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Needles are probably the most overlooked problem solving routine there is in the industry. 

What is a "good" sewing machine needle?

  • A good needle should be strong and should not break prematurely

  • The needle point has to be strong enough and well protected against damage and wear

  • The needle has to be flexible enough to return to a straight position after deflection

  • The needle should not damage the fabric

  • The needle has to meet the defined specifications

  • The needle should protect the thread during stitching and should form a perfect loop in order to avoid skipped stitches


When should the operator replace the sewing machine needle?

In case there are no other guidelines by the purchaser, it is recommended:

  • As soon as the point gets blunt or is worn out (finger test)

  • When skipped stitches occur (→ needle is bent)

  • On a regular basis, e.g. right before the beginning of the shift

  • Needle that is worn out at the point area

Why should a sewing needle have a high stability?

  • To prevent skipped stitches

  • For a uniform and clean seam appearance

  • For a longer needle life and higher productivity


Why should the penetration force of a needle be low?

  • The lower the penetration force, the less material damage is caused

  • The machine is strained in the minimum way, i.e. high protection of the machine

  • A low penetration force increases the needle life

Sewing problems and their solutions

What are the main causes of needle breakage?

  • Poor needle quality

  • Wrong needle size (too small) → insufficient needle stability

  • Wrong needle system, not fitting into the machine

  • The needle is not properly inserted into the machine

  • Damaged or blunt needle point

  • Wrong looper adjustment

  • Too high thread tension

  • Incorrectly adjusted height of the needle bar

  • The operator pulls the fabric while feeding

  • Too high machine speed (especially when sewing over cross seams)

  • The needle thread is not properly unwinding from the cone


What are the main reasons for fabric damage during the sewing process?

  • Poor or insufficient finishing of the material

  • Too big needle size (the needle should always be as thin as possible)

  • Wrong point style

  • Damaged needle point

  • Damaged needle surface (by wear and tear)

  • Thermal damages due to needle heating

  • The needle hole in the throat plate does not fit the needle size

  • Damaged throat plate

  • Too high sewing speed


What causes thread breakage?

  • Too high or too low sewing thread tension

  • Poor thread quality

  • Incorrectly threaded thread

  • The needle thread is not properly unwinding from the cone

  • The machine is not optimally adjusted

  • Too small needle size in comparison to the sewing thread

  • The needle is inserted in the wrong way

  • Bent or damaged needle (e.g. sharp-edged eye)

  • Excessive needle heating

  • The thread is clogged with melted material residues

  • Parts of the machine are damaged (thread guiding elements, hook/looper)

  • Wrong needle system

  • Insufficiently lubricated looper/hook


What is a skipped stitch and how is it caused?

A skipped stitch occurs when the loop of the needle thread is not picked up by the point of the looper/hook.

Possible reasons:

  • Too high or too low sewing thread tension

  • Improperly adjusted or damaged hook/looper

  • Other parts of the machine are not properly adjusted

  • The needle is inserted in the wrong way

  • Bent or damaged needle

  • Too small needle size in comparison to the sewing thread

  • Insufficient needle stability leading to needle deflection

  • Too big needle hole in the throat plate in comparison to the needle size

  • Needle thread snarling in front of the tension discs

  • The fabric "flags" due to insufficient pressure from the presser foot on the fabric

  • Too high sewing thread elongation


What are the most suitable methods to reduce needle heating?

  • Needle cooling by compressed air

  • Reduction of the sewing speed

  • Use of a smaller needle size (if possible)

  • Use of another needle point

Titan Sewing Machines have a proud partnership with both Groz-Beckert and Organ sewing machine needles. 

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