Ever find your tension is off or that your machine is skipping stitches? It’s time to check out that sewing machine needle! Here are 3 rules to remember:
Rule 1: Change your Sewing Machine Needle frequently!
Needles will dull. Period. I recommend buying them by the handful when your local stores run notions on a 50% off sale. By stocking up, you’ll be ready to use a new needle with every new project.
Also, check your needle frequently for burrs and blunt tips. These will cause snags in your fabric.
Rule 2: Pick the right needle for the right fabric.
Generally, you’ll need a size 11 or 14. However, there are a few things to remember.
Rule 2.1: The thicker the fabric, the bigger the needle, bigger the needle size. Most manuals have a table listing the size needle that you need for certain fabrics. Here are some basics:
- Use a size 9 for Very Lightweight Fabrics, like Chiffon, Lace, Organdy, or
- Use a size 11 or 12 for Lightweight Fabrics like Chambray,
Gingham,Satin, Lawn, Single Knits, Jersey,Thin Leather, or Suede.
- Use a size 14 for Medium-weight Fabrics like most of your quilting cottons
or Flannel, Velour, Broadcloth, Linen, Velvet, Double Knits, Vinyl, or some
Leathers or Suede.
- Use a size 16 for Heavy-weight Fabrics including Denim, Sailcloth, Fake
Fur, and thick Leathers.
- Use a size 18 for Very Heavy Fabrics like Canvas, Duck and some Upholstery
Rule 2.2: Pick the right type of needle for the fabric. Basically:
- Woven fabric: Universal needles or Sharps
- Knits: Ball-point needles
- Leathers: Wedge-point needles (AKA leather needles)
- Most topstitching: Topstitching needles
Rule 3: Make sure your needle is inserted properly.
Any questions, refer to your sewing machine manual.