is as important to select the proper sewing machine equipment,
as it is to choose the correct interfacing or marking tools to
use on your fabric.
Needles should be selected according to the weight and type of
the fabric used as well as the thread selected. Many decorative
threads require the use of special needles to reduce the amount
of thread breakage during sewing. Needle sizes range from very
fine (7/60) for delicate fabrics to larger sizes (19/120) for heavy
weight fabrics. Refer to the needle chart in this chapter for the
specific needle size recommended for your weight of fabric.
Many types of needles are available based on the type of sewing
you will be doing. Select the correct needle by the point, the
shape and size of the eye and the overall size suitable for your
fabric. A universal point (130/705H), appropriate for most all
woven and knit fabrics, has a modified ball
point to slip through
the fabric easily. A sharp or Microtex (130/705 H-M) needle is
recommended for wovens or microfibers. A ballpoint (130/705 H SUK)
needle has a medium rounded point that will not damage knit fabrics
whereas a stretch (130/705 H-S) needle is suitable for elastic,
spandex and other knitwear. The denim or jeans
needle has an acute
point and strong shaft for sewing through tightly woven, dense
fabrics. A leather needle has a wedge-shaped point designed to
cut through leather and vinyl. Topstitching (130N) needles have
a larger eye to accommodate heavier topstitching threads. Machine
embroidery (130/705 H-E) needles are used for rayon and specialty
embroidery threads. Metafil or Metallic (130 Met) are specially
designed with a large polished eye and large groove for use with
metallic threads to prevent shredding, snagging or breakage. Quilting (130/705 H-Q) needles have a special taper to the point to allow
stitching through different densities of fabric without skipping
Double and triple needles, mounted on a crossbar from a single
shaft, can be used for decorative as well as functional stitching.
Single and double wing needles are also another type of decorative-use
needle as they produce “holes” in the fabric similar to traditional
hemstitching. (continued at bottom of page...)
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It is recommended that you change your needle every
time you begin a new sewing project. Many stitching problems are the
result of dull or blunt needles, needles not inserted correctly, or
the wrong size needle being used for the fabric and thread.