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Hand Sewing Needles


1.         Product Description: Needles are widely used in rural Ethiopia for sewing new home spun and woven garments and for mending clothes. In the rural Amhara Region it is common for every household to have two or more needles. There are three varieties of needles for general use:- darners and short needles. This project idea considers the general purpose needles with short round eyes (holes), 30-50 mm long and darners (mending needles with long eyes, 40-70mm. long). Needles shorter than 20-40 mm. are normally for professional purpose and are not considered in this project idea.


2.         Rationale:  safety pins and needles ar essential household items in rural Ethiopia. In the Amhara Region there are about 3.84 million families. Each family has at least two needles at the household level. In addition, each woman, at least in the urban areas, has her own needle for “emergency” purposes. (There are about 725000 women above the age of 15 in the Region). Taken together, number of needles being used in the Amhara Region could reach as large as 8.4 million. Like many other industrial products, all these needles are also imported. Is this not time that we produce needles at least for domestic consumption?


3.         Market Potential: Based on imported figures of a number of years and by considering the annual growth rate of the population, the projected demand for needles for the country in 2006 is about 16.55 million of which 4.31 million is the share of the Amhara Region. The current and future demand of needles justifies the establishment of a plant that will fabricate needles for household use.


4.         Source of Raw material:  Major raw material required for fabricating needles is drawn steel wire usually of high carbon with 1.2% carbon, 0.2% Silicon, 0.5% manganese, less than 0.01% sulphur and 0.01% phosphorous. Electroplating chemicals are also required. The raw materials are to be imported.


5.         Process and Technology:  Sewing needle manufacturing involves a series of operations using highly specialized machinery. The major stages are wire cutting, eye forming, grinding, heat treatment and electroplating. Detail activities or operations include buying drawn wire coils, straightening and cutting to length of two needles, pointing both ends, stamping joint flat needle center, punching two eye holes, breaking into two needles, grinding the edge of the eyes, induction hardening of the needles, tempering to appropriate hard ness, cleaning by scouring, repainting the needle end, electroplating (nickel coating) washing and drying, inspecting and packing. Major plant machinery and equipment required include needle making machine line equipment, heat treatment equipment, electroplating line equipment and tools.


6.         Estimated Investment:  For a plant which can produce 15 million needles per year, the investment requirement will be:-

·        Building/shade  400m2  at  Br2000/ m2  =  Birr     800,000

·        Plant and machinery ……………….......    =  Birr  1,600,000

·        Working capital …………………………....=  Birr      50,000

                       Total ………   =  Birr  2,450,000


7.         Benefits:  More or less like other project ideas


8.         Location:  Bahir dar, Combolcha, Debre Birhan