Understanding the color coding of sewing machine needles

Have you ever tried to figure out what needle is in your machine after not using it for awhile? It’s not as easy unless you have really good vision or a good magnifying glass nearby.  Well not anymore. With this easy to understand chart from Schmetz which I found on the Craftsy website the mystery is solved. Those little color bands on the needles actually mean something.

The right needle for the job

Using the right needle can be the difference between success and frustration. There are needles for woven fabrics, knits, leather, denim, embroidery, quilting and more. Make sure you have the right one for your next project. When in doubt…stock up on Universal needles. These will do most wovens, and some knits. These are what I typically have in my machines in the classroom. However there are times when I have to switch to one of the specialty needles, therefore I also keep plenty of them on hand as well. Like the stretch needle which typically works better with elastic knits like dancewear or spandex. Ball point needles work well for most knits, however if you see skipped stitches you might need to switch to the stretch needle.

It’s always best to test on scraps of the same material you are sewing with and the same seam finish before going to the project.

 

Want to know what the color bands mean?

schmetz sewing machine needles

 

Each needle is color coded with two bands. The top band represents the typof needle.

The lower band represents the size of the needle.

This is so easy now right? If you want to know more, read their article or download the chart.

 

 

Just in case you can’t download the chart unless you are a member of Craftsy, you can do it by clicking this link.

No more wondering and no more struggling to read the numbers on the needles. You’re welcome! 

 

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