Performance of Sewing Needles in Industrial Sewing Machines

Last Updated on 15/01/2021

The Performance of Sewing Needles in Industrial Sewing Machines

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


May be sewing needle is the first tool of humankind. It was first used at 28,000 BC. The basic elements of a sewing needle, which are constantly modified to suit many fields of application, are the needle shank, the needle blade with one or two grooves and the needle point with eye. There are three parameters used to classify sewing needles: needle system, needle point type and needle size. It is basic and major element of sewing machine. Performance of sewing needles greatly impact on garments quality.

The functions of the sewing machine needles in general are:

1. To produce a hole in the fabric for the sewing thread to pass through and to do so without forming any damage to the fabric.

Sewing Needles in Industrial Sewing Machines
Fig: Sewing Needles in Industrial Sewing Machines

2. To carry the sewing needle thread through the material and therefore a loop which can be pricked up by the hook on the bobbin case in a lock stitch machine or by the looper or other mechanism in other sewing machines.

3. To pass the sewing needle thread through the loop formed by the looper mechanism or machines other than lock stitch.

Parts of a sewing machine needle
The function s of the sewing machine needles in relation to its parts and their role is most satisfactory seam constructions and performance.

Parts of a sewing machine needle
Parts of a sewing machine needle

The commonest Needle shape, with its various sections labelled, mentioned have under:

  1. Shank
  2. Shoulder
  3. Blade
  4. Long groove
  5. Short groove
  6. Eye
  7. The scarf or clearance cut.

A short description of the above parts is given below:

Is the upper part of the needle which locates within the needle bar. It may be cylindrical or have a flat side, according to how it is secured into the machine. It is the support of the sewing machine needle as a whole and is usually larger in diameter than the rest of the needle for reasons of strength.

Is the section intermediate between the shank and the blade, the latter farming the longest part of the sewing needle down the eye.

Is subject to the greatest amount of friction from the fabric through which the needle passes. In needles designed for use in high speed sewing machines the shoulder is often extended into the upper part of the blade to give a thicker cross – section which enters the fabric when the needle is at its lowest point on each stitch.

Long groove:
Is the blade provides a protective channel is which the thread is drawn down through the material during stitch formation.

Short groove:
Is on the side of the needle which is towards the hook or looper and is a groove which extends a little above and below the eye. It is in the formation of the loop in the needle thread.

The Eye:
The needle is having the hole extending through the blade from the long groove on one side to the short groove on the other.

The shape of the inside of the eye at the top is critical both in reducing thread damage at the needle penetrate the fabric and producing a good loop formation.

The scarf or clearance cut:
It recess across the whole face of the needle just above the eye. Its purpose is to enable a closer setting of the hook or looper to the needle. This ensures that the loop of needle thread will be more readily entered by the point of the hook or looper.

The point of the needle is shaped to provide the best penetration of each type of material according to its native and the appearance that has been produced.

The tip is the extreme and of the point which combines with the point in defining the penetration performance.

Needle sizes:
Needles are available in a wide range of sizes and the choice of since is always determined by the fabric and thread combination which is to be sewn.

Different needle manufacturers use their own nomenclature to describe needle sizes but the simplest sizing system is the metric one. The metric size or Nm of a needle is related to the diameter at a point at the middle of the blade above the scarf or short groove but below any reinforced part. This measurement, in millimeters, multiplied by 100, gives the metric number. Thus, a diameter of 0.9mm is an Nm 90; a diameter of 1.1mm is an Nm 110. Needle and thread sizes.

Cloth points Needles:
Ball point – Embroidery – Jeans – Jersey – Leather – Metafile – Micro fibre – Quilting Serge – Silk – Standard – stretch Needles are being manufactured to cater the need of garment construction with different types of fabric weight and construction. Hand sewing needles, cutting needles, woven cloth needles are also being manufactured. Now – a – days sewing needles are required with a highly specialized and technological environment of manufacturing by using with highly specialized equipment, strict quality control and highly specialized and environmentally friendly packing is made in the sewing needles factory.

Ball Point Needles

  • Size – 70 to100
  • Finish – Nickel Plated
  • Material- Stainless steel
  • Used for- Jersey, Stretch and synthetic fabrics.

Embroidery Needles

  • Finish – Nickel Plated
  • Material- High carbon steel wire
  • Selected Product type -Plain Eye
  • Size – 70-90

Jeans Needles

  • Size Range- 90 to100
  • Finish – Nickel Plated
  • Material- High carbon steel wire

Jersey Needle

  • Size Range 70 to90
  • Finish Nickel plated
  • Material High carbon steel wire

Leather Needles

  • Finish Nickel Plated
  • Material High carbon steel wire
  • Selected Product type Plain Eye
  • Blade like point Pierce through leather, Suede and heavy materials

Metafile Needles

  • Size range 70 to 100
  • Finish Nickel plated
  • Material High carbon steel wire
  • Usage for synthetic filament threads will give good result.

Using of appropriate needles, thread, fabric is very much important to get defect free garments. Each should match with each other for achieving expected quality-oriented garment. The study of needles, thread, and fabric plays the vital role in applying in sewing floor operations. Besides, quality production depends on performance of sewing needles.

Now a day’s customers are very much particular about the quality consciousness. They prepared to buy the defect free garments. Even the export garments are undergoing with several inspection process to eliminate the garment mistakes and to satisfy their global clients, buyers and international customers. Even now India’s famous brands are having strict quality control process steps towards achieving zero defect-oriented garments.


  1. Technology of Clothing Manufacture-Latham Carr.
  2. Introduction to Garment Technology- Gerry Cooklin.
  3. Garment Manufacturing Technology – Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye

You may also like:

  1. Anatomy of a Sewing Machine Needle and Functions
  2. Different Parts of a Sewing Machine Needle with Functions
  3. Principle of Lock Stitch Formation Techniques
  4. Common Sewing Machine Problems and Remedies
  5. Preventive Maintenance of Industrial Sewing Machine

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