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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How Often Do You Change The Needle? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How Often Do You Change The Needle?
Question on Needle Changing
MilongueraThreads
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MilongueraThreads
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Date: 3/24/08 11:29 AM

How often do you change the needle in your sewing machine?

I read somewhere that you're supposed to change the needle after every project, is this true?

PVA
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PVA
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In reply to MilongueraThreads


Date: 3/24/08 11:49 AM

Hi luckysweetheart, Yes that's the current wisdom. Actually, I think it's a pretty good policy. I've been sewing for many years & when I was a kid I know my Mom, sister's & I used the same needle from one year to the next. Not a good policy!

We pay *Mega-Bucks* for our sewing machines, fabric even on sale isn't exactly cheap & making sure the needle is at the top of it's game seems to make sense to me.

I usually buy various specialty needles when I have a coupon for 40-50% off which takes out some of the sting.

FWIW, I HTH Pat

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PVA (Pat)  "A girl can't have too many scissors!"
If I don't have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?

Speech girl
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In reply to MilongueraThreads


Date: 3/24/08 12:20 PM

That's the conventional wisdom, although I've also heard after 8 hours of sewing (which may or may not be one project).

I don't always change my sewing machine needle after every project. If it's a very small project (a head band, or a baby's pants or even a knit top that 90% sewn done on the serger) I'll use it again for another small project. I just use the common sense method--A princess seamed, lined jacket and a little girl's leggings are both sewing projects but are not equally hard on a needle.

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Kim
formerly mikkim
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dollieo
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Date: 3/24/08 12:54 PM

I wonder who came up with that idea, the needle companies. I'd really like to know.

lilyofthevalley
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lilyofthevalley
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In reply to MilongueraThreads


Date: 3/24/08 12:58 PM

Like Pat (PVA), I've been sewing since I was prepubescent long ago. When I was a teen, an aunt gave me her used Singer Golden Touch 'n Sew. I used the needle that was in that machine upon gifting for ... 15+ years. Unbelieveable, isn't it? But true. I sewed wools, knits, corduroys, denims, satins, silks. I even helped my mother reupholster our sofa. The machine had decorative stitch capable via cams that were inserted in the top of the machine. Change the needle? Nope; it never even occurred to me I should.

The needle finally broke when I was in post grad school and sewing a thick naugahyde (think flannel backed vinyl) cover for a friend's Marshall amp for his rock band.

Now that I'm civilized and have computerized SMs, I change my needle at a decent interval, and switch needles for the appropriate fabric. Change the needle after every project? No, but I rarely sew on the same needle for more than ... about 5-6 hrs of sewing time. So that's quite an advancement over 15yrs, right?

I now have multiple SMs and sergers and can't keep track of how long the needle(s) have been in a machine, so I regularly move thru the room and change all needles on all machines.

Ideally, change your needle very frequently. And of course, immediately change your needle when you're having any irregular stitching or any thread problems, even if the needle has been in your machine only 10 minutes. --Lily

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Lily

Twinset
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In reply to MilongueraThreads


Date: 3/24/08 1:01 PM

Hi!

I read in an article that we should change the needle after every 4 hours of sewing, so this is pretty much equivalent to a medium-length project...

Personally I use the best needles I can (Schmetz) and change the needle often, so I have a better stitch quality, even stitching, less skipped stitches, etc.

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RuthieSews
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Date: 3/24/08 1:02 PM

I must admit to only changing the needle if it seems to be causing a problem (catching the fabric) or I break it sewing over a pin.
OK now send over the sewing machine police!!

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Sewing in Derbyshire, England
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LouisaP
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Date: 3/24/08 1:18 PM

The frequency of my needle changes is in direct proporation to the value of the fabric I'm sewing or the importance of the project I'm working on.

If I'm starting a commission for a flower girl's dress, or a first communion gown, the very first thing I do is change the needles on my sewing machine and my serger. Too expensive to mess up the fabric due to a burr on a needle.

Ditto if I'm making a figure skating costume in a hurry - I don't have time to waste on crises caused by a dull needle.

But if I'm just sitting down to cobble together a couple baby bibs for my sister, or stitch together a tote bag because I'm bored, I'll use the universal needle in my machine, provided that it's the right weight.

I do make it a rule to use Universal needles for wovens and Stretch for lycra fabrics, and I'll admit to recycling the stretch needles a lot, since skating dresses are fairly small items.

And I certainly don't toss my expensive twin needles after a single use - I've been using the same ones for years!

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 3/24/08 1:27 PM

I had to mend my son's jacket hood a couple weeks ago. I checked that the thread in the machine was close enough to the hood colour and stitched up the 8 inch seam. I did not even check the type of needle in the machine.

So the needle in my machine stays there until I have a bigger project. At that time I will wind several bobbins and change the needle.

Much of my sewing is on my serer and I rarely change those needles unless there is a problem. The coverstitch needs special needles and I am more careful of them. I do not want to mess up a garment when I get to the hem.

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Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

BJ1400
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In reply to RuthieSews


Date: 3/24/08 1:36 PM

Quote: RuthieK
I must admit to only changing the needle if it seems to be causing a problem (catching the fabric) or I break it sewing over a pin.

OK now send over the sewing machine police!!

That's basically what I do too. Or if I'm sewing a different type of fabric that requires a different needle.

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Beverly.

Sewing Makes Me Happy

http://bjsewmuchmore.blogspot.com

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