Needle Facts: Change Your Needle

How long have you been sewing with the same needle?  How many quilts or garments have you made using the same needle?  Have your experienced these symptoms?


Shredded or Broken Threads

Skipped Stitches

Puckered or Damaged Fabrics

Wiggly Squiggly Stitches

Popping Sound by Sewing Machine


Guess what?  These are clues – clues you can see and hear – that it is time to change the needle.  That’s right!  Your machine is talking to you.  The rule of thumb is to change your needle after 8 hours of sewing.  Depending on the project, some sewists change needles once and sometimes twice insuring a quality stitch.  Others start every new project with a fresh needle.  No, I am not trying to sell you more needles, rather help you sew better . . . with better stitch quality.


Change your needle!

It’s the easiest way to improve your stitches.  🙂





  1. I change my needle after about 3 decent sized embroideries, however when mending I hate to admit I don’t change them often enough. Once I run into a problem I realize it has been awhile. If starting a new sewing project I grab a new needle, I buy my needles in bulk so probably do not get as much use out of them as I should. I also ‘think’ you can slightly extend the life of a needle using a pin cushion filled with emery sand.

  2. I don’t change my needles as often as I should. I usually only change them when they break or start clunking.

  3. Shirley Schwarrtz says:

    I try to change my needles often, but sometimes not soon enough.

  4. Jo Crump says:

    I try to remember to change my needle at the start of every new project. I often use titanium when I have a lengthy project so I don’t have to change it as often.

  5. Debbie Ayres says:

    When I start a new quilt or it sounds like it needs to be cjanged

  6. When they break.

  7. Carol Hamilton says:

    I change my needle after a large project, about 40,000 stitches and whenever I start having issues with the thread.

  8. Mary Rotert says:

    I change my needle before every big project (quilt, embroidery, etc), and when the sewing doesn’t go smoothly. I select my needle based on the project I am working on, and I put a sticky note on the machine face to tell me the brand, size, type of the needle I have just inserted, so I’ll know if I need to change for a different small item.

  9. Sharon Wilson says:

    I do change them more often when I’m working on things for the grandchildren, but for every day sewing I have a tendency to change less often than I should. Thank you for all of your helpful information!

  10. Carol Crosby says:

    I match up each project with the correct needle so I actually do change my needle quite often. It pays in the long run as it helps each project run smoother and quicker. It took me many years to learn this, though, as I started out using the cheapest fabrics and using the same needle for everything. Now I’m proud of my sewing and how beautiful they turn out!

  11. Not as often as I should. Depends on the project and fabric I’m using. I have a needle minder that I keep beside my machines. I mark the type of needle and the size each time I change needles.

  12. Linda Brooks says:

    I honestly don’t change my needles enough. I change it when there are problems with stitches and if it looks bent. I need to change with every project but I don’t. I need more needles! Thanks for the contest. Am sure it will be a blessing for someone! I love your needles!!

  13. Jacqueline says:

    Depending on the stitch count of my finished project, I then change the needle.
    I my next project requires a finer tip or if, to embroider to the other extreme like vinyl or a heavier fabric, then I have to use a top stitch needle or even a leather point needle to ensure success. There are SO many problems to face if you don`t keep on top of this fact. I learned the hard way and it taught me a huge lesson. Now a days there is the multi needle embroidery machine, so I sympathise with their owners having to change ALL their needles each time a project is completed, it must work out to be quite expensive :(, the mind boggles and I am so glad of my lovely one needle Brother NV1. Thank you.

  14. I am a quilter so I change mine every time I start a new project or having trouble with stitching.

  15. I change my needle every time I start a new project cause I do different kinds of projects that might take a different size or kind of needle

  16. I change mine every time I start a new project due to the fact that it might take a different size or kind of needle

  17. Charlene Scott says:

    I change them often. It is difficult to see the numbers on the needles. It would be great to have them color coded as to their size!

  18. Joanne Nelson says:

    Probably about 3-4 hours of embroidery time, depending on what projects I am working on.

  19. I try to change them more often but I switch between embroidery and sewing needles and lose track.

  20. Linda Ladd says:

    I am getting much better at changing the needles in all my machines. At the first change in sound or the fabric having problems I change the needle.

  21. Dawn Hockgeiger says:

    I don’t change them as often as I should. I change mine when I start having thread problems.

  22. Mary Wenzel says:

    With embroidery I change about every 50,000 to 60,000 stitches.
    With regular sewing I try to change every 1,000 hours.

  23. Vicky Rettenberger says:

    When it breaks

  24. Judy Quinlan says:

    I try and change my needles between 8 to 10 hours, not quite as often as I should on my 10 needle tho.

  25. Linda Bienvenu says:

    I really hate changing the needle
    I’m so bad I know I chang it when breaks
    I really need Help

  26. Vola Oran says:

    I change my needle about every 3 months or if I have worked on a big project I will change before and after the project.

  27. Sheila Craft says:

    I try to keep track of which needle is in the machine & when to change it but, it’s not easy. I know when I should change it but I’m oftenswitching between machine embroidery, piecing, mending, & quilting so I’ve often got 3 or more needles in the pin cushion at once. Of course, reading the sizes engraved on the needles has been a joke for many years. Maybe the color coding idea would help.

  28. I change mine before starting any new big project and when I start hearing sounds like the needle is dragging.

  29. Beverly Pavlu says:

    Depending on how long the project takes I change after two no more than three projects. Needles are not that expensive compared to the machine and your project.. If you want great projects change often is my moto.

  30. After about two or three bobbins.

  31. Sidney Lovell says:

    I’m bad. Up until about 6 months I did not know the needles should be change so I only did it on an as need basis. After taking a quilting I now change it monthly or as needed
    . It goes to show you are never to old to learn. I’m 66 and started sewing in high school

  32. I change my needle about every 8 hours or when my stitches
    Don’t look good.

  33. Nataly Poire says:

    I change my needle when I start a big project.

  34. Yvonne harrison says:

    About 1 a month

  35. i change my needle not often enough only when there is a problem.

  36. Shirley Legroux says:

    Every new project

  37. After reading everyone’s comments about changing needles. I am ashamed. I dont like to throw the needles away unless they are bad. I wait till they either start to shred the thread or start to pull the fabric or snag it. i am so bad about this. lol

  38. I do change my needle about every 5 hours of sewing

  39. Debi Erbes says:

    I change my needle often….could be a new project, could be a different fabric, maybe a new technique. Once upon a time, I only changed needles when one broke. Now I am a needle snob.

  40. I change my needle every time I do something new but I change it twice when I quilt a quilt on the machine

  41. I’m doing better. It’s so important.

  42. Mary Baker says:

    Usually with each new project.

  43. Barbara Atkinson says:

    I change my needle when I finish a big project. Smaller projects maybe every other!

  44. Mildred White says:

    Dnt change my needles often enough. Shame on me!

  45. Susan Johnson says:

    I change needles when I remember–or when it breaks!

  46. I change my needle after each project, usually I have been using cotton fabric.

  47. I change needles for working on special fabrics like blue jeans, lingerie, leather, home decor fabric, twin needles, wing etc., using the appropriate needle for the project because my teacher taught me that is the proper thing to do. I change my regular sewing needles not as often as I should.

  48. Christine says:

    Depends on what I am sewing. If the projects are small. then every two or three projects.

  49. Not like I should. Maybe every 3 to 4 projects. Thank you for this Chance

  50. Martha Henrichs says:

    When I hit a pin!

  51. Sally Groff says:

    If I’m doing a quilt, the needle gets changed when I’m done. Clothing can be numerous pieces before a needle change. I use various needles when making a bag, so when they start giving me trouble, the needles get replaced.

  52. Sharon armer says:

    About every week on my embroidery machine and about 1 a month on me sewing machine

  53. It depends on the material I’m using. I use a lot of needles. I change sometimes a couple of times a day. Mostly I change weekly because I do a lot of sewing!

  54. Melissa Butler says:

    Don’t change often enough….probably around 1000 hours of sewing.

  55. Kathy Grills says:

    Probably before I should.

  56. I keep a sticky note on the front of my machine and add up the minutes of a design. I usually try to change my needle every 800 minutes, but it is usually at least 1000.

  57. I don’t change them as often as I should. Usually I break one, or see that my stitching is not right, then I change it . Need to get into habbit of changing more often..An need to watch what color it is.

  58. Doris St.Clair says:

    Not often enough, I’m sure. But I try every 6th bobbin! Only way I can remember!

  59. Laura Sullivan says:

    I try to remember to change my needle with each new garment I sew but I do forget until I have issues with the sewing. I need to find a way to remember how much I have used special needles, twin stretch needles, embroidery, top stitch, etc. color coding that is easy to see for my older eyes

  60. Esther Fernandez says:

    I change my needles after every 8 hours of sewing.

  61. I change for each new project and depending on how much embroidery may hamge more than once.

  62. Penny Kitzmiller says:

    I try to, but don’t always do, change with every other project.

  63. When sewing or quilting a new project I change my needle. When I do embroidery I change my needle in the middle of the project. Was taught to change needles often.

  64. Don’t change needles often enough.

  65. Barbara w says:

    Change with each new project. I have a multi needle and change the needles with frequent usage. I also move the major colors like black and white around to avoid too much stress on one component over another.

  66. I am busted! I don’t change my needle as often as I should but do change it about every third or fourth project and definitely when it breaks.

  67. Delores Peterson says:

    Hi Rhonda, It is great that you are color coding your needles. I have thought about that Idea before for my own use since I do alterations and change needles quite often. I go from denim to regular fabrics and sometimes I just put the needle down by my machine then forget what type it is. (The denim is blue) So this will be a great help. Thanks Dee

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.