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What you need to know about changing your sewing machine needle

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Put your hand up 🖐 if you knew you are meant to be changing your needle every 8-12 hours of sewing.

Now, raise both hands 🙌 if you actually do that. 🤣

This week I'm talking to y'all about needles, specifically when you should be changing them....

First of all it's super important to be changing your needle to suit the fabric you are working on. I like to use a Microtex or Sharps needle when sewing on woven fabrics. If you have ever sewn a straight line on a woven fabric and it looked like a zigzag, this could be because your needle is blunt or not sharp enough for the fabric you are sewing through. This can tend to make the thread go on either side of the fibers causing the zigzag look.

For knit fabrics I like to use a Ball Point or Stretch needle. This needle has a rounded tip so that it doesn't pierce the loops of the knit and cause a run in the fabric.

I also like using a denim/jeans needle for sewing thick canvas or denim. This needle has a strong thick shank and very sharp point to help push through the heavy layers.

Universal needles are still good for everyday little projects, but the idea of the Universal Needle is that it is neither sharp nor ball point... it is an all purpose needle meant to work on either knits or woven fabrics. However, that means that the tip is slightly rounded already and may not be giving you the desired stitch.

Changing your needle frequently is extremely important. I know most of us don't do it nearly enough, but here are a few of my reasons why we all should.

✂ Needles will get blunt over time of use and stop working as effectively. May even be causing the fabric to be pushed down under your stitch plate.

✂ Needles, when over used, can break and damage the timing of your machine or flick shards of metal everywhere.

✂ If a needle is blunt and needs changing you will hear a slight tick, tick, tick with every stitch. This is the needle struggling to pierce the fabric.

So if you care about your project (that you worked so hard on) and you care about your machine (that allows you to make your beautiful creations) then I hope you take the time to use the right needle and change them often. 😉


Hey y'all!

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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