Sewing Machine Needles and Other Pointy Bits
|See the bottom of the page for needles and needleclamps and threaders for sale...|
In order to get the thread through the fabric (and back again) you need a needle. Ideally you need more than one, but I'll come to that.
Most old and modern machines you are likely to encounter take System 705, or 15 x 1 needles.
I have now started stocking a couple of sizes of these, as they do seem hard to find for some people - see below
(Choose a good named brand, not Chinese, preferably made in Europe, and the Right Size. I like Schmetz, Organ; don't buy cheap unbranded ones)
This type has a flat side on the shank (the bit at the top of the needle) and two grooves - one almost all the way up on the rounded side, and a shorter one on the other (flat) side..
Jones CS and Family CS machines take a Round Shank needle (I stock these - £4 for 5 plus postage) - see below
These are probably always going to be available, so do keep on using the machine..
Other old machines may take an odd or difficult-to-find needle. My first advice on these is to be sure you can replace the needle you are using before you run out - always keep one for a pattern. I have some odd sizes (for Singer 12, Singer 29k, and others) but they are mostly no longer made. It's no good expecting to sew forever on your last needle....) WHEN IT IS GONE THE MACHINE MAY BE UNUSABLE FOREVER...
With me so far? Good...
When the thread comes off the reel at the top of the machine, it is carried by the needle under the plate and is offered to the Hook (or the point of the Shuttle), which makes the stitch by carrying the thread around the bobbin. The thread is then raised towards the top by the Take-up Lever and the Take-up Spring so that the loop needed to make the journey is neatly removed, and the stitch is made. (None of this quite applies to Chain Stitch machines - if you have one of those then the easy way to find out how the thread works is to look...)
Now, in order to make a neat stitch and keep the thread in good condition (the top thread will travel many times around the hook before it comes to rest in a stitch) the size of thread and needle should match. The needle needs to hold the thread in the long groove while it travels down, then release the thread as it comes up again. If the thread is too fat it will stick and fray, if too thin it will make untidy loops. So, look at your thread size first. Jeans need a fat thread (30) and a fatter needle (14/90 or 16/100). Dress-weight cotton, patchwork fabrics etc. need a thinner thread (40 or 50) and a thinner needle (12/80 or 11/80) (yes, I know...)
Fine silk needs a finer thread still (60) and a thinner needle (9/70)
Now, those of you with an observant turn of mind will have noticed that needles get fatter as the number gets larger, but thread gets thinner as the numbers rise.
Just one of those things.
(Actually, I know why, but it's good for your googling skills to research such things...)*
Needles Do Not Last Forever...
|...and should be changed after each large or medium project; if bent or catching; if the wrong size for the work; if making a funny noise, or if you are having problems with the stitch. Changing needles should be as common as changing underwear, and about as frequent (after 8 hours of use...)|
PLEASE DO NOT PUT THE OLD ONES BACK IN THE PACKET
You won't be able to tell which they are and they do not "heal" if allowed to rest. I recently evicted 47 needles from a student's machine. Some were broken, all were blunt, and several had noticeable bends in them...Not Good
(The one on the left I made myself, with a Bernina 730, a moment's inattention, and an extra-special curse word. Don't try this at home...)
So, In Conclusion
|Change your needles, look after your needles, and your machine will sew ever so much better...|
|I have tried to answer the commonest problems and questions I get, but if you need more information, please Email Me
* Here's a good link
NE000 Standard Flat-shank needles for almost all domestic machines. If your machine wants a 15 x 1, 705 system, or 2020, this is it;
£3 for 5: postage £1.25:
Sizes 10, 12, 14 or 16, or mixed packs (if no preference is stated, I send a mixed pack)
Buy 3 packs and get free postage
NE001 Jones CS Round-shank needles; £4 for 5: postage £1.25:
Sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 (80, 90, 100) or mixed packs (if no preference is stated, I send a mixed pack of 12, 14 and 16s)
Buy 3 packs and get free postage
These also fit Jones Serpentine (may need to be adjusted for height in the needle-clamp, and Essex toy machines, some Wheeler and Wilson machines, and others
NE002 Schmetz Industrial 135 by 5 (fit lots of machines including Gamill); £5 for 10: 1 pack of size 14, 9 packs of size 16
NE006 128 TLS-044
NE008 128 GBS-004 (ball point)
NE007 128 TAS-044
All £3 for 5 or £8.50 for 25
|I now stock needles ( 206 x 13 ) for Singer 206, 306, 319, and 320 machines: NE009 - £5 packet of one size (14 or 16 at present) plus postage. You must use these or the bobbin-case will get ruined..|
I also have small numbers of needles for Singer 12 and 13 class machines (£5 each, strictly ONE per customer), 29k bootpatchers, and others. Only one or two of some of these... From £2 each.
Also some 20 x 1s (£2.75 each)
If you have a very unusual needle please measure it precisely (or send one) and I'll try to match it.
I can get all the various sorts of industrial needles but you should try online or locally first...
I have just bought an enormous lot of obscure and peculiar needles. I have made a page here with a list.. It's rather boring...
NC001 FR Cub 4; £5
NC002 Vesta TS; £7
NC003 Singer 99k 2054; £5
NC004 German FR clone; Sold
NC005 Jones 692; £5
NC006 Singer 478; £5
NC007 Italian Singer; £5
NC008 Pinnock; £5
NC009 Hamfa; £5
NC011 Arrow; £5
NC012 Vesta; £7
NC013 Singer 185k; £5
NC014 Singer shuttle machines with thread guide; £5; (NC015 without £4.50)
NC016 Toyota; £5
NC017 Singer 237; £5
NC018 Cresta; £5
NC019 Small Vesta TS (with needle); SOLD
NC020 Jones CS (just the key, that's all you need); £3.50
NC021 Frister and Rossman VS; £6
NC022 Harris 15 clone; £5
NC045 Singer 201k with thread guides; Sold
NC024 Jones 942; £5
NC025 Toyota; £5
NC026 Regina TS (with needle); SOLD
NC027 Harris OS (with guide); £6
NC030 (early 99k - small shaft); £5
NC031 Simanco 17356; £5
NC034 from U/I green machine; £5
NC035 old; £5
NC039 old; £5
NC041 Singer; £4.50
NC064 Viking 6440; £6
|Also (not shown, images sent on request)
NC044 Hexagon with threadguide and cutter; £5
NC046 Pfaff 208; £5
NC047 Irish Brother; £5
NC048 Brother 888 £5
NC049 Toyota 800; £5
NC050 Singer Touch and Sew 626; £5
NC051 Viking 3010; £5
NC052 Novum 15 clone; £5
NC053 Toyota 9400; £5
NC057 FG Singer; £5
NC058 Singer 201k; no grub-screw £3.50
NC059 Brother Compal Star with guides; £6
NC060 Singer 66k 2064 with guide; £5
NC061 Singer 27/127 with guide; £5
NC062 Brother 055; £5
NC066 Singer 449; £5
NC067 Simanco 45077; £5
NC068 Singer 31k15; £5
NC070 German TS; £6
NC071 Cosson with thread guide; £5
NC072 Biesholt and Locke with oddments; £6
NC073 Frister and Rossman TS; £7
NC074 Singer 15; £5
NC075 TS; £7
NC076 New Home 677; £6
NC077 Singer Capri 141; £5
NC078 Pfaff 31 with bits; £5
NC079 Chapman Deluxe; £5
NC080 Cresta T137; £5
NC042 Assorted Thread Cutters. I don't like these, and take them off machines all the time. One free if requested with any needleclamp, or 50p otherwise..
M004 Singer hand or machine needle threader, with repro instructions; £3.50
M010 Singer hand or machine needle threader; with repro instructions; £5
M004a Spare hooks for M004 and M010; £1.50
M072 Singer machine threader (side to side); £2.50
Not shown but similar: MO70 for front to back threading; £2.50. With instructions..
MO71a Singer hand-threader on original card; £3.50
M071 Singer metal threader for hand or machine; £1.50 (Out of Stock, sorry)
I also have generic ones at 50p..
| My address is:-|
Helen Howes, 4, The Raveningham Centre, Beccles Road, Raveningham, Norfolk, NR14 6NU. United Kingdom