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Knowing Needles: Name Your Needle Parts

14th February 2008

Knowing Needles: Name Your Needle Parts

Everyone knows that selecting the right needle for your machine is very important.  Using the wrong needle could, at the very least, cause you to create inferior embroidery.  At the most, it could break your machine, making potentially expensive repairs necessary.

There are several factors that can have an influence on the type of needle you decide to use.  The first is fabric.  Some fabrics require the use of a specialized needle if they are to be embroidered correctly.  Another factor is the thread you use.  Some threads, like metallic thread, require the use of a specific needle in order to run correctly.   The type of stitch you plan to use may also have an effect on the type of needle you choose.   Stitch quality is very much effected by the needle and thread you choose to use.  Selecting the right needle and pairing it with Iris thread can go a long way toward helping your project flow smoothly.

 One of the things that is helpful to know when choosing a needle is the vocabulary that is used by needle manufacturers.  Each part of a needle has a specific name.   Knowing these names may help you in choosing the proper needle for your project.

 Names for the Parts of a Needle

Shank - This is the upper part of the needle which is held by the needle bar or set screw. It may be either flat or round on one side.

Blade - Extends from the base of the shank to the point of the needle.

Scarf – The scarf allows the hook of the bobbin case to get close to the eye of the needle so it can catch the thread and form a stitch.  The scarf is an indentation on the back of the needle just above the eye. 

Long Groove - This is a long groove that provides a protected channel for the thread as it is drawn through the fabric.  The long groove serves as a final thread guide.

 Eye – This is the part of the needle that carries the thread into the bobbin case for stitch formation. The size of the eye can vary based on the size of thread it will be required to accommodate. Using a needle with an eye that is the wrong size for your thread could damage the fabric or cause your thread to form inferior stitches.

Point - This is the sharp end which pierces the fabric. Different fabrics may require the use of needles with different types of points.

This is the first part of our “Knowing Needles” series.  Tomorrow we’ll discuss selecting the right needle for the fabric you’re planning to embroider.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | 2 Comments

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