Did you know that the needle on your sewing machine could last up to 8 hours? Did you also know that the needle often should be changed regularly to prevent it from breaking down and ruining your entire project? When should you change your needle, and how often? Find out below.
Table of Contents
- The Need for Changing Your Needle
- How Often Should You Replace a Sewing Machine Needle?
- When Should You Change Your Needle?
- What to Look For in a Sewing Machine Needle
- How do I Know if my Sewing Machine Needle is Dull?
- Is There a Way to Sharpen Sewing Machine Needles?
- Are Chrome Sewing Machine Needles Better?
- How To Change Your Sewing Machine Needle?
The Need for Changing Your Needle
Needles on a sewing machine are often overlooked and thought of as a length of wire with a point at the end. However, needles should be changed regularly to prevent them from breaking down and ruining your project.
There are two types of needles: stretch needles and ballpoint needles. Stretch is used mostly for knit fabrics, while ballpoint is used for woven fabrics. Stretch needles are easier to control since they’re thinner than ballpoint, but they can also break more easily if not taken care of. Ballpoint needles are thicker and less likely to break, but they can’t be controlled as well as stretch needles because they have a blunt point.
It’s important to change the needle on your sewing machine after every eight hours of use. If you don’t, the needle will start to bend or even break over time which will make it difficult for your fabric to go through the tension discs smoothly. This could cause your fabric to get caught up in the upper threading or lower threading or just break altogether!
How Often Should You Replace a Sewing Machine Needle?
Sewing machines are one of the most popular tools in a fabricator’s arsenal. But, like most things in life, they can wear out over time. And that’s where needle replacement comes in.
In most cases, you should replace a sewing machine needle every 6 to 12 months. But there are some factors to consider when deciding how often to do this. For instance, if you use a Singer Sewing Machine, you may want to replace your needles every 3 years instead of every 6 to 12 months. Singer also offers a service that costs $129 per year that will remove any Needles left in the machine after 6 months—giving you more time to enjoy your machine and not have to worry about needles running out!
When Should You Change Your Needle?
The needle on your sewing machine should be changed every 8 hours. This is a general guideline for most projects, but it can vary depending on the material you’re sewing and the type of needle you’re using. For example, a denim needle will last longer than a standard sewing needle because it’s more durable.
You might also notice that your machine needs to be threaded more often as the needle gets duller. This is an indication that the needle needs to be replaced.
What to Look For in a Sewing Machine Needle
A sewing machine needle is one of the most important parts of your sewing machine. It’s responsible for transferring the thread that you’re using to sew into your fabric. You can use either a sharp or ball point needle, depending on what type of fabric you are stitching.
There are many factors to consider when buying a sewing machine needle. The first thing to look for is the needle’s size – this will correspond with the size of the thread you are using. Common sizes include #65, #70, and #80. You’ll also want to look carefully at the material that goes into making your needle. The higher quality needles are made from stainless steel or titanium, which will resist wear and breakage better than other materials like carbon steel or aluminum.
Finally, if you’re looking for a general purpose needle that isn’t too expensive, stainless steel is the best choice as it’s far more durable than other types of metal needles.
How do I Know if my Sewing Machine Needle is Dull?
The most common tell-tale sign of a dull needle is slow stitching. If the needle is too dull, it will take longer to move through your project, and will often cause skipped stitches or puckering.
Another indication that your sewing machine needle is dull is when you see loops on the underside of the fabric. Loops on top of the fabric are also a sign of a dull needle.
Is There a Way to Sharpen Sewing Machine Needles?
If you’re a sewing enthusiast, you probably know your way around a needle. Whether it’s the type of needle you use to sew with, or the sharpening method for when it breaks, you’ve likely got a few tricks up your sleeve. Sharpening sewing machine needles is an important skill that every sewer should have in their repertoire.
Sewing machine needles are fairly easy to sharpen using one of two methods: filing and polishing.
To file a needle, insert the needle into a block of styrene foam and angle it at about 30 degrees. Hold the needle in place while running an emery board or metal file against it from the top down to the tip. Take care not to overfile so as not to ruin the surface on which you’re working. Once sharpened, test the needle’s point by cutting through paper with it—if not enough resistance is felt, sharpen again until desired pressure is reached.
In addition to file-sharpening sewing machine needles, there are also polishing options available when sharpening these tools for use in projects. One such option includes adding a light coat of wax to create a smooth surface before sewing with them again. In order to polish a needle this way, simply rub the needle’s surface against a piece of fine-grain sandpaper.
Are Chrome Sewing Machine Needles Better?
Chrome sewing machine needles are a better option than the cheaper and more common nickel and steel needles. Chrome is a metal alloy, which means it is made of different metals. This metal is often tin-coated steel, which can be prone to corrosion if not cared for properly.
Nickel and steel needles are also used as they are less expensive and easier to manufacture. The downside to these types of needles is that they require more frequent sharpening, especially if you use them on lightweight fabrics. They can also bend easily and become unusable much more quickly than chrome needles because the points dull very quickly with use.
If you want your sewing project to last as long as possible, your best bet is using a needle with a chrome coating—you’ll need less maintenance over time by switching over!
How To Change Your Sewing Machine Needle?
As a sewer, you spend a lot of time with your sewing machine. You probably know the needle on the machine is the main component for sewing, and it’s also designed to last up to 8 hours.
However, if you are using your machine for long periods of time or are using the same needle throughout the day, it might break down early. This is why you should change your needle regularly.
To change your sewing needle, first push the dial on your sewing machine all the way to one side until it stops. You can then remove the table from underneath and pull out the thread cutter (behind where the dial was). Remove any fabric that might be wrapped around it and then loosen these screws:
- Pull out this screw
- Tighten these two screws again
- Lift up and remove this screw
- Squeeze these two springs together and remove this bolt; replace with a new one when you reattach them
- Remove this screw
- Remove these two screws
- Turn the hand wheel in a clockwise direction, and remove the needle plate. You will see your old needle underneath. Remove it with a pair of pliers or tweezers. Replace it with a new one and reattach everything you removed before. You can now use your machine again!
When you’re done with your project, take out the bobbin and thread it through the eye of the needle to remove any loose fabric that might have gotten caught in there while sewing.
Have you ever noticed your sewing machine needle is dull or damaged? It’s time to replace your needle!
Proper sewing machine needles are necessary for the success of any sewing project, but it can be hard to know when to change your needle.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can look for to know when it’s time to replace your needle, and it’s usually pretty easy! You can also sharpen your sewing machine needle with some emery paper, but this is not recommended for needles with a plastic coating.