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needles The titanium-coated Topstitch needle is a powerful tool to have in your quilting & sewing supplies.  Topstitch needles are the standard needle used by professionals in the quilting and sewing industry. Taking the technology that commercial needles have, by adding a thin coating of titanium-nitride and combining this coating with the topstitch style needle gives us a "best of both worlds" revolutionary needle for the quilting and sewing industry.

We will take a close look at the differences between a Universal and Topstitch style needle under a microscope and also point out certain needle flaws which can have cause trouble when stitching.

Compared in this article is - Superior's 80/12 titanium-coated Topstitch needle and another brand's Universal 80/12 needle under 40x magnification.

Universal Needle - Size 80/12 universal needle

Superior's Topstitch Needle - Size 80/12 superior needle

We can see that the eye on Superior's Topstitch needle is more than twice as long as the universal's. Why is this important?  Having an elongated eye allows for the thread to move more freely when being stitched.  Less stress is put onto the thread at the point where the stitch is created which in turn puts less friction on the thread.

The Universal needle pictured above also has a "burr" in the eye (in the top left area).  This burr (or obstruction) creates unfavorable rubbing against the thread in the eye of the needle which can lead to thread breakage. Burr's occur during production when the eye is cut out but not polished enough and results in fragments of metal protruding from the wall of the eye.

Universal Needle- Size 80/12 universal needle


Superior's titanium-coated Topstitch Needle - Size 80/12 topstitch needle

Superior's Topstitch needles also have a shorter eye-to-point length than the Universal needle.  This again means less friction on the thread and needle itself.

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By: Bob Purcell