Monday, October 1, 2012

Sewing Machine Needle: Anatomy

The SCHMETZ needle, that little 2" piece of steel, is one of the most important parts to your home sewing machine.  Your machine cannot operate without a needle, right?  Insert it wrong, and your machine will not work.  Use an incorrect needle and your stitches will be less than desirable.  Use a dull or bent needle and you risk damaging your machine, fabric and thread.  In other words the SCHMETZ needle is an essential work horse. Over the next few weeks, let's Get To The Point with SCHMETZ needle facts.

When was the last time you looked at, I mean really looked closely at your sewing machine needle?  There are eight parts to needle anatomy:

From top to bottom, let's review needle parts and their important functions:
  • Butt:  The very top of your needle has a beveled edge for easier insertion into your machine.
  • Shank:  Home sewing needles have a flat shank for perfect positioning in the needle bar in relation to the hook. 
  • Shoulder:  The transitioning area between the shank and the blade.  SCHMETZ color codes 5 needle types on the shoulder for easier identification.
  • Blade:  The length of the needle.  Needle size is determined by measuring the blade diameter.
  • Groove:  Cradles and guides thread to the eye of the needle.
  • Scarf:  The indentation above the eye that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create a stitch.
  • Eye:  The hole through which thread passes. 
  • Point and Tip: The first area to penetrate fabric in stitch creation.  The point and tip length, shape and size vary according to needle types.

Next week we will review How to Read A Needle Package.


  1. When I saw you Rhonda at the ADSP fashion show Fri night I thought it meant you had a booth here and I'd be able to chat! So sorry I didn't chat with you Fri night!! Hope you are doing well!!!

  2. Thanks Kyle. Wasn't the ASDP fashion show fabulous! Every one of those garments were outstanding and inspirational. When the show concluded you escaped before I had a chance to say hi. Will see you online and hope to see you next year at the American Sewing Expo.