Sewing machines have become a staple device in many households. However, many people are unsure whether sewing machines come with needles. This article looks into the wider question of sewing machines and needles to provide clarity and insight.
The short answer is that, while most home sewing machines do come with one or two needles, they are typically not the best quality, and a good selection of proper sewing machine needles should be bought in order to ensure quality stitches. To begin with, sewing machine needles come in a variety of sizes and types and are an important part of successful sewing.
The most common needles for home sewing machines are the universal needle. These needles range in size from 60/8 to 100/16. Universal needles are known to be sharper and they are suitable for sewing a variety of materials ranging from lightweight fabrics to denim and heavier fabrics.
Jeans and heavy-duty fabrics, such as denim, corduroy and multiple-layered fabrics, should be sewn with topstitch needles. Generally both topstitch and universal needles come with a flat shank and round eye. Topstitch needles are larger than universal needles and are designed for thicker fabrics and are generally size 80/12, 90/14, or 100/16.
Stretch fabrics and woven fabrics that have a lightweight or loose weave require ballpoint needles. These needles are used in threading between the layers of fabric, which prevents the threads from breaking while stretching the fabric. They are equipped with a round point that makes its way through the interloop of the fabric. A suitable size for lightweight and loose-weave fabrics is size 70/10.
In conclusion, while most home sewing machines do come with one or two needles, they are typically not the best quality. It is important to know what type and size of needle to use for the fabric being sewn in order to ensure quality stitching. It is advisable to buy a good selection of needles in order to have the proper needle for the material being used.
Different types of Needles
As previously mentioned, sewing machine needles come in a variety of sizes and types, each designed for different fabrics. It is important to chose the correct needle for the job in order to ensure quality stitching. Here are a few of the most common types of needles and the materials they should be used with.
Ballpoint needles and stretch needles should be used for sewing knit fabrics, as well as Lycra, spandex and other stretch fabrics. Both of these needles are designed to penetrate the fabric without damaging or breaking the threads. They also help to reduce skipped stitches and puckering.
Quilting needles are specifically designed for sewing through multiple layers of fabric when making a quilt. These shorter and thicker needles are typically size 70/10 and 90/14.
Titanium needles are coated with a titanium nitride coating, making them harder and more durable than standard sewing machine needles. This makes them ideal for handling heavyweight fabrics, such as denim, leather, and vinyl.
Denim needles are designed for denim and other heavyweight fabrics, as well as other tightly woven fabrics. Denim needles are typically size 90/14 or 100/16 and have a sharp point and reinforced blade.
Leather needles have a wedge-shaped point and a deep scarf, which helps to prevent the needle from breaking. These needles should only be used on genuine leather, suede and other thick, non-woven fabrics.
Features to Look for in Quality Needles
When buying sewing machine needles, it is important to look for a number of features to ensure quality stitching. Here is a list of features to look for in quality needles.
The needle should have a sharp and smooth point that will penetrate the fabric without causing damage. The needle should also have a deep and smooth scarf to help prevent skipped stitches.
The needle should have a round shank and shallow groove, which helps keep the needle stable and in the correct position. The eye should be fully and evenly round for a smooth stitch.
The needle should have a smooth, corrosion-resistant coating. This will help reduce friction and breakage.
The shaft should be firmly mounted onto the needle, as this will help ensure that it does not become loose during sewing.
How to Store Needles
Having the right needles is only half the battle. The other half is storing the needles correctly. When not in use, needles should be stored in a dry, dust-free container. This includes storing needles out of direct sunlight.
Regularly replace needles when they become worn or bent. Over time, needles become dull from repeatedly piercing fabrics. This can result in skipped stitches or fabric damage. It is a good idea to keep a selection of needles on hand for different types of fabric.
Caring for Needles
Having the correct needles and storing them correctly is important, but the life of the needle is also determined by the correct care and maintenance. Regularly oiling the needle and machine will help prolong its life.
Using the correct thread tension is also an important factor. Too much or too little tension can cause skipped stitches or thread breakage. Lastly, always thread the needle correctly and make sure it is correctly inserted into the needle bar.
Maintenance of Sewing Machines
The best way to ensure needles stay in good condition is to keep the sewing machine itself in good condition. Machines should be serviced and maintained regularly to ensure they are working properly. This includes cleaning and oiling the machine, as well as replacing any worn or broken parts.
It is important to keep the needle and presser foot in the correct position. Make sure that the needle does not come into contact with the presser foot, and that the needle is correctly inserted into the needle bar.
Finally, be sure to check the tension on the bobbin and check the machine for any thread or lint build-up. This will help extend the life of the needles and the machine.