Behind the scenes.. all of the little things that go into the development of

Monday, January 14, 2013

Name that Needle

The Big Question of Needles-

Everyday  we are asked the same question: “What kind of needle should I be using for that fabric?”
I have promised many of you a chart you can print and keep for a quick lesson on finding the perfect needle.
Along with thread, needles are very important to a beautiful stitch formation.  Many “mechanical” problems and damage to fabrics can be traced to a bent, damaged, or incorrect size or type needle.
*Note: The cheaper your needle, the more likely it will be bent, or damaged. This is why we only recommend BERNINA sewing needles, or Schmetz.

When selecting the correct needle, consider the following:
-       Needle system – 130/705H is typical for a BERNINA

-       Needle point – assures proper stitch formation and avoids damaging the fabric.  This is dictated by the name of the needle, I.e. Jeans, Metafill, Microtex, etc…

-       Needle size – smaller for lightweight fabrics; larger for heavier fabrics.  This is indicated by the size, 60, 70, 80, etc…

Things you need to know

-       Needles should be changed after every 4-6 hours of stitching. The needle is the most inexpensive part in your sewing machine but it is crucial for getting good results and keeping your machine running well. Don’t let false economy keep you from doing what is best for your sewing projects and your machine.

In my studio, I always have a nice selection of BERNINA Jeans Needles (size 80), BERNINA Ballpoint Needle (size 70), and Assorted Universals for the odd ball project that I tend to come up with.  I also prefer Gold Embroidery Needles (size 70) and Metafill (size 80) when I want to sew with Metallic Thread or sometimes on Laminated fabrics. Lately I mostly sew on densely woven fabrics, cotton of mostly medium weights for shirts, pants, and dresses. 
 Troubleshooting your needle:
If the needle is:
Too small – the thread can’t stay in the groove to form a loop to be picked up by the hook point
Bent – the thread loop forms too far away from hook point and the hook can’t enter the loop to form a stitch
Blunt – the needle won’t pierce fabric, so no thread loop forms to make a stitch
 Note: You will eventually notice that you can hear a dull needle, as it punches through the fabric.

Download this quick reference chart for a smart phone or computer.