In this month’s article, Jas Purba, managing director of ETC Supplies, takes a look at needles and what type you need for the job.
It is interesting to note how little education companies or individuals are given about embroidery needles either by the company that provide the embroidery machine or the thread supplier.
It is very common for us to hear that the customer is requesting a sharp needle. My staff will question this as they know you do not use sharp needles in embroidery. The customer will go on to state that this is what the current supplier tells them to use and they cannot be wrong.
My staff ask them to read off the details from the current box of needles they use and it always transpires that the code relates to a ball point needle.
Why are customers not provided with the correct information so they can make their own educated decision on what needle is best to use? My cynical answer to this is that it would involve the suppliers having to hold more stock of needles which would lead to more picking errors.
The other area that is becoming more of an issue is people who purchase single head embroidery machines such as the Brother PR. These machines are classed as domestic machines so they do not use the same industrial needles. These machines use system 130/705 which has one side that is flat whereas industrial machines use all round shanks. These domestic machines are very restricted to what they can use on the embroidery machine.
The following information will help you understand the different needle points and sizes available and what they are used for both in industrial and domestic embroidery machines.
Domestic needle types from Schmetz
- 130/705 H – Universal needle – Slightly rounded points – Available in sizes NM60 to NM130.
- 130/705 H SUK – Knitted fabrics – Medium ball point – Available in sizes NM70 to NM100.
- 130/705 H S – Stretch fabrics – Medium ball point – Available in sizes NM65, NM70 and NM90.
- 130/705 H-J – Jeans and heavy twill fabrics – Medium ball point – Available in sizes NM 70, NM 80, NM 90, NM 100, NM 110.
- 130/705 H-M – Silk and micro fibre fabrics – Acute round point – Available in sizes NM 60, NM 70, NM 80, NM 90, NM 100, NM 110.
- 130/705 H-LL – Leather special for cutting through materials – Sharp point – Available in sizes NM 70, NM 80, NM 90, NM 100, NM 110, NM 120.
- 130/705 H-Q – Quilting fabrics with fillings – Slim round point – Available in sizes NM 75, NM 90.
- 130/705 N – Topstitch needle for thick yarns – Slightly rounded point – Available in sizes NM 70, NM 80, NM 90, NM 100, NM 110.
- 130/705 MET – Metallic thread sewing needle – Slightly rounded point – Available in sizes NM 80, NM 90.
- 130/705 H-E – Embroidery needle, wide eye and groove – Light ball point – Available in sizes NM 75, NM 90.
- 130/705 H-ET – Titanium coated needle. 4x harder than normal needle. Good for beginners and high stitch counts – Light ball point – Available in sizes NM 75, NM 90.
- 130/705 H-SU – Super universal needle – Ideal for peel and stick materials and other difficult to sew materials – Slightly rounded point – Non-stick Surface – Available in sizes NM 70, NM 80, NM 90, NM 100.
Industrial needle points from Schmetz
All embroidery machine needles are system DBxK5 with your choice of needle point.
- R – Normal round point needle – Standard rounded points – Use on light woven and coated fabrics.
- SPI – Acute round point needle – Very slim accurate point – Avoids puckering on silks, densely woven fabrics and microfibres.
- SES – Light ball point needle – Displaces woven and knitted yarns to avoid damage – Use on fine knitwear and light densely woven fabrics.
- SUK – Medium ball point needle – More rounded point than SES – General purpose use on woven and knitted fabrics.
- SD1 – Round point with a triangular cutting tip – Special use on leather materials – A stitch density of up to six to eight stitches/cm is possible.
- Embroidery machine needles are available in a range of sizes from NM60 to NM130. The most popular stock sizes are between NM65 and NM90.
The advantages of the Schmetz DBXK5:
- Larger eye for reduced friction and minimised damages to the embroidery thread.
- Minimisation of thread breakage.
- Reduction of skipped stitches through better loop formation.
- Prevention of needle deflection thanks to conical blade, especially with very densely embroidered patterns.
- Less needle breakage and thus a longer durability of the needles.
- Less downtime for the machines.
- Reduction of damage to machine parts such as the tip of the hook and the throat plate.
- Very precise border lines of embroidery due to straight penetration.