manual says use only Singer needles. Will others harm my machine?
from Singer obviously wanting to hog the after-market needle sales this
might have been good advice 50 years ago when there were many poor quality
needles about. Not sure who makes Singer-branded needles now but in
my opinion they're of lesser qulity than the German Schmetz brand which
are pretty freely available.
Q: I've been using
the same needle for 6 years -- do they ever wear out?
A: Wear out, no -- but
they do get blunt. Try investing in a new one and you'll love the difference
Q: The manual
makes it very clear that the needle is mounted with the flat to the
left. Why do you keep reminding us of this?
any honest sewing-machine mechanic will tell you that he earns $100+
per week from folk with stitching problems simply by turning the needle
round into the correct position.
Q: Can you give
me some general needle information?
A: from Bonnie Ingram
If I were a gambler I'd place a bet that each machine I receive
to service has an oversized needle in it. And I'd be rich! Over 90%
of the machines I receive have a size 16 needle in it when all the owner
has been doing is piecing quilts!
Why? Either because the owner has been pulling the fabric through the
machine and breaking needles or because she bought multi-size needle
packs and decided to use the needles she had around.
Needle size and type is not marketing hype. It really can make a difference
in the quality of your stitch.
Every package of needles has two sets of information: a number which
denotes the needles' thickness, and a letter which specifies the point
or tip and overall shape. It is the combination of size and shape that
makes a needle best for any one piece of fabric.
Most packages carry two numbers such as 80/12. The left number is the
European size (fraction of a millimeter in diameter in this example
.80mm) while the number on the right is the American standard. You will
get the best quality stitch with the smallest needle possible.
65/9 Smallest size that uses regular thread, for very fine fabrics,
70/10 Average light-medium weight fabrics, shirtings, light cottons,
80/12 This size is the most versatile. Use for middle range of fabrics,
both cotton wovens and knits.
90/14 Best used with denim, jeans, corduroy, most upholstery fabric,
100/16 Backed upholstery, very heavy or dense fabrics such as fake furs
110/18 Anything over a 100/16 will create a hole in your fabric. Use
for hemstitching, fagotting, and other decorative work.
The letter code indicates the use of the needle based on its shape,
type of point, eye size, scarf (cut away area behind the eye), hump
(area just below the scarf) etc.
H - "Universal" has a point or shape that is neither strictly sharp
nor ballpoint. It is an all-purpose needle point for most knits and
wovens. It is barely rounded at the tip and has a scarf.
H-S - This needle has a point like an H but a redesigned scarf and hump
to accommodate stretch (S) fabrics. Note: ULTRASUEDE is a knit and takes
a 75H-S needle. If you use a 90H-S you will create a hole to last forever.
H-J - Now that more natural fibers are in the market, the industry brought
back the sharp needle. Basically an H shape it has a very sharp point
for penetrating tightly woven dense fibers such as denim.
M - Thin shaft, and slim, sharp point which produces smooth, perfectly
straight seams in lightweight wovens such as microfibers, batiste, and
MET - Large eye and groove to handle metallic and flat filament type
N - Has a double sized eye and large groove for thick top-stitching
NTW - Point is wedge shaped to pierce leather. For real leather and
real suede only.
Q - Thin, tapered deep point for sewing multiple layers which results
in very little fabric damage when seaming and cross-seaming.
Specifically made for piecing and quilting.
SUK - Ball point tip for specific knits, such as spandex, lycra, and