I am trying to get my hands on some Pin Wire -the wire used to make pins for sewing and sheets of paper (also used in the medical industry). My local suppliers don't know it by that name -all they seem to have is softer Stainless Steel and when you think how stiff those little pins are it just doesn't compare. Any compositional specs. would be greatly appreciated.
You might try guitar strings (Plain, not wound). These are polished and will be about 28" - 30" long. They're available from about .009" thru .016" diameter. Several online sellers will sell you individual strings of a given size so you don't have to buy a complete set. One such seller is
However, most shiny guitar strings are nickel plated, and that oxidizes (maybe just wears off) pretty quickly when handled extensively (as on my guitars). Seems like pins are chrome plated, though I don't have one in front of me. (I seem to remember the chrome flaking off when you bend sharply.) Also, even the thick guitar string stuff is still pretty pliant compared to a pin.
What seems more up your alley is the wire used in spinnerbaits (fishing lures). It's pretty stiff stainless, I think, and TNBass or Bob Rickard (custom lure makers) might be able to help you out (on rec.outdoors.fishing.bass) with a lead on a supplier.
You were looking for the stuff in a sewing pin, not a needle, right? (Needles are very stiff and very brittle compared to pins.)
I bought some guitar sting and although having a great finish and some good strength it is softer than the dull piano wire. Am off to the fishing shop now to look into that spinner wire.
Jamie, yes, I am looking for the stuff used in sewing pins although the one I have must just be highly polished something because there is no chrome flaking off on extreme bending -as you say sewing needles just snap under strain.
Need to be careful of terminology here. Needles may be more resistant to permanent bending than pins, but assuming both are made from some flavor of steel and of similar dimensions, are not going to be noticeably stiffer.