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Knowing Needles: Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type

15th February 2008

Knowing Needles: Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type

Yesterday, we discussed needle vocabulary and how your choice of thread can influence the success of failure of the stitches your needle choice sews.  Today I want to discuss which needles work best with which fabric types.   In an ideal world there would be one all purpose needle that would work equally well with every fabric type but, in our world, that isn’t the case.  Like choosing the right thread to run in your machine,  choosing the right needle for your fabric can mean the difference between the success or failure of your embroidery.

There are speciality needles which are designed for specific fabrics.  If you are embroidering denim, you will probably want to use a denim needle, which has a very sharp point and a stiff shank.  Those who work with leather should use a leather needle, which has a slight cutting point and works better for stitching through leather, suede or vinyl.  A stretch needle, which has a deeper scarf, is designed for stitching knit fabrics that contain spandex.  This would be the ideal needle if you embroider a lot of workout gear.

 Obviously, machine embroidery requires needles that are designed for that purpose.  Machine embroidery needles are designed with a special scarf and a large eye.  This may help to prevent shredding and breakage if you are sewing a design using rayon or special machine embroidery threads.  There are also needles designed especially for use with metallic thread which prevent shredding and breakage of those types of threads.

 There are a few things you should remember when selecting a needle.  One thing to keep in mind is that you change the tension on the top thread when you change the needle size or the eye size of the needle.  If you switch to using a needle with a different point, you are changing the way the needle penetrates the fabric, which may have an effect on the quality of your finished embroidery.  You should also remember that changing your needle halfway through a larger project may help ensure the completed run is a success.  A needle that is bent or blunt can damage the fabric or stitch unevenly, which could ruin your design as well as the garment you are stitching.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008 at 12:03 pm and is filed under Machine Embroidery Supplies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 2 responses to “Knowing Needles: Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type”

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  1. 1 On February 20th, 2008, Jennifer said:

    What needle types/sizes would you recommend for the new embroiderer who doesn’t know if they will be doing any speciality items such as leather? Is there a good sample pack you can recommend? Thanks.

  2. 2 On February 20th, 2008, Knowing Needles: Needles for New Embroiderers » EnMart Embroidery Talk said:

    [...] from Sun Embroidery Screen Printing left a question on our post “Knowing Needles:  Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type“.  She asks: “What needle types/sizes would you recommend for a new embroiderer who [...]

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