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A “Needle” Question

A friend and I were driving to a meeting together earlier this week. One of our discussions was about the sewing machine needle.

She said, ‘I know you don’t like the regular chrome needles, but I don’t mind them”.

My response was, “it isn’t that I don’t like them, I just find them to be too expensive. I like titanium needles better because they last 5-8 times longer than chrome plated needle” and cost less.

WHO WOULDN’T want to use a needle that lasts longer and costs less?

The Difference Explained

A standard chrome plated needle (Universal, Sharp, Jeans, Topstitch, Stepp Nadel….. etc), that comes 5 to a package and sell for about $4.99- give or take a dollar, is only rated to last for approximately 8 hours of sewing time. That is about the number of hours it would take to make a blouse if you were garment sewing. If making a crib quilt it might be the number of sewing hours for a simple block baby quilt. But for another article explaining the Titanium Needle check out the Superior Threads Education article.

A Titanium Needle (Topstitch, Embroidery, Sharp…. etc) is a steel needle that is coated in titanium. The Titanium coating cuts down the friction, keeps the needle cooler when stitching and keeps the point from becoming dull as quickly and lasts 5 to 8 times longer. The needle is NOT made of titanium and will not damage your machine any more or less than the old fashioned chrome needle, so don’t let that fear make you spend more on needles than you must.

The Math

Of course your needle mileage will vary depending on the type of fabric you are stitching (density of the fabric weave, content and thicknesses) for the actual stitching time. If you can sew 8 hours with a chrome needle for approximately $1, how much more cost effective is that same dollar with a titanium needle that lasts from 40 to 64 hours of sewing time. ihaveanotion.com has Titanium Topstitch Needles here, Titanium Embroidery Needles here; and if you still prefer the Standard Chrome there are some here.

The Benefits of a Titanium Needle

What are some of the benefits of using the Titanium needles? I find these 3 to be the most significant… and some days the order of significance changes….

  1. not having to spend so much time changing needles
  2. saving money on one of the most important parts of the sewing machine
  3. achieving a nice neat stitch!

For my primary needle I use the Titanium Topstitch needle, whether I am piecing or quilting or playing with thread. On had in the needle box are some Titanium Embroidery or Large Eye needles  for those times when I need a larger eye or thread groove to accommodate a larger thread. I still have a lifetime supply of those old standby chrome over steel needles, but that is because I inherited them, so even for free -I like the titanium better.

Speaking of the lifetime of needles, how do you dispose your dull, bent or broken needles and pins?

More Later- Beth

PS …. if you haven’t yet left a comment on the Welcome post, please do….

2 thoughts on “A “Needle” Question

  1. I have old pill bottles in a couple of places. I put broken pins and needles in those. I’m bad, and seldom change my needles.

    1. Yep I use those too… and when I have a project that requires pins for tacking glued areas, I use those pins and needles…. I don’t have to worry about cleaning the glue off… or potential damage… they are already… bent, broken or have a burr….

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