Change Your Needle

When do you change your needle?  Recently, we conducted an informal survey and found that 46% change their needles with every new project or every 4 to 10 sewing hours. That was a pleasant surprise, but again, we were asking attendees at one of the largest sewing parties in North America. Hmmmm, 46% . . . . 

What is everyone else doing? That leaves many sewists waiting to replace their needle until it snags, pops, or breaks. Well, for those of you that never change your needle - you know who you are - or wait until the needle breaks, take a look at this magnified pic of a used needle. The needle on the left has been used, yet a closer look tells a very different story.

Damaged Sewing Machine Needle

This needle is not as sharp as it looks to our naked eye. Look at that giant burr and striations! What is it doing to your fabrics? Is it compromising your machine? Just like a razor gets dull and pulls at a beard, a machine needle is similar and needs to be changed. The general rule of thumb is to change your needle after eight hours of sewing time. Fabrics with different finishes, and even your sewing technique, may determine needle replacement more or less than every eight hours. In the meantime, here are a few clues to help you to determine when to replace the needle:

Broken or Shredded Threads
Skipped or Uneven Stitches
Puckered or Damaged Fabrics
Popping/Clunking Sound Made by Sewing Machine

Change Your Needle!

Yes, your machine talks to you. Look and listen. Change your needle.