline policies may have different rules, so always be sure to check their website before flying.
Storing Sewing Needles
When traveling with straight needles, it is important to store them safely so that you don’t lose the needle and the sharp items do not cause any damage in your luggage.
You also don’t want the sharp objects to poke TSA agents or security personnel that may do a hand search of your luggage.
Storing the needles in a hard shell needle case or a needle organizer is the best way. Don’t just thread your needle on the corner of your fabric or attach to a needle minder and put it in your bag.
Here are some great ways to bring sewing needles on a plane:
- This Fiskars Sewing Kit is TSA compliant. The small sewing kit contains scissors, needles, safety pins and other sewing notions you may need.
- An inexpensive magnetic needle keeper allows you to see inside through the clear plastic top, while also storing the needles in a hard case.
Sewing Tools Not Permitted on a Plane
While sewing needles are allowed, there are some other sewing items that cannot be brought in your carry on bags because they are considered dangerous items. These include sharp cutters such as:
- Circular thread cutters
- Any cutter that contains blades
- Needlepoint tools that contain blades
These items can be in your check-in luggage, but not carry-on luggage.
For example, a rotary cutter would not be allowed in your carry on bags.
Can You Bring Sewing Scissors on a Plane?
If you plan on sewing on your flight, you will not be able to do much without a pair of scissors.
Scissors smaller than 4-inches are allowed in carry-on baggage, according to TSA regulations.
According to TSA rules, the measurement must be less than four inches from the pivot point.
According to the TSA website “any sharp objects in checked bags should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.”
So be sure to properly secure your sharp tools and sharp objects whether you plan to put them in your hand luggage or checked baggage.
Finding scissors to bring on a flight can be a little challenging, because many small scissors are exactly 4 inches, however the TSA requires that the scissors be smaller than 4 inches.
Here are some scissors that are smaller than the TSA requirement:
- Fiskars Folding Scissors (These state that they are TSA compliant)
- Rounded Tip Scissors (These state that they are TSA compliant)
- Mini Scissors with a Protective Cover
Helpful Tips for Sewing on a Plane
If this is your first time sewing while flying, these are the best ways to prepare while packing:
- Put all of your sewing related items in a clear plastic bag, such as a zip top plastic bag, if possible. This will allow security personnel to quickly and easily see the items.
- Use a small bag (if not using a plastic bag) to store everything you will need to work on your project. This includes common items such as needles, straight pins, small embroidery scissors, patterns, etc. Remove this bag from your carry on luggage or from the overhead compartment and keep it with you in your seat once the flight attendants have said it is okay to have your personal belongings.
- Work on a small project, not a big one. For instance, work on a quilt block, but do not try to sew multiple blocks into a large quilt. There is just not much space to work in an airline seat.