Stretch & Ball Point Needles

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Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby temom on Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:38 pm

DD who is 11, is making a pair of leggings. I had her change her needle to a ballpoint needle, but noticed I also have "stretch" needles. These are all Schmetz. Is there a difference? The pair she is making at the moment is a rib knit, but she also has a pair cut out & ready to sew of a nice soft smooth knit, but I don't know what you call it.
Does it matter which needle she uses?
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Re: Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby sewingmom on Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:57 pm

The ball point may not give her a pukker free edge. It really just depends on the fabric. Test it with each and use what you like. I had trouble sewing on the bias of a heavy polly fabric and switched to a stretch needle and it fixed the problem.
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Re: Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby bridesmom on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:12 pm

I'm not really sure what the difference is between them but I did find this on the Threads website. I have found that I need to use a stretch needle on knits, the ballpoint just doesn't work as well.

Standard needles

The configuration of these needles is based on the particular fabric to be sewn.

Universal needle
Uses: Safest needle choice for most fabrics.
Configuration: Has slightly rounded point and elongated scarf to enable almost foolproof meeting of needle and bobbin hook.
Troubleshooting: When fabric is not medium-weight woven, consider needle specifically suited to fabric. For example, size 18 universal needle works on heavy denim, but size 18 jeans needle works better.

Ballpoint and stretch needles
Uses: Ballpoint needle for heavier, looser sweater knits; stretch needle for highly elastic fabrics, like
Spandex, or Lycra.
Configuration: Both have rounded points that penetrate between fabric threads rather than pierce them. (Stretch-needle point is slightly less rounded than ballpoint.)
Troubleshooting: Test-stitch knits with ballpoint, stretch, and universal needles to see which doesn't cut yarn and yields best results. If ballpoint skips stitches, try stretch needle.

Microtex and sharp needles
Uses: Sewing microfiber, silk, synthetic leather; precisely stitching edges; and heirloom sewing.
Configuration: Has an acute point.
Troubleshooting: Essentially trouble-free, but fabric may require a Teflon, roller, or even/dual-feed presser foot.

Leather needle
Uses: Excellent for sewing natural leather.
Configuration: Has slight cutting point (almost like an arrowhead).
Troubleshooting: On synthetic leather, unless it's very heavy synthetic, cuts rather than pierces stitch hole and can tear leather. Most synthetic leathers require Microtex or sharp needle.

Denim (jeans) needle
Uses: For heavyweight denim, duck, canvas, upholstery fabrics, artificial leather, and vinyl.
Configuration: Has deeper scarf, acute point, and modified shaft to sew without pushing fabric down into needle-plate hole. Goes through fabric and meets bobbin hook better on dense woven fabrics.
Troubleshooting: If stitches skip when sewing very heavy fabrics, try larger needle and sew more slowly or walk needle through fabric (by turning hand crank).

Decorative needles

The configuration is designed to wed thread to fabric for surface embellishment.

Topstitching needle
Uses: Topstitching.
Configuration: Has extra-acute point, extra-large eye, and large groove for heavy thread.
Troubleshooting: Use smallest size needle that accommodates your thread to avoid punching large holes in fabric.

Embroidery needle
Uses: Machine embroidering or embellishing with decorative thread.
Configuration: Has light point (neither sharp nor ballpoint) and enlarged eye to keep decorative threads from shredding or breaking, and prevent skipped stitches.
Troubleshooting: If thread still shreds on dense or heavily stitched design, use larger size needle or Metallica needle.

Metallic (Metafil and Metallica) needle
Uses: Sewing with decorative metallic threads.
Configuration: Has universal or standard point; large, elongated eye; and large groove to allow fragile metallic and synthetic filament threads to flow smoothly.
Troubleshooting: Metallic threads are very sensitive to problems in machine: Tiniest burr on thread path or needle can cause problems.

Quilting (stippling) needle
Uses: Piecing, quilting, and stippling.
Configuration: Has special tapered shaft to prevent damaging fabrics when stitching multiple layers.
Troubleshooting: Move fabric smoothly without pulling on needle when free-motion stitching to prevent breaking needle.
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Re: Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby temom on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Laura, that is great information! I'm going to print it out and tape it inside my sewing cupboard door. Thank you! :D
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Re: Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:04 am

Great info! ! I printed it out also.. Thanks, loads..
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Re: Stretch & Ball Point Needles

New postby Harriet A on Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:27 am

That is very good and easy to understand information about the different kinds of needles and when to use them. I will print this out also.
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