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Tips & Techniques > Choosing needles by size, point and scarf

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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About Janie Viers star
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews: 61 (tips: 29)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 5/17/05 10:11 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 6 people   
We all know that the right needle is important. We use a ballpoint needle of the correct size and the sharp needle of the right size. But sometimes we forget that the scarf (the little indent behind the needle's eye) is important too. Each kind of needle has a different size/shape "scarf". Top stitching needles and metallic embroidery thread needles have a much larger scarf to allow the thread to pass through the fabric wiithout the thread being eroded by the friction.

I remembered this when I was trying to sew with some home decor thread and the blasted stuff kept breaking! I had put in a size 18 sharp needle which had an eye big enough to thread, but the scarf wasn't big enough to let the thread glide smoothly through the fabric and meet up with the bobbin thread! I put in a 18 metallic (I ran out of topstiching needles) and voila, problem solved.

So you have to decide on the needle point needed for the fabric, the size needle for the wieght of fabric and the scarf size (or needle type) for the thread size. AnD you thouGHt remembering regular, sharp and ballpoint in sizes 8/10/12/14/16/18 was tough! Now add topstitching, quilting, jeans needles, leather needles and metallic thread needles to the equation in sizes 8/10/12/14/16/18!!!!

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Janie Viers said... (5/18/05 1:44 PM) Reply
Denver fabrics has a list of different reg. needles, too.
Renee' S said... (5/18/05 1:22 PM) Reply
Andee, here's the url for Superior Threads web site, scroll down to needles and you'll find all kinds of interesting information
Andee said... (5/18/05 6:38 AM) Reply
I have been sewing professionally for years and never heard the term "scarf" before. Is there a list somewhere of the different scarf sizes for the various needles. Which is the smallest, which is the largest, etc? many thanks
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