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(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?
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.
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.