Needle Facts: Needle Anatomy

The SCHMETZ needle is one of the most important parts to your home sewing machine.  Your machine simply 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 work horse.


When was the last time you looked at . . . I mean really looked closely at your sewing machine needle?  Let’s look at its parts:

From top to bottom:

Butt:  The very top of your needle has a  beveled edge for easier insertion into your machine.

Shank:  Home sewing needles have a flat shank for perfect positioning in the needle bar in relation to the hook.

Shoulder:  The transitioning area between the shank and the blade.  Look for color coding here.

Blade:  The length of the needle.  Needle size is determined by measuring the bade width.

Groove:  Along the needle blade the groove cradles and guides thread to the eye of the needle.

Scarf:  The indentation above the eye that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create a stitch.

Eye:  The hole through which thread passes.

Point and Tip:  The first area to penetrate fabric in stitch creation.  The point and tip length, shape and size vary according to needle types.

There’s a lot of engineering that goes into the creation of this little 2″ piece of steel!




  1. I feel your pain, i was 9 years old during a lightening storm sewing my jeans for school on my grammas old singer. thunder struck like a hammer on your head and i floored the machine taking my finger in with it.
    to this day i still carry a scarf with me everywhere i go. 😉 i’m now 55. I only feel it when my fingers get very cold, that one takes longer to warm up lol

  2. I have radiologic evidence that Schmetz needles are very strong–and that the scarf is the weakest point. Check out my blog post: Inattentive Quilting: A Cautionary Tale.

    Your needles command respect!
    Lori Kennedy

    • Rhonda Pierce says

      Oh my! Love your pics, but what a tough way to respect the needle. Hope you have recovered and can get back to your sewing projects.

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