Jon and Callum from Barnyarns have a lengthy relationship with needles and thread, so when we wanted to learn which needles are best we asked them.  This is the first part of a three part series.

The information will interest quilters, machine embroiderers and anyone who sews. Whilst they are talking about the Schmetz brand here, the advice is relevant for any needle that fits a domestic sewing machine.

Here’s what they said about Schmetz Needles:

The correct size and type of Sewing machine needle is essential to the production of quality machine embroidery. There is no such thing as a cheap needle, just needles of inferior quality. The needle is the first point of contact between the machine and your work, so never compromise on quality. It really is not worth it.

Over the years we have had many embroiderers using many different needles but always one name has been associated with quality and that is SCHMETZ of Germany. Schmetz was established in 1851 and is still a family owned company. The Schmetz sewing machine needles are manufactured to the highest possible standards to offer unrivalled performance in just about every application.

All about Sewing Machine Needles.

There are so many different types of Schmetz needles that it can be quite daunting. Barnyarns stock needles for both industrial and domestic machines.. Domestic machines require a needle with a flat back on the shank and the round industrial will not fit .. but ask Jon or Callum if you need more advice.

The Shank is the upper part of the needle, inserted into the needle bar & locked into place with a needle clamp screw. The needle should only fit in one way for perfect alignment with the flat side facing away from you. Moving down from the shank, the lower part of the needle is called the Shaft. The Groove is the hollowed out area on the front of the needle just above the Eye and the Point is the very tip of the needle that punches the hole in the fabric.

Point Styles

Basically there are four main point styles.

Schmetz Sharps, a standard Needlepoint for most general sewing applications where needle damage is not a problem.

Schmetz Light Ball, used generally in fine and medium needle sizes to prevent needle damage and laddering in light and medium weight man-made and knitted fabrics.

Schmetz Medium Ball used generally in medium size needles and medium weight knitted fabrics to prevent needle damage to the fibres.

Schmetz Cutting point used in the sewing of Leather, PVC, Plastics and similar materials. This cutting point needle makes a small incision when the needle penetrates the fabric making an area in which the thread can travel freely in the sewing cycle. Some points are angled to allow decorative stitching and topstitching of the work piece.

We will continue this occasional series from Barnyarns in Part two.

In the coming weeks there will be further articles and videos to bring you valuable advice from our craft and industry experts to help you improve your technique.

If you would like further help and advice then visit the Barnyarns website or take a trip to their shop in Northallerton. They can usually be found at the main exhibitions happening around the UK this year. Check out our events calendar and see whats going on in your area.