Well, maybe not ALL about needles...maybe just the basics. I don't know about you, but I've been sewing for most of my life...started when I was very young and never really thought about needles at all. My mom always had her machine set up, ready to go and I just sewed.
As a grew older and sewed in home-ec class, again the machine was set up with the needles. Then came the years when I purchased my own machines and began to sew more with different materials and fabrics...kids clothing, tote bags, home decor etc. I purchased needles all the time.
Well, I don't sew as much as I did in the past, but I still sew weekly...mostly with 100% cotton though. For that reason, I buy universal needles...why? I don't know. Probably because I'm cheap and don't want to spend money on "denim" needles or "leather" needles.
So here is my latest purchase yesterday...the ever popular Universal Schmetz. My mom bought Schmetz, so I bought Schmetz Lol
If you are just learning to sew, all the different numbers on the package can scare you. You probably just stick to the word Universal and hope for the best with the numbers...right?!!
Well, let's try to help you out a little.
The Needle System...
Let's start with the 130/705 H or 15x1 H
From what I've researched on the Internet, this is the needle system that's used for most household sewing machines. It has a flat shank and a scarf.
This international system has an "H" on the label. H = Hohlkehle which is German for 'with scarf'.
The Scarf is...the indentation above the eye of the needle that allows the bobbin hook to come up and smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create the stitch.
The Needle Size...
The other numbers on the bottom of this package below are the Needle Size...
There are 2 numbers usually divided by a slash or one number over the other. One set of numbers is American and the other is European. You may see American over Universal or Universal over American. Either way is the same.
The American System is size 8 -19.
8 is a fine needle or the thinnest and 19 is a heavy needle or the thickest
The European System is 60-120
60 is fine up to 120 the heavy.
Here is a chart to explain needle size...
The size of the needle determines the size of the whole the needle makes in the fabric and what thickness thread you can use.
For example, you wouldn't want to use a size 18 needle with thick thread on silk fabric you were using to make a blouse. You would use a lower number with a finer thread. The same holds true for home decor fabric. You would want to use a larger needle with a thicker thread for strength and the final look of the stitching. There is another whole area on thread selection, but that's for another day.
The Needle Type...
The needle type is for certain fabrics or materials. There is sometimes a letter after the Needle System number.
For example, below is 130/705 H-Q. The H for flat shanked sewing machine system for general household machines and the Q for quilting.
Here are more needle selections for different type fabrics...
I wanted to let all of you know, I am NOT an expert on sewing needles at all. I just shared what I knew from years of sewing and what I researched online.
It would be great if everyone could share their tips and tricks on needles in the comment section. The more knowledge on this subject the better.
Click HERE for a link to Michelle's post. She emailed me to share great videos on making sewing needles.
Have a Sew, Sew Saturday,