Sewing Machine Needle: Anatomy

The SCHMETZ needle, that little 2" piece of steel, is one of the most important parts of your home sewing machine. Your machine cannot operate without a needle, right? Insert it wrong, and your machine will not work.  Use an incorrect needle and your stitches will be less than desirable. Use a dull or bent needle and you risk damaging your machine, fabric and thread. In other words, the SCHMETZ needle is an essential workhorse. Let's Get to the Point with SCHMETZ needle facts. 

SCHMETZ Needle Anatomy

When was the last time you looked, we mean really looked, closely at your sewing machine needle? There are eight parts to needle anatomy:

From top to bottom, let's review needle parts and their important functions:

  1. Butt: The very top of your needle has a beveled edge for easier insertion into your machine.
  2. Shank: Home sewing needles have a flat shank for perfect positioning in the needle bar in relation to the hook.
  3. Shoulder: The transitioning area between the shank and the blade. SCHMETZ color codes five needle types on the shoulder for easier identification.
  4. Blade: The length of the needle. Needle size is determined by measuring the blade diameter.
  5. Groove: Cradles and guides thread to the eye of the needle.
  6. Scarf: The indentation above the eye that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create a stitch.
  7. Eye: The hole through which thread passes.
  8. Point and Tip: The first area to penetrate the fabric in stitch creation. The point and tip length, shape, and size vary according to needle type.