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Needle Sorting Pincushion MANUAL


This is no ordinary pin cushion! Designed to keep and organize your sewing machine needles, this is in fact a “needle sorting needle cushion”, made to organize used sewing machine needles that are not yet worn out.

The table on the pincushion contains 6 different needle sizes (60 to 100) and 7 needle types (Universal, Microtex, Ballpoint, Stretch, Denim, Serger and Embroidery)


USE


Every time you remove a needle from the cushion to use on your machine, put a pin in the corresponding square in the table to mark which needle you are currently using.. When you change the needle for another type or thickness, move the pin and place the needle in the corresponding square so you can reuse your needle later and keep it organized at the same time. This is shown with the yellow headed pin in the photos and in the little video below.


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ABOUT NEEDLES

Sewing machine needles look simple, but there’s a whole world of technique behind a sewing machine needle. For every material there is a specific needle.

The thickness of the needle shaft, the sharpness of the point, the shape of the eye determine whether the needle passes through the fabric smoothly without damaging the fibres. You want the smallest hole possible, but you want your needle to be strong/thick enough so it won’t bend. The correct shape and size of the eye allows the thread to run smoothly through the needle. Too large or too small an eye will cause the thread to shred and break. The groove down the front of a needle should be deep enough to allow your thread to ride smoothly. The scarf on the back allows the bobbin hook to loop your bobbin thread through the top thread to make a stitch. If it is not the right size or type, you can end up with skipped stitches.


Which needle to pick?


First, always test your thread, needle, and fabric combination on scraps of fabric rather than the item you are working on.

When choosing a needle, first choose the type of needle and then the size. Each type of needle has been made for a particular job and is named accordingly.


NEEDLE TYPES

Universal needles

As the name suggests, this needle is suited for many different kinds of fabrics. It sews easily through woven as well as knitted fabrics. It has a slight ball point. You have to know that this needle does not always give the best results.

Microtex needles

A microtex needle is very thin and has a very slim, acute point that is perfect for straight stitches on delicate and microfibre fabrics. Use this needle with fragile fabrics like silk and organza or foils, artificial leather, and coated materials. The thin needle has a dangerously sharp point and is thus more fragile than other needles.

Ballpoint needles

A microtex needle is very thin and has a very slim, acute point that is perfect for straight stitches on delicate and microfibre fabrics. Use this needle with fragile fabrics like silk and organza or foils, artificial leather, and coated materials. The thin needle has a dangerously sharp point and is thus more fragile than other needles.

Stretch needles

Synthetic, stretch, and elastic fabrics are best sewn with a needle that has a special eye, a specific scarf, and a medium ball point. This prevents stitches from skipping. Stretch needles can also be used for sergers.

Denim needles

Synthetic, stretch, and elastic fabrics are best sewn with a needle that has a special eye, a specific scarf, and a medium ball point. This prevents stitches from skipping. Stretch needles can also be used for sergers.

Serger needles

Check the requirements of your overlock machine or serger when buying serger needles. Most serger needles have a different shaft and thickness. Sometimes the length is different and some needles have a groove on the front and backside of the needle. Because a serger sews faster than a sewing machine, you need to replace these needles more frequently.

Embroidery needles

An embroidery needle has a wide eye and groove through which the embroidery thread passes easily. This shape protects fragile threads and guards it against excess friction. It is designed for rayon and polyester thread embroidery applications. You can move easily in all directions with this needle. For the best results, don’t move your fabric too fast.


NEEDLE SIZES

Needles are given numerical sizes. There’s a universal labeling system, but the system can be confusing because there is a European and American labeling system. The American system uses 8 to 19, 8 being a fine needle, and 19 being a thick, heavy needle. European sizes range from 60 to 120, 60 being a fine needle and 120 being a thick, heavy needle. Either way, the higher the number, the thicker/heavier the needle.

The needle that is right for you depends on the fabric you are working with and the type of thread you are using. The general rule: the more fine the thread and the fabric, the smaller the size of the needle, and the heavier the thread and the fabric, the larger the needle. The smallest size available is 8/60, the biggest size 20/120.

Delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon require a size 9, lightweight fabrics like taffeta a size 11. Medium weight fabrics, like flannel, wool, or poplin play nicely with a size 14 needle. If you are sewing a medium-heavy fabric, like wool suiting, you’ll want to use a size 16 needle. And heavy fabric, like denim, needs a size 18 needle.

American European Fabric Example

8

60

Extra Fine

Silks, very fine synthetics, net chiffon, nylon sheers,...

9

65

Extra Fine

10

70

Lightweight

tricot, lawn, thin jersey, organza, voile,...

11

75

Lightweight

12

80

Medium-weight

quilting cotton, poplin, linen, flannel, thin denim, knit, jersey,...

14

90

Medium-weight

16

100

Heavy-weight

Upholstery, heavy denim, canvas, leather, oilcloth,...

18

110

Heavy-weight

20

120

Extra-weight

Heavy upholstery, extra heavy denim,...


How long can you sew with a sewing machine needle?

You can start each new sewing project with a new needle. That way you know you’re working with a sharp needle and won’t run the risk of damaging your fabric with a dull needle. In general, you can do 8 hours of sewing with the same needle before throwing it away.

You can tell that your needle needs changing by the way that your sewing machine is feeding and by the sound the needle makes when it pierces the fabric.

Of course, you should also replace your needle any time it becomes damaged.

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