Friday, May 20, 2011

Needle Know How

Using the right needle for the job will result in a better finished product. Knowing the correct needle to use and using it, is essential. Always be sure to match the thread and the needle type to the fabric and the needle size to the fabric and thread that you are using. The needle eye and thread groove has to be large enough to accommodate the size of the thread to prevent shredding and breaking.

Universal needles have a slightly rounded point and were designed to use on both knits and wovens. In my opinion, why use a hybrid when you can use the type of needle that was made for a specific purpose.

Stretch needles have a medium ball point with a special eye and scarf and are designed to be used on very stretchy knits.

Jersey needles have a medium ball point and are to be used on moderately stretchy knits.

Jeans or denim needles have a sharper point to penetrate thicker fabrics including denim and quilts with little needle deflection (straighter stitching) or skipped stitches.

Microtex needles have a very slim point to allow for smooth penetration into micro fibers and silk.

Quilting needles have a special tapered  point for piecing and machine quilting.

Embroidery needles have a wide eye and a deeper groove. They are made to withstand the higher temperatures which develop when stitching rapidly over a period of time. The scarf, groove and eye protect the specialty threads and reduce friction.

Metallic needles have an elongated eye for use with metallic thread to prevent shredding and breaking.

Topstitch needles are extra sharp with a deeper groove and have an eye that is twice as long for use with heavy threads or multiple threads.

Remember to change your needles to match your current project and/or every 8-12 hours of sewing time. If you hear a popping sound when you stitch, your needle point is damaged and you will damage the fabric if you continue to use it. Shredding of your thread is usually due to using the whole size or type of needle or a damaged one. Change the needle.

Up Next: Tension

1 comment:

Linda Mac said...

Thank you for your interesting tips. Would you mind if I used excerpts in our guild newsletter?