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How Often Should I Change My Needle?

Posted: 19 June 2015 at 6 a.m.

Superior Topstitch Needles

If you ask 10 of your sewing friends when they change their sewing machine needle, you’ll most likely get 5 different answers. The 'every project' designation is quite vague, because some quilts take much longer to piece and quilt than others. If new needles were required for every new garment that was sewn, clothing costs would increase due to the increased needle expense. Because of the varying amount of time it takes for the many quilts I make, I personally don't follow the 'use a new needle with every quilt.' mantra.

With Superior's Titanium-coated needles, you will hear a different sound when sewing (a soft, constant 'thud, thud, thud') when the needle is getting dull. This is because the thin layer of titanium-nitride coating is wearing off. Every time the needle penetrates fabric, there is a microscopic amount of wear on a needle, no matter what it is coated with (nickel, chrome, or titanium).

There are many other cues of a dulling or dull needle that are more recognizable, such as skipped stitches, the top thread shredding, and/or puckering while stitching. If your thread starts to behave strangely and you are experiencing these types of problems whereas you weren't before, chances are that your needle should be replaced.

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Comments

  • 4. Michele (20 June 2015 at 7:10 a.m.)

    new bobbin - new needle. I have very big bobbins on my Bernina 759qe.
  • 3. linda wolfe (19 June 2015 at 6:02 p.m.)

    I keep a very strong magnifying glass in my machine desk. I check for tiny nicks, dull spots and even flattened tips. Every time I open the machine I do this as well as check for specks of thread or lint that my trifocals don't catch. I also check the new needle before putting it in. It takes 5 minutes but my machine tech taught me how and where to look.
  • 2. Pat Cole (19 June 2015 at 3:52 p.m.)

    I change whenever I break a needle which is at least once a week. LOL
  • 1. PatriciaJ (19 June 2015 at 2:46 p.m.)

    Titanium coating really changes the "myth" of a new needle for each project. I change per project when a different size is needed. Doing a stitch test on scraps of the project, layering the same as the project will help in your determination.

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