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Thread: How to identify used sewing machine needles???????

  1. #1
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    How to identify used sewing machine needles???????

    If I have used a sewing machine needle for only a short amount of time I stick them into a pin cushion to be used again. I can look at the needle and read the size and brand and in some cases the color of the shaft will identify what kind of needle it is however most needles can't be identifed that way so how can I tell the difference between a universal, ballpoint, metalic, quilting etc.??? In a cleaning frenzy and need to sort and categorize so your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sue

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    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Mark a tomato pin cushion with a marker of the different sizes and keep it in the correct section.

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    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I keep them in old RX bottles marked with size ect.

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    Super Member glenda5253's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Up North View Post
    Mark a tomato pin cushion with a marker of the different sizes and keep it in the correct section.
    I've run into this problem before also. Am liking this idea but would like to follow this thread for more ideas. How do you do that?

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    I have used medicine containers, also. AND have used fingernail polish. Make sure you make a key if you do the latter.

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    Yes, I have seen many methods of keeping like kind of needles together AFTER identifing what kind of needle they are however, I need to know how to identify them in order to group them with same kind of needle. ie. ballpoint, quilting, universal. I even saw one I liked awhile back that was a book made of fabric with embroidered label for each kind of
    needle on each page. But this is not what I am asking.....I need to identify each needle now that I was lazy and threw them all together. Thanks for any help. Sue

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    Quote Originally Posted by SewinSue View Post
    Yes, I have seen many methods of keeping like kind of needles together AFTER identifing what kind of needle they are however, I need to know how to identify them in order to group them with same kind of needle. ie. ballpoint, quilting, universal. I even saw one I liked awhile back that was a book made of fabric with embroidered label for each kind of
    needle on each page. But this is not what I am asking.....I need to identify each needle now that I was lazy and threw them all together. Thanks for any help. Sue
    Oops. You might be out of luck this time.

    I shouldn't admit this, but I pretty much use whatever needle is in the machine for whatever I'm working on, knowing that I only have the "middle" range of sizes. (I don't work with sheers or denim.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    Go to Wal-Mart and buy a magnifying glass

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    I put my needles thru a piece of paper and mark the type, size and how long used on the paper. I put them in a plastic box with a snap on lid. I don'thave to change needles as frequently as with each project if it has been small. if you use post-it notes you can stick the note on your machine to put the needle back thru the paper when you need to change needles. I hope you can understand this explaination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenda5253 View Post
    I've run into this problem before also. Am liking this idea but would like to follow this thread for more ideas. How do you do that?
    You take a Sharpie and draw sections on the tomato cushion and write the needle size in the appropriate section. If you work with different types of needles you need to also mark the needle type. Then when you take the needle out of the machine, stick it into the appropriate section. If you don't remember what size the needle is the machine at any time, you need to figure out a system to note the size and type. Blue painter's tape works well coz it's easily removable.

    Actually, I have seen a pincushion for sale with the markings on it.

    Honestly, I am with Lee in Richmond and often use what's in the machine until it gets dull.

  11. #11
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great tips. I try to keep my needles separate so I can identify them later, but will have to work harder at it. So again, thanks.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mighty View Post
    I keep them in old RX bottles marked with size ect.
    if you do this, cut a piece of cardstock and batting to fit the bottom to keep your points sharp!

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    Quote Originally Posted by QandE2010 View Post
    Thanks for all the great tips. I try to keep my needles separate so I can identify them later, but will have to work harder at it. So again, thanks.

    You can make a Needle case...very pretty, handy, and organized!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Richmond View Post
    Oops. You might be out of luck this time.

    I shouldn't admit this, but I pretty much use whatever needle is in the machine for whatever I'm working on, knowing that I only have the "middle" range of sizes. (I don't work with sheers or denim.)
    Me too!!! I don't really look at what needle I put in the machine either! (Bad girl, I know!)
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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    The only way is to be able to magnify the end so you can tell what the tip of the needle looks like. I stopped using all different type of needles some time ago and only use topstitch needles. I don't sew on knits much any more so it makes no difference in my house.

    I wish you luck on figuring out what is what..

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    I use old prescription bottles and place a piece of moleskin that I cut to size inside the lid and on the bottom to protect the points of the needles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenda5253 View Post
    I've run into this problem before also. Am liking this idea but would like to follow this thread for more ideas. How do you do that?
    If you look at the line above the first post you will see a phrase that says "Thread Tools." Click on that and your options will drop down. Then click on "Subscribe to this thread."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SewinSue View Post
    If I have used a sewing machine needle for only a short amount of time I stick them into a pin cushion to be used again. I can look at the needle and read the size and brand and in some cases the color of the shaft will identify what kind of needle it is however most needles can't be identifed that way so how can I tell the difference between a universal, ballpoint, metalic, quilting etc.??? In a cleaning frenzy and need to sort and categorize so your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sue
    I take a colored sharpie and mark the flat shaft end and then put it back into the case from which it came. Problem solved. I know all about it and also that it has been used some. I don't do this with needles that can no longer be used.
    Judy

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    Sewinsue.....you might visit a store/LQS that has a good inventory of needles and look at the color bands on the various kinds of needles. Or....maybe the manufacturer's website has a color code guide that can be downloaded.
    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift....that's why it's called the present.
    Karen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Up North View Post
    Mark a tomato pin cushion with a marker of the different sizes and keep it in the correct section.
    This is what I do and it works beautifully. (Great minds....)

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    If you took a marker and coloured the area where the size is and wipe it off, would it make it easier to see the size? I know I can't see the size on needles even with a magnifier and reading glasses on. ( I guess i could get off the computer and see if it works).

  22. #22
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    If you keep track of what you put in the machine in the first place you won't have to try and figure out what it is when you take it out.

    I have a craft box from JoAnn's that's just the right size for needle packages. The orange button is for the Janome and the dark red button is for the Pfaff. I put the button in the compartment of the needle I take out and put in the machine. Any loose needle in a compartment has been used but is still good.


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    I too use the tomato and section off for sizes and uses. I use each 'section' for the use, as in jeans, sharps, embroidery, etc. Then I have drawn 3 horizontal lines to divide the sections into 4 or 5 parts, for the sizes.
    I use this guide to tell me what kind of needle it is when I can't see the shank to read it. This is for needles I have used, and I use a plastic case similar to the one above to store the small cases of needles.
    http://www.euronotions.com/pdf/Schmetz_Sales_Guide.pdf
    Last edited by NanaCsews2; 02-12-2012 at 09:34 PM.

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    I toss it as soon as I take it out of the machine. I'll lose/misplace/forget to sort the thing anyway.
    Got fabric?

  25. #25
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I tape the used one to the needle case with blue painters tape. I always keep the needle case beside my machine until I change the needle. That way I know what's in the machine, and it's not hard to match the needle with the case.

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