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Message Board > Sewing Machines > 201 and Stretch needles ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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201 and Stretch needles
What is the reasoning please
DreinPA
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DreinPA  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/4/13 1:18 PM

I've read several times the blanket statement not to use stretch needles in the 201.
I cannot seem to search on the exact explanation.
Can I assume there is some difference in the scarf that causes the needle to hit the hook? And if so wouldn't this be the case with other straight stitch horizontal bobbins (class 66s).

Just wondering before I try to fit one in a 128; which I realize is not the same system, but something rang a warning in the back of my head. So I thought I would tap into the collective first...

Thank you-
Andrea

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Don't confuse accessibility with ease; just because anybody can pick up a needle and thread doesn't mean sewing quality garments is easy.

Soolip
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Date: 10/4/13 1:28 PM

The sorts of fabrics that "stretch" needles were designed for had not been invented when the 201 and other vintage machines were designed. The tolerance between the passage of the hook and the tip of the needle is very tight on these older machines. Newer machines can accommodate the offset tip of a stretch needle, and were, in fact, designed to do so.

There is, however, no problem using a ballpoint needle in a 201 or any other vintage machine.

Generally, avoid using a stretch needle on any vintage machine. As far as a 128 specifically, I can't tell you for certain but I'd probably not risk it.

In all honesty, I've never used a stretch needle, never had to. Ballpoint needles have always worked fine for me on synthetic knits. I've never actually sewn Polyester Doubleknit, to be honest...


-- Edited on 10/4/13 1:41 PM --

cruzer2013
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Date: 10/4/13 9:03 PM

The reason stretch needles were invented in the first place, was that the distance from the hook to the needle wasn't adjustable on older machines. When the stretch fabrics came out, one of the issues was that they would cause skipped stitches on some of these older machines. To get the needle closer to the hook. they cut the flat part of the shank deeper into the needle. A ballpoint needle is all that is required if there is no skipping of stitches, as the only difference between these and stretch needles is this deeper cut. They both have a ball point.

crankyoldlady
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Date: 10/4/13 11:24 PM

Rule of thumb...if the machine is a straight stitch only (15-91, 201, 128, 221, 99, 66, etc) NEVER put a needle in it that is designed for knits/stretch.

Use only a "sharp" (for wovens) in the correct size for your fabric and project.

Nor are universal needles recommended in these machines.

Karlyn M.
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Date: 10/4/13 11:47 PM

This is a very interesting thread. I'm glad to get this information about needles for vintage machines.

cruzer2013
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Date: 10/5/13 0:22 AM

Quote: crankyoldlady
Rule of thumb...if the machine is a straight stitch only (15-91, 201, 128, 221, 99, 66, etc) NEVER put a needle in it that is designed for knits/stretch.



Use only a "sharp" (for wovens) in the correct size for your fabric and project.



Nor are universal needles recommended in these machines.

Why?
marymary86
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Date: 10/5/13 1:21 PM

Soolip - I love reading anything you write and appreciate your contributions on PR very much.

Thank you!!

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Mary


beauturbo
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Date: 10/5/13 4:43 PM

I would stick a stretch needle in my Singer 127, which I think inside would be the same as the 3/4 size 128, (if it was not in a shed instead of my house, and not out of it's Parlor cabinet treadle and and behind a bunch of stuff) just to see what happened, to see if it even would stitch that way, or make a stitch and of course make sure no metal hitting metal anyplace, but of course I would do that by only turning the fly wheel by hand first quite a few revolutions and making sure everything clears everything else. Don't see why you could not do that too, if you really wanted to.

I think you are on "out of the box thinking" and onto kind of "pioneering
ground" to do that though, as no one else anyplace may have even wanted to do that. I would have no use for it there though, as I would only use any kind of real stretch needle for me, most likely on a zig zag kind of machine for sewing elastic onto something or making something of 4 way stretch nylon/lycra more like a swim suit or a leotard. And I just could not do that very good on a boat shuttle straight stitcher, so I would not even bother. It was bad enough once when I tried to make a nylon/lycra swim suit even on my Mother's old Singer 221 machine straight stitched, many decades ago. So, never for me like that on a straight stitcher again

It's so different with the boat shuttle than a drop in class 66 bobbin and everything moving in both, I don't think any way to make comparisons for that there at all, you would just have to try to see what happened. Also might depend on what size and brand and kind of stretch needle too.Or how far up into the needle set screw you decide to put the needle in, before fastening it down even? I think you just want to make sure it can't hit the tip of your shuttle bobbin there, and also can't slam into the side of the hole on the stitch plate, if you want to try it.
-- Edited on 10/5/13 4:45 PM --

crankyoldlady
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Date: 10/5/13 7:02 PM

Quote: cruzer2013

Why?

I don't know why...but I recall Bill Holman so advising. I also recall him posting that the most common needle used at the time these machines were built was the 90/14 and that these tend to work well.
cruzer2013
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Date: 10/5/13 7:14 PM

Thanks for your reply. A needle basically has two relationships. The tip relates mostly with the fabric being sewn. The diameter, with the size of the thread. The groove in the front has to be able to accomadate the thickness of the thread. While I can agree that a stretch needle, because of it's change of position in the needle hole, might not be suitable on some machines, I don't think that a ballpoint needle would be detrimental, because it will be centred just like a sharp. I would always use the style of needle designed for the fabric and the size suitable for the thread. No matter what the machine.

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