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Essential Tools: Machine Needles

Evamarie Gomez-Bostic and Carol Fresia; Videographer: Jeff Roos

Threads Contributing Editor Judith Neukam walks you through sewing machine needle anatomy and how to read the needle packaging. She also highlights various machine needles types and their uses.

Using a large-scale model of a sewing machine needle, Judith points out the sections of the needle so you better understand why different needle styles work better for various thread types. For example, if the eye shape isn’t right, the thread shreds quickly, leading to breakage.

Needle types

Each machine needle package has information that tells you what style needle is contained within, so you can select a needle that is best for your project’s fabric and thread.

Specialty needles

These versions may have special coatings or point styles to accommodate the stress of machine embroidery, or to prevent snagging and breaking as the thread passes through the eye.

Judith notes that some machines require a special length of needle to work properly. However, most sewing machines destined for the home market use a standard size; if you purchase one of these machines, you’ll have no trouble replacing needles when you need to.



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  1. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #1

    Evmezic (Congrats!),

    It's almost an industrial tutorial, but Judy, Judy, Judy, takes it beyond high art, and toward a virtual transcendental experience.

    Sign me,

    Stitch actualized

  2. User avater
    Bashis | | #2

    Nice tutorial. I like this type of post.

  3. lisa90lisa | | #3

    Please add captioning. Some of us lack ability to hear.

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