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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Flannel and dull needles ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Flannel and dull needles
Why does flannel dull needles so quickly?
craigrama
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craigrama
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Date: 11/13/13 10:07 AM

I finally did my first flannel project. And what I read online is true: Flannel dulls sewing machine needles quickly. That is an understatement.

But what I can't find out is: Why?

Anyone know the particular reason? It's not an emergency question. I'm just curious.
lgrande
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lgrande  Friend of PR
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In reply to craigrama

Date: 11/13/13 10:11 AM

I didn't know this either. I'm curious about it too.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 11/13/13 10:37 AM

Was the fabric prewashed before sewing? That is the usual question, but if testing a square to see if it shrinks, does it also tighen the weave?

What brand and type needle where you using?

ETA: One more thing, have you tried Organ brand Titanium coated needles? They last 5 times longer that the standard sewing machine needle. I switched to this brand and type several years ago becuase the do not heat up and soften adhesive (was doing machine embroidery), and found they do last longer.

Where is Sherlock and Watson when you need them!


-- Edited on 11/13/13 10:54 AM --

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craigrama
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craigrama
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In reply to PattiAnnJ

Date: 11/13/13 10:44 AM

Quote: PattiAnnJ
Was the fabric prewashed before sewing?



What brand and type needle where you using?




Novelty print flannel (from JoAnns)
Prewashed and dried, twice
Singer Universal Point, sized for my machine.

The dull needle didn't phase me sewing the flannel for a solid 30 mins. But I had to quick put an zig zag on a raw edge of cotton, so just threw it on the machine and went. That's when I found how dull the needle was. While zig zagging one layer of cotton, the machine thumped, whacked, and shook like a wet dog. A new needle and the cotton was happy. Back to flannel and it didn't seem to care, dull or sharp, performed the same. Hence my curiosity question.
PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to craigrama

Date: 11/13/13 10:58 AM

I added to my original post regarding the pre-wash and needles, but you were too fast for me.

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

"Isnít it a shame in todayís world you canít tell the truth. If you tell the truth youíre abrasive. If you lie youíre charming." - Bob Huggins/College Basketball Coach



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Date: 11/14/13 7:04 PM

I just finished a big flannel project and have done numerous others in the past. I've never found flannel to dull my needles any differently than any other 100% cotton, which most flannel is. That being said, I would never use a universal needle. I suggest a Schmetz Microtex size 10 needle. It worked perfectly on my project. Microtex needles are far sharper and "pointier" than universal needles and penetrate fabrics beautifully. HTHs
ccris
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Date: 11/14/13 7:44 PM

I've never had cotton flannel dull a needle, but I've always used a Schmetz "sharp." I don't like universal needles and rarely use them. Now, I have even more reason to dislike them.
craigrama
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In reply to ccris

Date: 11/14/13 8:50 PM

Thanks. Good tips.
I've read plenty of folks online who also have dulling problems, so it's not unique to me.
Thanks for your input.
ccris
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In reply to craigrama

Date: 11/14/13 10:42 PM

I'm wondering if it's a recent bad batch of all needles or some chemical in the fabrics. Since you've read that others are also having this problem, something unusual seems to be going on, doesn't it? Very interesting.
BrendaR
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Date: 11/14/13 11:37 PM

I'd bet it is some coating on the fabric like teflon or melamine. Did you look at the origin of the fabric?
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