Monday, November 12, 2012

Sewing Machine Needle: Sewing Worthiness?

How many times have you saved a used machine needle only to return and wonder if it is sewing worthy?  Perhaps you were quilting and were side tracked by an emergency gift project.  You removed your needle, say a Microtex and set it aside for future use.  You insert a Jersey for a rush t-shirt gift.  Imagine you had no interruptions and finished the t-shirt in a couple hours.  Now after a cup of coffee and a chocolate you are ready to return to your quilting.  You find the Microtex needle and now wonder, should I have thrown it away.  Is this needle still sewing worthy?  Because you have already learned in previous posts the damage that a dull needle can do:

Shred or Break Threads
Skip Stitches, Uneven Seams
Pucker and Damage Fabrics
Popping or Clunking Sound Made By Sewing Machine

There are two little tests you can do on the spot to determine the sewing worthiness of your needle:

  • Run your needle tip across your finger nail.  If the needle leaves a scratch, it has a burr.  Toss the needle.
  • Run your needle tip across a pair of old hosiery or a swatch of clingy knit fabric.  If the needle tip snags your hosiery or your knit fabric swatch, it has a burr.  You know what to do... Toss the needle.
I know many of us have good intentions to just toss any slightly used needles, but sometimes we get sidetracked and just set them aside.  The above tips are easy and cost nothing to help you determine the sewing worthiness of your used needle.  If in doubt, CHANGE the needle!


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