How to Make Needles your Friend with a Little Help from our Friends

Schmetz needles will be your new best friend.  They are incorporating a new color coding on their needles.  By the beginning of next year, their entire selection of needles will have a color code for type AND, when applicable, size.



It is the perfect time to incorporate some needle education into your classes – and Schmetz will even provide you with the information!

This informational hand-out gives a brief description of each needle with helpful hints and tips.  Why not order a supply and have them on hand for your customers.


Item #D-87

Schmetz also provided the following information – which is a great cheat sheet for everyone to keep with their sewing machine!  I am not a needle person, so this is priceless!

Upper Thread Breaks


  • Incorrect threading
  • Knots or twists in thread
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged/old needle
  • Needle too small


  • Rethread machine properly
  • Replace thread
  • Reset bobbin and top thread tension
  • Replace needle
  • Use correct needle for thread and application

Bobbin Thread Breaks


  • Bobbin case incorrectly threaded
  • Bobbin case incorrectly inserted
  • Bobbin does not turn smoothly in bobbin case
  • Lint in bobbin case
  • Bobbin tension too tight


  • Remove bobbin and re-thread with bobbin turning clockwise
  • Remove and re-insert bobbin case
  • Check that bobbin case and bobbin are in “round”; replace if necessary
  • Clean bobbin case and surrounding machine area
  • Check and reset bobbin tension

Skipped Stitches


  • Thread tension too tight
  • Needle damaged
  • Needle wrong size
  • Sewing machine out of adjustment


  • Reset top and bobbin tension
  • Replace needle
  • Use correct needle size
  • Have sewing machine adjusted for timing; hook to needle clearance; needle bar height

Frayed Stitches


  • Increase needle size
  • Reset tension
  • Replace thread


  • Needle too small
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged thread

Thread Loops on Bottom


  • Thread not in top tension
  • Machine incorrectly threaded
  • Top tension too loose
  • Burr on hook mechanism


  • Rethread machine with presser foot “up”
  • Rethread machine incorporating take up lever
  • Reset top tension
  • Remove burr

Irregular Stitches or Malformed Stitches


  • Wrong needle size
  • Incorrect threading
  • Upper tension too loose
  • Operator pulling fabric
  • Bobbin wound unevenly


  • Ensure correct needle for fabric & thread
  • Un-thread machine and carefully rethread
  • Reset lower and upper thread tension
  • Check presser foot pressure
  • Rewind bobbin

Fabric Puckers


  • Excessive stitch length
  • Needle point is blunt
  • Excessive thread tension
  • Fabric is too soft
  • Thread displacement — too much thread in a small area
  • Fabric not feeding


  • Decrease stitch length
  • Change needle often
  • Check bobbin and upper tension
  • Use stabilizer
  • Decrease field density; scale embroidery designs; increase stitch length
  • Check presser foot, needle plate, feed dogs

Remember!  The value added service that you can offer is education!  Incorporate hints from this list in your classes to add that value added service that keeps them coming back for more.


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