Did you know that some common sewing machine problems are caused by using an old or worn out sewing machine needle? Ask yourself when was the last time you changed your needle? Many beginners neglect changing the needle on their sewing machines because they think that one needle is universally functional for all fabric types. The truth is that a needle is a simple yet important component to a smooth running sewing machine. It’s also an inexpensive way to keep your sewing machine from having major mechanical issues and taking it in to a repair shop.
For a quick trouble shooting trick change the needle then test your sewing machine on a scrap piece of fabric that is the same as the project you're working on. Make sure you’re using the right size and type of needle for the fabric. If you’ve never bought needles for your sewing machine it’s time to make a trip to the fabric store to stock up on a variety of sizes.
Below are some red flags to look for when your sewing machine is telling you that it's time to change the needle:
1. Your stitches begin to skip (it can seem like the tension is off)
2. The sewing machine begins making noises (it could be the needle or another issue)
3. Snagging, pulling or tearing the fabric (needle is worn out)
4. Using the original needle the sewing machine came with (give it a funeral and move on!)
5. A bent needle or using the wrong type of needle and size for the fabric (bent needles can hit the bobbin case and create a much bigger problem)
Selecting The Right Needles
Machine needles vary according to the type of point, size or thickness of the needle. When buying needles you have to select the needle for the the of fabric you’re using and then choose the size of the needle based on the weight of the fabric.
Keep this checklist in mind the next time you begin to encounter problems with your sewing machine. Sometimes all you need to do is do change your needle and the problem will be solved.
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