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DOGLOVER389
DOGLOVER389
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Date: 11/29/12 0:33 AM

Hi All,

When I bought my machine (used) it had a Singer 90/14 needle. The needle was gold with a light blue stripe.

Unfortunately, I broke the needle when I was timing my machine. The replacement needles I have been using are also Singer 90/14 needles, from my friend's mother's stash.

The differences between that first needle and the replacement needles are night and day.

Though they are the same brand and the same stated size, there is nothing similar about them. I have bent or broken more of the replacement needles in one month than I have in a lifetime.

The original needle had a larger eye, like you would see on a needle for denim. Though both needles are the same brand and stated size, the gold needle was infinitely stronger.

I want to buy more needles (not brand loyal), but I do not want needles that are going to be as flimsy as the ones I am currently using.

Is it typical for hte eye to be very small? Or do most needles have the eye size you find on needles for denim?

Do you find that the 90/14 needles are prone to distorting/ bending when they encounter thick material/ layers?

With which needles have you had the least amount of bending or breakage?

Most of my sewing right now is dog coats, using repurposed clothing, mostly cotton flannel, cotton knit, and denim. When I finally get around to sewing garments for myself, most of what I make will be shirts made of cotton, cotton shirting and cotton flannel. Is there be any reason I shouldn't use the stronger shanked denim needles?

I am tired of wasting needles. I have never had so many needles fail.



Many thanx,


DogLover389

------
Cut my teeth on a Kenmore 117.58

http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/173/PictPage/1922064294.html

Singer Merritt 9612

beauturbo
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<
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Date: 11/29/12 3:06 AM

I believe that Singer red band needles that have a sharp point for wovens, have red on them, and Singer ball point needles with blue on them, with a ball point on them instead, have been around for a very, very long time. If the needle in your used machine when you got it, was light blue on the top and said Singer on it, it probably was a Ballpoint needle.

You can use any flat backed 15 X1 needle of any brand, or tip, that is not too big to fit in there, you don't have to just use ones marked Singer at all. However matching your needle point type and size to your project is probably a good idea. Why sewing though woven dogs beds could have worked better for you with a more blunted and rounded ballpoint point needle rather than a sharp one, makes no sense to me, and if I was sewing that way, I don't think it would be happening like that to just me, but whatever!

You can use a jeans needle or a top stitching needle with a larger eye in porportion to the needle shaft than a more regular one (and of any brand you want) if you want to.

I do think though, if you are sort of pushing or overstepping the limits of the machine, with dog beds in it, and even attempting sometimes to be sewing though some stuff maybe thicker than you should, there might even be an advantage then, of having the needle be the weakest link in the whole process. Because I do think it's preferable that a needle just break if push comes to shove, or hitting something it should not, rather than something else breaking on a machine. Just because the needle is the cheapest and most replaceable part of any machine at any time.

So breaking needles happen for all sorts of reasons, and if trying to sew though thick padded dog beds, my guess one possible reason they are breaking , may be if the dog bed not feeding though there good, then you try to push or shove the fabric though, instead of just letting the feed dogs carry it though all by themselves like is supposed to happen, then the needle tip gets deflected and pulled on, and it may hit your metal stitch plate or the hook on your sewing machine and break that way. If your stitch plate is no longer nice and smooth around it's needle hole, and instead is all dinged up with multiple needle hits there, maybe that is why your needles are breaking instead?

beauturbo
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<


Date: 11/29/12 6:32 AM

Actually you are right- blue band is Denim there , and it's the yellow band that's ballpointShows how often I use a Singer ballpoint needle I guess! Which is like almost never

Not too many classes of needles have a flat back to them though, but maybe they are not even 15 X1 home sewing machine kind of needles? Could they be flat backed serger needles or maybe needles for a Singer 319 machine instead, or some other kind of machine that does not even take 15 X1 needles? Sometimes if you are pulling your sewing supplies from found places or someone's old sewing stash of stuff, and they are not around to say different, they really may even have taken needles out of one labeled box and even put them into some other needle box, just for the box sometimes. Or maybe the clue is the " Unfortunately, I broke the needle when I was timing my machine" and maybe what has changed is the more the machine it's self, or your drop in bobbin case there, even if the needles used now look the same as that last one you liked better before it broke? Maybe just buy a few brand new Schmetz 15 X1 kind of common home machine kind of jean needles instead and try those and see what happens?

DOGLOVER389
DOGLOVER389
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Date: 11/29/12 5:55 PM

Hi,

I don't think the dog coats I am making is over taxing my machine. I have not yet made dog beds.

When the current needles deflect, it has been either because of a thread problem (the old thread shreds and causes teh needle to bend, hitting the presser foot); the thread was too thick for the size of the eye, again causing the needle to bend and hit the presser foot; there is a burr in teh thread guide right above where teh thread goes to the needle and it was causing teh thread to pull the needle, causing it to hit the presser foot (I stopped using the thread guide as it was also causing the thread to break); or the tension dial was accidentally turned/ left on too high a setting for a particular material. In all cases of the needle bending, it has hit the presser foot, and not the plate or the hook.

Two of the several broken needles were becuase I hit pins that I accidentally didn't remove.

BTW - when I was using the original needle that was in my machine, I never removed teh pins. It was only after reading many stories here about needles breaking when hitting pins that I started removing them.

Some of the needles have bent when trying to get them to pierce several layers of cotton knit.

To say I do not like these needles is an understatement.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a stronger shafted needle?

Is the 15 x 1 the same as 90/14? I don't know much about needle sizing.


Many thanx,


DogLover389

------
Cut my teeth on a Kenmore 117.58

http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/173/PictPage/1922064294.html

Singer Merritt 9612

PattyE
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Date: 11/29/12 6:20 PM

Actually the needle you use should be based on the fabric you are sewing. I use a new needle for every project and I have heard that to be the recommendation. I would suggest not sewing over pins; that can really mess things up besides breaking needles. You might want to rethread the machine and make sure the tension is correct.

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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<


Date: 11/29/12 8:18 PM

There could be more than one reason why the needles were bending and breaking. Misuse of the sewing machine is usually number 1 - don't force or pull the fabric. Let the machine do this.

This video may help you better understand how the needle works.

Sewing Machine Needles 101

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

simplystitches
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In reply to DOGLOVER389 <<


Date: 11/29/12 10:40 PM

Many of the examples that you've given that are causing the needles to break are either a thread or tension problem and would cause any needle to break and especially so when it hit's the presser foot!

I would look at the machine settings a bit closer first.

Debbie

solosmocker
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Date: 11/30/12 3:33 PM

Does the needle on this machine have the ability to change positions? I am wondering if it is in the wrong position. It should not hit the presser foot even if there are thread problems. At least I've never had that happen and I have been sewing a very long time.

My assessment, the needle could be inserted improperly, the position is not in the center, and/or it is incorrect for the fabric being used. What sorts of fabrics are you using? The two needles I use the most are HS needles and Microtex needles. I haven't used a ball point needle in years even though I have sewn on knits. Just my two pennies worth.

I also agree that the fabric should feed itself under the presser foot by itself with only the slightest alignment left and right from your hands to keep it straight. As others have said, never push or pull.

-- Edited on 11/30/12 3:34 PM --
-- Edited on 11/30/12 3:35 PM --

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beauturbo
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Date: 11/30/12 6:05 PM

It's not my machine, but I think it's a 1980's Singer Merritt 9612 and that it does have a drop in class 15 plastic bobbin, and needle positioning to do zig zag.

I believe this would be it's instruction book:

http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/663_9610-9612-9614.pdf

You could probably sew straight stitch on it, with the needle not right in the middle. As it has that capability. Or even if you tried to put the needle right in the middle for that, since it's old, and maybe all dirty and gunked up inside by now, maybe needle not in the middle anymore even when trying to do that. Probably best if that is the case, (and you were not going to actually open it up, and clean and oil; the whole thing, and free it up more), just not to use a straight stitch only pressure foot with it, and use a zig zag pressure foot with it instead, as at least then you got a big wide zig zag slot there, and just a lot more leeway, before your needle could even hit on a pressure foot.

ElizabethDee
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ElizabethDee
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Date: 11/30/12 7:42 PM

You've gotten great suggestions to diagnose the cause of those breaking needles. I'd try them to figure out what is happening on your machine before switching needles.

That said,, after you sort out the machine, you do want to use good needles, and there is such a thing as the right needle, too.. As far as brands go, I like Schmetz, which I buy in bulk, and plenty of people say Organ needles, which are cheaper, are just as good. You do need to change them frequently -- if I recall correctly, after eight hours of use. As others have pointed out, the type of needle does matter, and so does size.

You want the size of the needle to correspond to the thickness of the thread and the thickness of the fabric, because you want to pierce the fabric with as small a hole as possible. Otherwise you won't achieve good stitch quality. So no, I would not use size 14 needle on a medium to thin cotton. And I might use a 16 or even bigger if I were sewing a dog coat. The right needle can make a big difference.

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