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Embroidery: How long will my needle last?

Posted: 19 August 2014 at 6 a.m.

Superior Topstitch Needles

Superior’s Titanium-coated Topstitch needles are fantastic for embroidery!  The elongated eye and deeper groove protects thread, as the needle passes through the fabric and stabilizer sandwich. The thin layer of titanium coating does an incredible job at maintaining the point sharpness. We get about 6 times more use out of our Titanium-coated needles than regular Nickel-plated needles. (The color-coded needles available are all nickel-plated.)

 While Superior’s Topstitch needles will last longer than standard needles, the life of your needle is also determined by the following:

  • Speed (Stitches per minute)
  • Thickness of fabric
  • Type of stabilizer
  • Multiple layers of stabilizer
  • Machine condition
  • Stitch density

To help determine how long (or how many stitches) your needles will last, we’ve done some testing.  On our 10-needle commercial embroidery machine, we are usually stitching at the 500-800 SPM. We usually use a soft tear-away stabilizer with no backing fabric (just the top fabric and stabilizer). We have been averaging about 50 hours of embroidery time on this particular machine and are stitching many different designs, both small and large, and using a variety of our threads.

Using these numbers as an example our needles will last between 1.5-2.4 million stitches. (50 hours x 60 minutes = 3,000 minutes. 3,000 minutes x 500 SPM = 1.5 million stitches. 3,000 minutes x 800 SPM = 2.4 million stitches) This is a ballpark figure which works for the designs, fabric, and stabilizer we have been using. 

So how do you know when to replace your needle? You start to see signs of needle wear, such as skipped stitches, excess puckering, or thread shredding. 

See how great Superior’s Topstitch needles work in embroidering with Metallic:

Metallic Thread

Topstitch Needles

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