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Can’t break the code….. again !

sewfar | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have been faithfully using Schmetz machine needles with my Elna’s since 1970 but either my eyes or my brain has gotten foggy and if I have needle in hand I can not break the code to see if it is ball point etc.  I try to put a drop of nailpolish on the ballpoints as I buy them but forgot this time.  Would love to just pick up a magifier and say Eureka its a ballpoint or regular needle but how do I solve the code?


  1. spicegirl | | #1

    I don't have any Schmetz ballpoint, but do have stretch (same??).  The shaft has a yellow/gold band.  The printing on the needle reads Schmetz 75/11 - no help.  The clue is the color of the band.  I use to mark mine with nail polish along with the case the came in, but it seems they now come with colors on the shaft, but not the case - this doesn't help as the numbers on the case do not relate to the code on the needle.

    You might try poking your unmarked needle through a swatch of closely woven knit to see if it makes a hole, or pushes the weave apart.

    Someone else may have a better way to test.

    For future reference I made a list of my needles and their color code that I keep at my sewing machine.




    1. MaryinColorado | | #2

      You are right, yellow is ballpoint/knits, quilting is green, denim is blue, microtex sharp is purple, universal, wing, and topstitching are plain silver.  I checked the packs.

      I think embroidery needles are red but can't find them right now.

      1. spicegirl | | #3

        I started to answer your post three hours ago and just as I was ready to initiate the post my computer crashed for the umpteenth time.  I had to run a system restore - and this is just the beginning!

        You are correct, red is the color code on the Schmetz embroidery needles.  Problem - if you are using your last needle and have not marked the container with the same color, or have not made a list as backup, you can find yourself in a "pickle"!

        Speaking of embroidery needles - I have been using Titanium coated needles to avoid build up of goo when using sticky stabilizer or temporary spray-on adhesive.  Floriani's sticky/wash away seems to goo up more than Sulky sticky (not wash away).  Maybe the combination of sticky and wash away is the problem???

        Have you used sticky/wash away?   


        1. MaryinColorado | | #4

          Yes, I keep a box of individually wrapped alcohol towlettes in a drawer next to the machine to wipe the needles if they gum up and to keep the thread stand clean.  For the quilted throw I am embroidering for my Mom for Mother's Day (hope it gets done and mailed in time), there are many sizes I precut.   They didn't fit well in the hoop of course, (lack of forethought). 

           I am using Hydrostick, you hoop this stablizizer and then dampen it with a stamp wetter sponge, the fabric sticks to it well.  Then it tears away. 

           For the megahoop, I am using Nancy Zieman's embroidery window technique with Aqua-Magic Disolvable Adhesive because I could buy it locally.  I prefer SDSV but have to order it online, it is much easier to seperate from it's backing.  It is excellent, sticks to the fabric and then washes away!!!  Like magic!

          I like Sulky stabilizers the best, with the exception of the SDSV when I use the widow hooping htechnique.  If you are interested and haven't heard of it, it is on http://www.nancysnotions.com .

          I have heard good things about those needles but haven't tried them yet, thanks for letting me know you like them.  Mary

          1. spicegirl | | #5

            I've used the hydrostick, but was impatient waiting for it to dry, but it works very well.  Couldn't find anything referenced SDSV.  I don't have many shopping choices - Joann (passable) or Hobby Lobby (pathetic) - for sulky products.  Do most shopping online.

            Now, I will let you get back to your Mother's Day project.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #6

            SdSV is made by http://www.hoopitall.com .  I got it from Nancy's Notions but I couldn't find it on her website anymore.  It is adhesive backed and water soluble clear stabilizer.  I am trying alot of different products trying to find something comparable. 

            I found a flesh colored stabilizer, have you seen it?  Floriani No Show Mesh Fusible.  I haven't tried it yet.  I thought it would be great for lightweight and sheerer fabrics instead of the usual white showing through.  It does require a low temp iron but you can leave it on the fabric instead of cutting it off.  It is supposed to be soft against the skin.  Now I would like to find flesh toned fine bobbin thread!

          3. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #7

            Hey Mary I too as Spicegirl love the Titanium needles and for everyday sewing as well!! They are great and last longer then the others!!Just wanted to let you know someone else out there likes them too!!By the by I have been getting my 5 year old to see which needle is which..ha ha ha...better get my glasses on yes...I know vanity

          4. MaryinColorado | | #8

            Thanks, are they made by Schmetz or who?  I bought some Klasse topstitching needles, has anyone tried them?  I have only used Schmetz all my life!  That was what was recommended on my first machine, it was a wonderful Necchi but it was stolen, sniff sniff.  Mary

          5. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #9

            Actually Klasse is who I got my titaniums from and Klasse is which brand I have been using for a good 2 years now...I like them.I do have Schmetz and love them as well..but I have just been buying the others lately and I don't have many more of Schmetz in my sewing basket these days...Hope this helps!!

          6. MaryinColorado | | #10

            Thanks for the info., I'll try them.  Mary

          7. spicegirl | | #11

            Mary & Blondie:

            FWIW:  I use Organ Titanium coated needles.  Sewing shops may have them, but I buy them for less in bulk at allbrands.com.  Once you sign up for their flyer, they will send you an email and usually a $5.00 coupon - not much, but the products they sell are discounted & the coupon helps with the cost of S & H.

          8. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #12

            Thanks for the info..I will check it out

          9. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Thanks, I'll check it out.  Viking recommends Schmetz, the Dealers here sell Schmetz and Klasse, I will ask about the Organ titanium and see what they think too.  I doubt there is a problem. 

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