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Machine Minute - Needle and Thread Pairings: Denim

Choosing the correct needle and thread pairing results in a better quality stitch. Learn some tips for needle and thread combinations for sewing with denim.

Mon, 22 Oct 2012|

Hi, I'm Jennifer with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Now having a great machine can result in great stitches but there's another important element to making sure you get your stitches just right. And that's having the right needle and thread combination. And for quilters, when we're working with specialty fabrics or things other than quilting cottons, sometimes we can get caught up with the wrong machine needle in. If you're working with denim for example, you want to make sure that you have a jeans or denim needle made specifically for sewing through denim fabric. It's a very large needle size 100/16. 100 as the European size number and 16 as the American size number. When you're looking at needles they usually give you both, so 116 jeans or denim needle is what you want, and you also want to be working with polyester jeans thread, and it's sold as jeans thread most often in quilt or sewing stores. That's how you'll find it labeled. It's a polyester thread meant to stand up to the durability that you want denim to go through, and it's really made to look like what you find on ready-to-wear shelves. Now one problem to watch for when you're sewing on denim is skip stitches. Sometimes you don't have your stitch length set properly. You'll want to increase it to a 3 or 3.5 millimeters stitch length, which is just a little bit different when you're working with quilting cottons. But the other common error is not putting that jeans needle in and using too small of a needle. If skip stitches are problem for you, chances are the groove on the backside of your machine needle is too small to hold the weight or size of jeans thread. And that results in skip stitches. So having the right needle and thread combination, the jeans thread, the jeans 116 needle, should result in great stitches every time.