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What About Needles


Long Time...No Hear

The isolation of 2020 has gotten to most of us and it is time to reconnect, even if it is only with an email. I would like to begin sharing with you little tidbits of fun facts. I hope these “blogs” will enlighten, inspire, and make you laugh a little.

Needle Fun

Microtex (Sharp) Chrome

Let's begin with sewing machine needles, as they can be a bit confusing. Many of us use the same needle that great aunt Nancy, twice removed, told us to use years ago (maybe even the exact needle). We are not sure why she told us to use it, but we are faithful. Let me shed some light on the subject and you can then determine the perfect needle for your project.


All needles for domestic machines are universal. That means any brand needle will fit your household sewing machine.


There are three types of needle points. Sharps or microtex, ball point, and universal. Sharps are just that, the tip is sharp so that it can go between the yarns that make up woven fabrics. Ball points, used for knits, have a rounded tip that allows it to push the yarns aside to avoid breaking them. For those of you who are old enough to remember pantyhose, you know exactly what a broken yarn and a “run” is like. Universal needles are in between sharps and ballpoints and can be used somewhat successfully with either woven or knit fabric. Many of my quilters buy universals, but why? If someone is working almost exclusively with woven fabrics, my preference is to use microtex needles.


The next numbers you will see is 130/705 H. Have you ever wondered what that means? This is a secret number of the National Sewing Machine Society (JUST JOKING). It simply is the needle system used for household machines. H stands for Hohlkehle in German and means “scarf”. These needles have a flattened shank. After 130/705H is the size of the needle blade. An example is 90/14. The 90 is the metric version and the 14 is the American (Singer) version. The higher the number the larger the blade. Generally, 60/8 is for fine fabrics and threads and 100/16 is a heavy needle for heavy projects. The bigger the number the bigger the hole it can leave. 


“How often do you change your needle?” is a frequent question I ask. The most common answer is, “When it breaks”. Poor or incorrect needles is the most common reason people get unsatisfactory results or have problems. I strongly suggest you change your needle with every project. The average cost of a needle is about $1.00. This is one of the least expensive supplies and can bring about so many benefits. Your time and skills are valuable! Do not waste them on using bad needles.  The following photos make it easy to see how dull needles cause broken threads, skipped stitches, damaged fabrics, etc.

                  Used needle with the magnification increasing

There is a lot more information on choosing the correct needle for your project. Come in and ask us. Schmetz also has a wonderful website with great illustrations and information.

We are offering 25% off all needles for the month of March.  You must mention you read this newsletter to receive the discount.

Thank you for allowing me to sharpen your needle knowledge. I hope you look forward to my next installment. The topic will be sewing machines, a bit of history and how it affects us today. See you then.


Thank You!


Patchwork Quilts

1720 N. 1st Street, Suite E
Hamilton, MT 59840

(406) 363-5754

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