Sewing machine needle problems

by Noreen
(Thornhill, Ontario, Canada)

I have some assorted sewing machine needles, some with colour on them. Is there any way to know if they are different sizes and for different types of fabric?

Schmetz does color code many of their home sewing machine needles. The codes are:

Embroidery    Red

Parts of a sewing machine needle
Those with no coding include the following needle types: Universal, Jersey, Leather, Gold Embroidery Needles (titanium coated), Metallic, Topstitch, Hemstitch, Double Eye Needles, Quick Threading and all twin or triple needles.

As you can see in the picture to the right, the needle size is stamped onto the top end or shank of the needle.

Now the Schmetz needle case is supposed to magnify the printing so you can read it, but with my eyeglass wearing eyes, I find it hard to read.

Regardless of the size of the needle, Schmetz Metallic and Topstitching needles eyes are 2mm long.

For all other Schmetz needles, the size of the needle eye increases or decreases with the needle's size.

Pin cushion for storing gently-used needles
To make my life easier, I keep all my used-but-still-good sewing machine needles in a tomato pin cushion with each section marked for a different size and type of needle. Since I predominantly use either a Microtex (purple color code band) or a Metallic needle (no color code), I only need one pin cushion.

If a needle is in the pin cushion, I know it's been used and to pay attention to the sound it makes while stitching. A 'popping sound' or a deterioration in the stitch quality is my signal to change the needle immediately.

Needles are such an important part of the stitch quality equation, it's a good thing they are relatively cheap! (I always stock up when they are on sale.)

May I suggest these other pages about sewing machine needles:

I hope this information is helpful to you.


Julie Baird

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