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Sewing Machine Needle Guide

Now that you have purchased you quality sewing machine, we need to consider the needles that you need to purchase for your use. The manufactures use a numbering system for their needles. They use a letter to categorize needles and fabrics are symbolized by the letter. Here is a handy guide:

1. H: universal, all-purpose, general sewing (Singer regular point style 2020)
2. HS: stretch fabrics (Singer ball point style 2045)
3. HSUY: heavy stretch fabrics, elastics
4. HJ: denim (Singer style 2026)
5. HM: delicates, silks, microfibers
6. N: topstitching, novelty threads
7. HE: embroidery, novelty threads (Singer chromium regular point style 2001)
8. HQ: quilting, also piecing
9. RH: basting, long stitches
10. HLL: leather (Singer wedge-point needle style 2032)

Here are the seven reasons why machine needles break.

1. Poor quality. Use good-quality, polished steel needles.
2. Installation of needle incorrectly. The manual will instruct you on stalling a needle.
3. Wrong fabric used. Heavy gauge needles for heavier fabrics like denim or leather.
4. Don’t pull fabric. This puts stress on the needle and bends it out of place.
5. Hitting a pin. Don’t sew over pins, remove them as you sew.
6. Loose presser foot. This will cause the needle to hit the foot and bend. Always tighten the foot screw.
7. Loose needle plate. Secure tightly and in the correct place for needle to pass through.

Machine needles are bought in groups per pack. Ball point, sizes 9-11-14-16; standard point sizes 9-11-14-16; heavy duty sizes 11-14-16. The lower the number the finer the needle and the higher the number the larger the needle. Rule of thumb, the lighter the fabric the smaller the needle size and heavy fabrics use the larger needle size. Also, small delicate thread use the smaller needle. Your machine will come with several needles and its wise to know which needle to use on the fabric you are sewing.

The hand sewing needles come in all shapes and sizes. There are a few general rules to help you pick the right needle for the job. Sharps are used to cut through fabric without tearing or ripping the fabric. Blunts are used with loose or wide weaves or canvas so that you will not snag the fabric. The smaller the needle, the smaller the stitch you will be able to sew. Hand-sewing needles are assigned numbers for the different sizes available; the smaller this number, the larger the needle.

Needle types:

Sharps: they are medium-length with small, rounded eyes. Used for applique quilting and all-purpose hand-sewing needle.

Between: these needles are small round eyes for fine quilting and detailed handwork.

Chenille: these are for tightly woven fabrics, because they have a long, large eye and a thick shaft. Also for silk ribbon embroidery.

Tapestry: These have blunt tips and long eyes. Used for cross-stitch, needlepoint and are ideal to teach young children to sew.

Embroidery/Crewel: These are used for smocking stitches or all types of embroidery and crewel work. These sharp needles have long, oval eyes accommodate yarn and embroidery floss.

Beading: These are used to pick up several beads or seed pearls at a time before attaching to the project. They are long and fine with small round eyes.

Long Darners: These are used for smocking; their large eye and long shaft make the stitches line up perfectly.

Leather: These have a three-sided chisel point to easily pierce through leather and suede.

Trapunto: These are long, blunt to slide yarn or cord in sewn channels in clothing and quilts.

Doll Needles: They are very long and sharp. They vary from 7-15 inches. Great for sewing on eyes, and working through the body.

The brand of hand sewing needles I use are Dritz. They come several to a pack, and are not too expensive.

Delois Weldon is the owner of [http://www.sewingwiththebest.com/] and know the importance of picking a sewing machine [http://www.sewingwiththebest.com/] that will last. She is always available to answer any questions you may have about sewing, she looks forward to serving you.

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