Now that you have a sewing machine, we need to consider the needles that you may need to use. The manufacturers use a numbering system for their needles. They use a letter to categorize the needles, and fabrics, and are symbolized by the letter.
Here is a handy guide:
1. H: universal, all-purpose, general sewing (Singer regular point style 2020)
2. HS: stretch fabrics (Singer ball point style 2045)
3. HSUY: heavy stretch fabrics, elastics
4. HJ: denim (Singer style 2026)
5. HM: delicates, silks, microfibers
6. N: topstitching, novelty threads
7. HE: embroidery, novelty threads (Singer chromium regular point style 2001)
8. HQ: quilting, also piecing
9. RH: basting, long stitches
10. HLL: leather (Singer wedge-point needle style 2032)
Here are the seven reasons why machine needles break:
1. Poor quality. Use good-quality, polished steel needles.
2. Installation of needle incorrect. The manual will instruct you on installing the needle.
3. Wrong fabric used. Heavy gauge needles for heavier fabrics like denim or leather.
4. Don't pull fabric. This puts stress on the needle and bends it out of place.
5. Hitting a pin. Don't sew over pins, remove them as you sew.
6. Loose presser foot. This will cause the needle to hit the foot and bend. Always tighten the foot screw.
7. Loose needle plate. Secure tightly and in the correct place for needle to pass through.
Machine needles are bought in groups per pack:
The lower the number the finer the needle and the higher the number the larger the needle. Rule of thumb, the lighter the fabric the smaller the needle size and heavy fabrics use the larger needle size. Also, small delicate thread uses the smaller needle. Your machine will come with several needles and it is wise to know which needle to use on the fabric you are sewing.
Hand Sewing Needles
The hand sewing needles come in all shapes and sizes. There are a few general rules to help you pick the right needle for the job. Sharps are used to cut through fabric without tearing or ripping the fabric. Blunts are used with loose or wide weaves or canvas so that you will not snag the fabric. The smaller the needle, the smaller the stitch you will be able to sew. Hand-sewing needles are assigned numbers for the different sizes available; the smaller this number, the larger the needle.
The brand of hand sewing needles I use are Dritz. They come several to a pack, and are not too expensive.
Delois Weldon is the owner of http://www.sewingwiththebest.com