Tutorial Tuesday ~ How Often Do You Change Your Needle?

Respect the needle!


Source:  Flickr.com via Pinterest

Did you know there’s a suggestion on how many hours you use your sewing needle for?  Any guesses?  Read on…

Here are a few pictures demonstrating the correct and incorrect way of needle placement.

{Notice how the top of the needle head is touching the round circle inside the casing}
{Notice that the top of the needle head is not quite touching the round circle, almost but not quite}
This will possibly cause your needle to break and it won’t be pretty.
So, try to keep track as best you can approximately how long your needle has been in your machine.  
Do yourself a favor and change it out.

Source: cloverandviolet.com via pinterest

Tip:  One way to keep track of how many hours you’ve used your needle is to use a pin cushion.  Section it off and use little stickers with approximately how much time you used that needle for.  So, for instance, if you have a universal needle, a quilting needle, and a jean needle that you regularly change out of your machine … you’d mark the section on the pin cushion.  You would place the correct needle it’s spot in the pin cushion with a sticker with the amount of time it’s been used.  Every time you use it, you use it, you simply add an hour or whatever time you used it for to the sticker.  When it reaches 8 hours, you get rid of it and start anew.

Tip:  If your thread is bunching up or just not sewing the way your machine usually sews, remove your needle and replace it.  It could just be a slight placement adjustment is all it needs to fix your problem.  Or you might need the correct needle for the fabric you’re sewing with.  {this is just one thing amongst others to check if your machine is acting up, but sometimes it works}

I hope this helps.

xo Tara


  1. I took a machine cleaning class when I got my sewing machine, and they recommended cleaning, oiling, and changing the needle every 10 hours. It makes a HUGE difference. I like your idea for keeping track of the hours a needle is used.

    • Thanks, Ruth! Thanks for mentioning the oiling! My machine doesn’t require oiling, so I’m so glad that you said something about it.
      xo Tara

  2. Good reminder…I can’t remember the last time I changed my sewing machine needle. Which is pretty ridiculous since I change my embroidery needle with every project!

    • Tina! LOL! I’m glad this helps. Let me know if you see a difference in your sewing projects or not with new needles.
      Happy sewing!!

  3. moxiemandie says:

    eesh! I KNOW that I don’t change mine often enough. It’s quite bad! 😉

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