We learn a lot from associating with professional quilters, piecers, teachers, embroiderers, craft and clothing construction specialists, and thread artists. From our conversations, it seems like the majority of the professionals and teachers use the same needle style for nearly all their work. It is not the universal, quilting, embroidery, sharp (microtex), jeans, or metallic needle. It is the Topstitch needle. The Topstitch needle is like a hybrid needle, taking the best features from many other needle styles and combining them into one. Here is why the Topstitch needle is called the magic needle:
1. Double size eye. The eye of the Topstitch needle is nearly twice as long as other needle eyes. This allows the thread to pass through the eye without being stressed. Think of trying to lace up a shoelace through a too small eyelet compared to lacing the shoelace through a larger eyelet. Which way works better?
2. The groove which runs up the shaft of all needles is wider and deeper in the Topstitch style than in other needle types. This allows the thread to lie in the groove and the thread is protected, avoiding excess friction which causes fraying.
You really do not need ten different needle styles. The Topstitch needle is the ideal needle for most sewing projects. What size is best? The common sense way of determining the appropriate needle size is to select it based on the thread diameter.
Very fine threads such as #100 silk, Bottom Line, MonoPoly . . . . . . . Topstitch #70/10 (NEW product).
Fine threads such as #50 MasterPiece or #50 So Fine . . . . . . . . . . . . Topstitch #80/12.
Medium weight threads such as #40 King Tut and Rainbows . . . . . . . Topstitch #90/14.
Heavier threads such as Poly Quilter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Topstitch #100/16.
This information is printed in our Thread Selection Guide for Home Machines.
A look into Mother Superior's sewing supplies would reveal only Topstitch needles in all four sizes. Most needle manufacturers make the Topstitch style. Our Superior Topstitch needles are made exclusively for Superior Threads by the largest industrial needle company in the world , Organ Needle Company, and these are the only titanium-coated Topstitch style needles in the world. They last five to eight times longer than regular needles. All this for just 20 cents more per needle.
Another helpful link is the thread index for the home machine.
used with permission from Bob Purcell. www.superiorthreads.com