Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Things That Work - Organ HLx5 Hard Chrome Needles



There are literally thousands of different needles on the market and selecting the right needle for your project can be a daunting experience.  I have been sewing and quilting for many years and have found the needles that work best for me for most of my sewing needs.  This is what I will share with you.

When choosing the right needle for a project I take into account the type and size of thread I'm using, the fabric and the technique.  I try different sizes of the same needle and select the smallest needle that does not skip stitches when going over multiple seams. For example when working with freezer-paper for foundation piecing blocks that have two layers and multiple seams, DMC or Auriful, 50/2 weight thread and a stitch length of 2.00mm,  the needle I use is a 75/11, HLx5 Organ needle.  
  











I love Organ needles.  It is important to note that the needle I use is HLx5 hard chrome. This needle is made for sewing hard, thick or heavy materials.  It is stronger than regular needles and lasts about twice as long. This needle is also more rigid so there is less chance of needle deflection when performing free-motion work. It will sew through multiple ply applications like piecing, quilting, jeans, applique or heavy embroidery. It is actually an industrial needle with a flat shank.  I stick with the Organ family of HLx5 needles in a variety of sizes from 65/9 - 100/16 for most of my sewing needs.  I love the fact that each of the needle sizes is colour coded on the shank.  For example the 75/11 needle has a purple shank.  Now that I'm older it's nearly impossible to see the size of the needle etched into the shank.  All I need to do with my Organ needle is look at the shank, see purple and know that I was using a 75/11 needle the last time I was sewing.  A big help with these tired eyes.  


When selecting the size of needle to use for your project keep in mind the size of thread and quality of the stitches.  If the needle you selected is hard to thread, if the stitches are wavy, crooked or skipping select a bigger needle.  If the needle is easy to thread, the stitches are perfect but the hole created by the needle is not filled with the thread select a smaller needle.  


Note:  Your stitches are only as good as your needle.  A needle will last about 8 - 12 hours of sewing and will become blunt or bent over time.  Change your needle often.  If you hear a popping sound or see the fabric running from the needle path change your needle.  
 
Note: When working with knits I use a ballpoint needle and for Lycra a stretch needle.

I hope you will try HLx5 hard chrome Organ needles on your next project.  I don't own shares in the Organ company I just happen to love their needles. 

Next Wednesday I'll talk about my favourite threads.  Until then...

Happy Stitches,
Shelley










 

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