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Needle Up/Down Function

LibbyBoo | Posted in General Discussion on

What does it mean in sewing machine user reviews when people say they’re displeased with a needle down function?  They’re saying they don’t like that the needle is always down and they don’t like the lack of up-down.  What does this mean? 

I’m comparing computerized machines and found the one I think I’m going to get, and all the reviews are great with this exception.


  1. marymary | | #1

    LibbyBoo, a machine that has an up/down needle feature means that when you stop the machine the needle stays up, or stays down in the fabric.  I have a couple machines with this feature and I can determine which position I want and can change it at will.  Are you saying that machine you are looking at only allows the needle down position?

    1. LibbyBoo | | #9

      Right... only allows that.

      1. LibbyBoo | | #10

        I'm thinking that the machine I own already has the needle down function, too, and I just never knew what that meant.  It was my first machine and I'm self-taught, so I guess I just thought all machines ended with the needle down.  I guess it won't be a bother to me with this new machine.  Thank you all for your input.

  2. sewelegant | | #2

    I would just like to share with you how I feel about a needle down or up position.  I sewed for most of my productive years on a 1964 top of the line Singer.  I loved that machine but it could run away with me so when I finally got a new Bernina 930 the year they came out, I was so pleased with the "one stitch at a time" speed ability!  My only dissatisfaction was a new quirk they installed on that model:  a permanent needle up position every time you stopped sewing.  I found that so irritating, even though you just needed to tap the foot pedal to have it in the down position.  (I never seemed to tap it just right).  Then, in the 90's, I purchased a new Bernina, the 1630.  It had a permanent needle up position when you stopped or paused, but it let me push a button to easily control whether or not I wanted the needle up or down.  I liked that a lot better, but do you know?  I think I really prefer the needle down position because I punch it in every time I use the machine.  It is easy to tap the foot to raise the needle position.  I like the needle holding my work down even if I raise the presser foot.  It keeps your place.  I find it difficult to believe a new machine would not make it easy for you to raise the needle positon readily, but I would certainly need that option so make sure the machine you choose has it.

    Edited 11/14/2008 2:05 pm by sewelegant

    Edited 11/15/2008 6:36 pm by sewelegant

    1. marymary | | #3

      Oh, I so agree with you.  I have a Bernina 1630 and use the needle down almost exclusively.  I also have an industrial machine that lets me choose which option I want, too.  I have that set for needle down.  Unlike my Bernina, it remembers when I turn it off.  That is the one thing I don't like about my Bernina 1630...it doesn't remember settings when you turn it off.  But, I would rather have it that way than not have the option of needle up/down.

    2. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #4

      I have the Bernina 930, and can never get the needle in the down position either!  I am so used to wheeling it to the down position by hand, I don't even think about it now.  It would be a handy thing to have on a machine.   Cathy

  3. sbsterling | | #5

    I have a simple computertized machine, a viking emerald 183, with a needle up/down button. It allows me to select whether I prefer to have the needle rest in an up or down position when I'm done stitching using a button on the front of the machine. Truthfully you can adjust the needle up down at any time before or after stitching without moving the fabric. I find it really easy to use and had no trouble transitioning from a machine where I had to adjust the needle manually. I almost never touch the wheel on this machine. I love it.

    1. LibbyBoo | | #7

      Thank you.

  4. User avater
    paddyscar | | #6

    My Husqvarna has a touch button to select needle up or needle down.  I love it for pivoting corners and it's great with slippery fabrics that want to move anytime you even think of lifting the presser foot.


  5. Pattiann42 | | #8

    I have a BabyLock and Elna that are 2 & 3 years old.  Both have auto needle-up.  This can be overridden with the push of a button for needle-down.

    Using the needle-down function allows the needle to act as a third hand in holding the stitching position, such as when you want to stop and turn a corner or stitching a curve.

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