We have received the suggestion of color coding our Home Machine needles for easy size identification recently. While we agree that this would be easier on the eyes to see, we have a significant reason why we do not color code our needle sizes.
Needles that have color coding are nickel plated. Nickel is a type of metal which is porous enough to allow paint to adhere to the surface. We like to reference the Mohs scale for hardness, (the scale where Diamond is the hardest substance at 10) Nickel is about a 5 on this scale. While this is strong enough for stitching, we wanted to provide a Superior Needle! The longest-lasting needles are chromium-plated and then plated with a thin layer of Titanium nitride. Titanium nitride is about a 9 on the same Mohs scale. The fact that it is much harder means that it resists abrasion many times better than standard Nickel. Due to the high-resilience of Titanium-nitride, paint doesn’t stick to it. Therefore, we aren’t able to color code our needles at this time. We realize that having a needle last 6 times longer would have a greater impact to you than having a color-coded section.
Titanium-nitride plated needles stay sharper 5-8 times longer than Nickel-plated needles. Think of the time savings from needle changes! The cost difference is minimal, only about 20 cents per needle for the higher quality Titanium-nitride plated needle.
If you are looking at a longarm needle and trying to decipher which size it is, our needle packaging is color coded per size. (Our Home Machine needles’ packaging is also color coded.)
Green = 14/3.0
Grey = 16/3.5
Black = 18/4.0
Yellow = 20/5.0
Red = 21/5.0