DOMESTIC SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES A Guide to Types & Sizes By Stephen Taylor
The needle is one of the most important parts of your sewing machine and perhaps the most often overlooked or taken for granted.
Hopefully this guide will help to clarify which are best for the job in hand.
Modern home sewing machines require a needle with a flat side to the shank, a ‘scarf’, the cut away behind the eye, and a groove down the front. This is designated with the system number 130/705, although they are sometimes also marked 15x1. This is the older designation (although still used in Japan) and relates to the fact that it was introduced, by the Singer Company, in 1879, for their ‘Family Central Bobbin’ (CB) machine, also known as the model 15. The modern Singer code is 2020.
There are two principal brands of premium machine needles available today, Schmetz and Organ. Schmetz areoften recommended for European machines. Organ are supplied with, and recommended by, most far eastern machine makes. Janome needles are made by Organ.
There are a very few models of far eastern machine that won’t take Schmetz needles and very few (older) European made machines which won’t take Organ, but generally both makes will fit all makes and models. Schmetz produce a wider range of types.
A quality needle, like Organ or Schmetz will last for 6 to 8 hours of sewing, depending on fabric. After that the stitch quality will suffer and it may even damage the fabric. A cheap needle will not last as long.
This is an extract from our own guide to machine needles. For a fuller guide to machine needles, including types and uses, you can consult our free guide to domestic machine needles, which is available for free download below.