Salve for Sore Fingers

My finger is really sore from quilting, what can I do?

There are three approaches to sore quilting fingers: put something between your finger and the needle to prevent the soreness, develop a less sensitive finger, and put something on afterward to help the pain.

Finger wraps: just about any kind of tape, with or without a plastic or other stiff piece underneath can act as a substitute for a thimble. The tips of rubber gloves, or finger cots (little rubber tips found in office supply stores) will help you get a grip on the needle. Sometimes using a larger needle will help.

Desensitising the skin: build up a callous, keep your hands from being soft when you sew (ie: wet from doing dishes or cleaning), or brush the fingertip with clear nail polish to create an instant hard spot.

For the Pain: If you have a little patch of raw skin, just about any over-the counter antibiotic or pain reliever will help. You might try a warm water soak if your hands are stiff and sore all over. Also, a veterinary product called Bag Balm is often recommended for both dry, raw skin, and the slight pain associated with it. You can find it in feed stores and some quilting shops.

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This page last updated on: May 29, 1996.