Today I want to talk about an important topic of sewing machine needles - our tiny helpers that play essential part in sewing project success. My goal today is to provide you with practical and essential knowledge about needles, so that you will know what needle to use when and why.
This post is created in partnership with needle industry experts - Organ Needles.
Organ Needle's history began in 1920 with the manufacture of gramophone needles in Tokyo. - this is why when you look up close to Organ Needle logo, you can see “Lady & Organ device”, which comes from the gramophone’s association with music, as well as sewing machine’s rhythmic movements (as the sewing machine needle was companies second product). Today, Organ Needles are recognized as one of the top brands in needle industry, trusted by clients all around the world. Thanks to accumulation of excellent processing technology, Organ Needles create beautiful and accurate stitches and wide product range allows to find perfect fitting needle for any project you are working on. Over 100 years of needle making are poured into creating high quality products that ensures top results to their users.
Now let's talk about those needles!
Anatomy of the needle
To better understand differences between types of needles, we need to first quickly overview the anatomy of the needle. Every sewing machine needle consists of these parts: flat shank, taper, blade, scarf, needle eye and tip of the point. Different shapes, lengths and widths of these parts create different purpose needles.
Types of needles
Sewing machine needles come in several different types, here are the most popular ones:
Universal - the most common type of needle. It has a sharp tip of the point and will work great with woven fabrics, combined with polyester all-purpose or cotton thread. These needles come in several different sizes, so make sure to pick the right one for your project/fabric.
Jersey - compared to universal needle, jersey needles have a rounded tip, which allows needle to 'slip' between stretch fabric threads, instead of cutting through them. As a results, using jersey needle will create a neat clean seam, without stretching out fabric or tearing it.
If you are sewing with very stretchy fabrics, like Lycra, then Super Stretch needle should be your best choice, as it has medium ball point and specially designed scarf for skipped stitch protection.
Next we have specialty needles that come in handy when working with difficult fabrics:
Jeans - these needles are designed to handle thick heavyweight fabrics, without skipping stitches or needle breakage. Since denim is a thick fabric, pair Jeans needle with a thicker sewing thread.
Leather - thanks to cutting point, Leather needle creates large, clean hole, so it's great for sewing tough fabrics. Same as with Jeans needles, Leather needles need to be paired with thicker sewing thread. Also, remember that once the leather is pierced, you cannot remove the hole, so be extra focused and careful when sewing it!
Microtex - if you work with fine fabrics, you will enjoy Microtex needles. These needles are slim and sharp, prevents puckering and runs in very tightly woven materials.
Embroidery needles - if you have an embroidery machine, you can take advantage of several different types of embroidery needles.. For example, Metallic needles will work great with metallic threads, thanks to light ball point and very large eye. Titanium needles have titanium nitride coating for long lasting performance, for embroidery and extreme sewing conditions, also suitable for high speed embroidery. Special mention goes to Anti-glue needle, for embroidery when using adhesive sprays, fleece or velcro - thanks to special coating, this needle will prevent any glue sticking on the needle and ensure superior embroidery results.
Overlock (coverlock) needles - your overlock uses different needles than your sewing
machine, so it's a good idea to always have a pack of overlock needles at hand, in case you need to quickly change them. Also, if you don't have a coverlock, having a Twin-needle to use with your sewing machine might be a great choice for hemming knits with a stretchy mock-coverlock seam. Before using twin needle, always check your sewing machine manual, if your machine can handle twin needle - most domestic machines nowadays has that functionality, but you always want to double-check on this.
What size of needles to choose?
The rule of choosing needle size is simple - the thicker the fabric, the higher needle size. If you are working with sheer, lightweight fabrics - go with 70 or 80 size needle; when working with thick, heavy weight upholstery fabrics - choose 100 or 110 size. Most commonly used size is 90 - this is the size that will work great with a broad range of medium weight fabrics. Needle size is written on the package, and you can always find size information on the needle itself. Also, it's important to select a thread that matches you fabric weight and needle size - for example, if you are sewing jeans with 100 size needle, select a thicker thread, to ensure best seam quality.
What type of needle I need to have?
With so many different types of needles available, you might be questioning which ones you need to have. I personally always have a selection of universal needles of different sizes (75, 90 and 100), as well as Jersey needles. I also have a set of overlock and embroidery needles - it's good to have spare ones at hand, in case I need it. I also want to mention that Organ needles have assorted needle boxes, where you can find different types of needles in one convenient package - in case you need to hem jeans or fix a leather handbag, you will find a needed needle in that box.
How often to change sewing machine needles?
To ensure best results, a good idea is to replace needle before every new project. Another idea - you can also set a reminder on your phone to change your needle every month. Remember, that using old needles may lead to lower seam quality, so always make sure you have a pack of new needles ready!
How to safely dispose needles?
Once you've replaced a needle, don't put it directly to the trash, as the needle might break the bag. To safely store used needle before throwing it out, you can mark the needle and put it in the original box - once all the needles are used, you can safely throw it out. Another option is to use a hard box from candy and store used needles there.
This concludes our todays topic of sewing machine needles - I hope this information was valuable and you learned something new!
Special thanks to todays sponsor Organ Needles! I've been using Organ Needles for over 4 years now and I've been very pleased with their quality and performance. To find out more about Organ Needles, please check their website and Instagram.
Thank you for reading and wishing a wonderful day ahead!