Sewing Machine Needle Facts

There are so many different needle systems for different industrial sewing machines. First what is a needle system? This a number which describes the dimensions of the needle itself, it describes the length, top of needle thickness where it fits into the needle bar, the grooves on the needle shaft. Needle bars on machines are designed with different size hole and needles are made to fit the machine. In most cases a smaller size needle will only fit the bar that is designed for it. Example is the largest needle that will fit a standard single needle is usually a size 18/110, this is because the standard thread plate hole would break the plate if a larger needle. Medium and heavy plates and feeders will have a larger needle hole and accept a thicker needle. The machines needle will then require a different a system to fit the needle bar.

What number is the size, or thickness of needle itself? This is the number on the package that will have two numbers, first number followed by a /. Example 14/90. this would be the most common needle used in a single needle lockstitch machine. In this case the 14 stands for a needle designation that Singer used, the second number is a metric number that describes the thickness. This number will also appear on the shaft of the needle also. Union special used a different description for thickness size. 036/90 would describe same thickness. The metric number is not changed, it actually is the size in millimeters, 14 is .90 of a millimeter, 100 is 1 millimeter and so forth.

Another fact is that the tip of needle is not a sharp point, but is slightly rounded. This is because a sharp pointed tip will get a burr if it were to graze the plate or any metal part it may contact, the rounded tip will separate the weave of the material as opposed to cutting it, this will make a better looking stitch without damaging the fabric. When sewing knit material a needle a smaller thickness and increase in the roundness of the tip will help to reduce needle cuts in the material, this needle is commonly referred to as ballpoint.

That’s all for now. In next blog we will go into different tips that are made for different materials, the reason for it having a scarf, and grooves.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: