How To Load A Needle In A Sewing Machine

Guide on How to Load a Needle in a Sewing Machine

Any person who is looking to start sewing will often feel excited but also slightly nervous of taking on the challenge. This can be due to not knowing how to use the machine correctly or one of the biggest causes – not knowing how to correctly load the needle into the sewing machine. This guide will cover the basics steps and offer top tips from experts so that you can start undertaking your awesome sewing projects with confidence.

Materials Needed to Load a Needle

Before you start the process of loading the needle in the sewing machine, it is important that you have all the necessary materials prepared. As well as a sewing machine (ensuring it is plugged in and switched off before continuing), you will need a new needle and a screwdriver to be able to attach the needle correctly. It is also advised to check the manual that comes with the sewing machine as instructions can vary between brands.

Steps to Load a Needle

Once you have the materials that you need, you can start to take the necessary steps to load the needle.

  • Firstly, using your screwdriver, loosen the needle screw located at the front of your sewing machine.
  • Next, carefully remove the needle and the needle guard from the machine, disposing the needle safely.
  • Then, take the new needle and make sure the flat side of the shaft is facing backwards.
  • Once the needle is in the correct position, you can place it through the needle bar of the machine.
  • Now, use both hands to hold the needle and the needle guard, taking care to make sure they are at the same height.
  • Finally, securely hold the needle and tighten the needle screw at the front of the machine.

Specialised Embroidery Needles

If you are sewing with specialised thread or fabric that requires embroidery needles, ensure you purchase the correct type. If you are unsure of which needle is best for your project, check to see if the manufacturer’s website or the packet of thread has information on the ideal size of needle.

Know your Needle

One of the most important tips from the experts is to make sure you know the length and shape of each different type of needle. The length can be measured by looking at the area of the needle that is found at the screw plate of the machine – this will give you an indication of the length of the needle. Similarly, the shape is found at the area of the needle that is found above the eye.

Old and Unused Needles

After each sewing project that you complete, ensure you check the needle on the machine to make sure that it is suitable for your next project too. Because of the heavy duty nature of a sewing machine, the needle can be worn down and this can prove challenging when looking to carry out your next sewing task. If a needle is overused, the thread can start to become misaligned and this can lead to skipped stitches. If a needle is not being used, it is best to dispose of it and replace it with a new, suitable needle.

Basic Maintenance on Your Needle

Another piece of advice from experts is to undertake some basic maintenance for your needle to ensure it is lasting for a long time and expanding its lifespan. This can be done by taking care when running the thread through the eye of the needle, as this can cause jams and lead to the needle becoming detached from the sewing machine.

Adjusting Your Needle for Different Fabrics

Depending on the type of fabric and material you are using for a project, the settings of your sewing machine may need to change. As well as this, the needle itself can also need an alteration when switching from one fabric to another. Therefore, experts advise checking the wrong side of the fabric to ensure that the needle is in the correct position.

Opening the Needle Clamp Plate

The needle clamp plate on the sewing machine is a very important part, as it helps to keep the needle secure in the sewing machine. To help ensure the needle remain in place, use a small tool to carefully open the needle clamp. This should sit slightly above the needle but still remain close enough to keep it secure during your sewing project.

Using Different Angles with the Needle

When sewing, it is key to be able to manipulate the fabric in different directions – this can be achieved by adjusting the angle of the needle in the sewing machine. If the needle is at an angle, you should adjust the angle to ensure it is facing the direction of the stitch. Keeping it straight will stop the fabric from slipping and ensure there is no damage done to the fabric or the needle.

Thread Sewing Fingers Around Needle

Having the correct tension on the thread is important when sewing, as this prevents the thread from ‘bouncing’ while the needle is moving. By threading the thread through the eye of the needle slowly and carefully, this will help to keep tension to a good level. An extra tip from experts that can help with managing the tension is to use your fingers to guide the thread as this will help keep the thread snug and close to the machine.

Using Smaller Needles for Delicate Projects

When you are using a material that is particularly delicate, many users have found that it is more beneficial to use a smaller-sized needle than the standard size. This will help to protect the fabric from any damage that could be caused by a larger needle.

Taking Care of the Needle

One of the most important pieces of advice to remember is to take extra care when handling the needle. Even though the needle is strong, it can still break if it is handled or placed incorrectly. Additionally, wear and tear of the needle can occur if a pattern is continually sewn on the same spot, so experts advise moving the needle and fabric around to ensure even wear.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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