How to Change a Sewing Machine Needle

How to Change a Sewing Machine Needle

A lot of things can happen while sewing. Sometimes, the needle pricks your finger. Sometimes your needle breaks. Other times, you will experience a lot of tangles or dropped stitches. And when these things happen, of course, your progress will be halted. One of the best ways to sort these problems out is to replace your needle.

Experts say that you need to change the needle of your sewing machine every 5 hours of sewing or every second project, in order to avoid further damage that needs professional service. If you just let things be, there is a higher possibility of it nicking and damaging the other parts of the machine such as the bobbin case.

It is easy to replace your sewing machine’s needle if you know how to do it properly. Below is the step-by-step procedure to help you do so.

Step 1

The first thing you should do before anything else is to turn off the sewing machine. This is to prevent accidents or injury from happening. In fact, in any type of maintenance you need to perform, always remember to turn off the machine first.

Step 2

Turn the handwheel to raise the needle to its highest position. Or in other terms, lower the presser foot level.

Step 3

Look for the knob for the clamp that holds the sewing needle. You might want to check the instruction manual if you are unsure about its location.

Step 4

While holding the needle with one hand, turn the clamp knob to loosen the needle. You can use a small screwdriver on the knob if it is hard to loosen. Do not use too much force or else the other parts of the machine will get damaged. Also, make sure to place some fabric under the presser foot so that it will not fall into the hole in the needle plate.

Step 5

After loosening the knob, the needle will fall out. If it is dull or broken, discard it right away so as not to confuse yourself.

Step 6

Hold the new needle with the flat side in the back toward the rear of the machine. Then insert the new needle until it touches the needle stopper.

Step 7

Tighten the clamp knob using a screwdriver while holding the needle in place.

Step 8

Test the needle’s stability by raising it up and down. If it feels loose, repeat steps 6 and 7 and insert the needle once more.

If you are replacing your needle because you are going to use a different kind of fabric, the same steps mentioned above should be followed. There are various types of needles and the information below explains their differences and uses.

  • Ball-point needles – This is the right needle to use for fabrics such as knits, coarse, and spandex. It has a medium tip that is slightly more rounded than a universal needle. It ensures more even stitches pass between the fabric threads instead of piercing them.
  • Sharp/Microtex needles – With a size of 60/8-90/14, this needle is great for finely woven fabrics. It is one of the general types of needles with a narrow shaft and a sharper point. It pierces the threads of woven fabrics such as silk, chintz, lightweight faux suede, and microfiber fabrics.
  • Universal needles – This needle comes in a wide range of sizes from 60/8 to 120/19. It has a point that is very slightly rounded, so is great for knits, too. It is also sharp enough to pierce woven fabrics and synthetic of natural wovens.
  • Denim/Jeans needles – This type of needle is the best for heavy fabrics because it has a thick, strong shaft and a very sharp point. It can even pierce multiple layers of fabrics without breaking. Professionals use these when working with denim, canvas, duck, and other heavy, tightly woven fabrics.
  • Leather needles – This is one of the specialty needles that needs careful handling. When stitching leather, remember to do it accurately because the needle can leave an obvious large, permanent hole. This needle has a wedge-shaped point that pierces through leather, suede, vinyl, heavy faux suede, and leather, as well as other thick, nonwoven fabrics, without damaging them.

One Comment

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