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Selecting the Right Needle

7th November 2007

Selecting the Right Needle

The needle that you use can have a large impact on the success or failure of your embroidery project.  Because we know that,  we wanted to provide you with some tips that will help you make the right needle choice.

 The first thing you need to know is that most commercial embroidery machines use round shank needles.  Most home sewing and embroidery machines use flat shank needles.  The shank is the upper end of the needle that is held by the set screw or needle bar. 

 When beginning a new embroidery project it is always good to start with a new needle.  A needle that is dull can cause puckers or snags in the fabric, which could ruin the appearance of your embroidery.  If you experience stitching problems like puckering or snagging, the easiest solution may be simply to change to a fresh needle.   It is recommended that needles be changed about every 8 hours. 

The following factors should be taken into account when selecting a needle:

  1. Fabric Type:  Is the fabric knit or woven?  Is it a dense or loose fabric?
  2. Fabric Weight: A heavier fabric will probably require a larger and heavier needle.
  3. Thread size: There is a simple test to ensure the needle is the right size for the thread you are using.  Cut a piece of thread about 12 inches long and thread it through the needle.  Hold the thread taut and vertically.  From the top of the thread, spin the needle.  The needle should spin down the thread.  If it doesn’t, you need a bigger needle.

The most common needle sizes in machine embroidery are 65/9, 70/10, 75/11, and 80/12.  Machine embroidery needles differ from regular embroidery needles in that they usually have a larger eye and a groove in the shank.  This design protects embroidery threads, which are generally polyester or rayon, from breaking.

EnMart has a wide selection of machine embroidery needles for sale in our online store.  If you have any questions regarding needles, or any of our products, please contact our knowledgeable customer service staff, who will be happy to assist you with your request.

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