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Organ Needles Selection Guide
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The Organ Needle Company works closely with some of the leading machine makers such as Tajima and Barudan. In this way, they have matched their expertise as the world’s largest needle maker, and the particular needs of each machine builder. Realizing a machine is only as good as the needle in it, each machine maker wants to be sure to have the right needle design to enhance the performance of their machine.
Organ carries the largest variety of needles for embroidery machines. While no one can prescribe a specific needle for any situation, we hope to explain the features of those we carry. With reasonable knowledge of the available needles, any operator can make educated decisions to deal with any embroidery task.
This guide is designed to explain the various parts of an embroidery needle, explain their purpose and then discuss for what purpose needles are commonly used.
Parts of The Embroidery Needle: Organ Needles
Shank: It is the thickest section of the embroidery needle. It is located at the top. It fits into the needle clamp. It offers a good area for the tightening screw of the needle clamp to secure the needle in place.
Blade: The area between the shaft and the eye, which includes the scarf and long groove.
Groove: The long indentation down the front and center of the needles shaft. It serves as a needle guide for the thread being introduced into the fabric by the point of the needle.
Scarf: It is a small groove located on the back of the needle just above the eye of the needle. The scarf is indented to provide the point of the bobbin hook a bit more room to take the loop formed behind the needle when an embroidery machine is forming a stitch.
Eye: It is the hole nearest to the point of the needle through which the top thread flows.
Point Groove: It is a continuation of the groove after the eye of the needle. It guides the thread into the hook assembly.
Point: It is designed to create a path through the fabric for the thread. Many types of points are available for different purposes, but the two of most importance for embroidery are the "Sharp" or a "Normal" and the "Ball Point". The point is the first part of the needle, which directly interacts with the fabric.
Why Use an Embroidery Needle?
Embroidery machines require a specific needle for two specific reasons. One, the eyes of embroidery needles are larger than the eye of a standard sewing needle because embroidery threads tend to have a larger girth and have less tensile strength than standard sewing threads. The larger eye of an embroidery needle accommodates the thickness of embroidery threads. Two, the distance between the eye and point of a standard sewing needle is longer than that of an embroidery needle. Why? Because a shorter distance between the eye and point of the needle decreases the chances of the point of the needle dragging on the fabric it is sewing. This shorter distance also reduces needle deflection thus reducing needle breaks.
Sharp Point: Sharp Point
Sharp points are also called "Regular Points". A sharp point is just as it sounds. The point of the needle is sharp and offers more of a cutting action than a ball point needle. Sharps are more commonly used for woven fabrics. The point of a sharp needle makes it easier for the needle to penetrate the tighter construction of a woven fabric. This places less stress on the needle, thus reducing needle deflection, therefore reducing broken needles.
Ball Point: Ball Point
Ball point needles have a rounded tip as opposed to a sharp tip, therefore they have less cutting action, which reduces the cutting of fabric fibers. These needles are very good for knits or loosely woven fabrics. The cross fibers which constitute the knit or loosely woven fabric are relatively far apart when compared to a tightly woven material. The rounded tip of a ball point separates fibers as opposed to cutting them thus practically eliminating the potential of damaging the garment being sewn. A rounded "ball" point needle is recommended for use with tricots, jerseys, lingerie and power net. Unlike sharp, pointed needles which pierce fibers of knit / fabrics, destroying elasticity, ball points slip between fibers, preventing damage to fabric, and annoying skipped stitches. Select light or medium ball in the correct size to suit fabric.
Wedge Point: Leather Point
A wedge cutting point needle is recommended for use with leather and leather look vinyl. Wedge cutting points pierce leather more easily than ordinary sewing machine needles, resulting in more satisfactory stitching. It cuts as it penetrates and reduces friction while piercing the fabric.
Titanium Needle:
The benefit of a titanium needle is that they have a ceramic coating with layers of titanium nitride on their surface to improve their productivity life by five times than that of conventional needles. Also titanium needles do cost more therefore they are more expensive initially, but due to their extended durability, they may cost an embroiderer less in the long run.
Teflon Coated Needles:
These are standard needles with a Teflon coating to help the needle slide through the fabric easier than chrome plated needle or titanium. These needles are especially useful for waterproof goods that have specialized coating that may stick to the needle.
This guide is to offer you some assistance. It is not an exact science.
Needle Recommendation Chart
Canvas 80/12 Sharp point
Coated or Waterproof Fabrics 80/12 Sharp or light ball point
Corduroy 75/11 Sharp or ball point
Cotton Sheeting 70/10to 80/12 Sharp point
Denim 75/11 Sharp point
Dress Shirt (woven) 70/10 to 80/12 Ball point
Golf Shirt (Knit) 70/10 to 80/12 Ball point
Lace 75/11 Sharp point
Leather 80/12 Sharp or wedge point
Lingerie and Silk 60/8 to 75/11 Sharp or light ball point
Lycra or Spandex 70/10 to 80/12 Medium ball point
Nylon Windbreaker 70/10 to 80/12 Light ball point
Organza 65/9 Ball point
Rayon 75/11 Ball point
Satin Jacket 75/11 Sharp point
Sweater 75/11 Sharp point
Sweatshirt 70/10 to 80/12 Light ball point
Taffeta 65/9 Ball point
Terry Cloth Towels 75/11 Sharp or ball point
Velvet 65/9 Ball point
Vinyl 75/11 Sharp point
There are systems used for indicating the needle size: the metric (European) system and the Singer (United States) system. The metric system size is determined by multiplying the diameter of the blade by 100. For example, a needle with a metric system size of 80 has a blade diameter of 0.8mm (0.8 X 100). The United States system arbitrarily applies a number to these measurements. The Metric Size System increases in increments of five, while the other system increases in increments of one. Usually both systems are reflected on the needle package. (70/10, 75/11, 80/12, etc.)
Needle Size Comparison Chart
Common Needle Sizes:
65/9:This needle is mainly used for small detail work when curves are sharp and density is an issue.
75/11: This needle is used in embroidery machines 75-80% of the time. It is the most universal needle because the diameter is not too big for embroidery and it offers sufficient needle strength.
80/12: This needle is used for heavier fabrics, such as denim, because it makes a bigger hole in the fabric while it sews. Another example of when to use an 80/12 needle is when operators are sewing on caps and are experiencing many needle breaks. Because of the larger diameter, this needle is often stronger with these situations.
Hints & Tips: High quality embroidery is a delicate balance.
Remember when you change:
  • The needle size or the eye size of the needle,
    you are changing the tension on the top thread.
  • The needle size you are changing the relationship
    of the needle scarf to the hook point.
  • The needle point you are changing the way the
    needle penetrates the fabric.
  • This is not just about needles! When you change thread,
    backing, brand of blank product or even digitizers you may
    also affect the balance.
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