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Thread: A rather silly question...

  1. #1
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    I'm wondering...

    Do ball point needles ever go dull?
    I've been using one for quite some time now and it's still doing a wonderful job going thru the fabric for the donation blankets.

  2. #2
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    So would it get rounder? Or more pointed? I think this is a great question and one I've never seen addressed!

  3. #3
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    All needles get dull after a while. The constant motion in and out of the fabric will cause friction and wear on the needle.

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I guess all needles would go dull after a while but aren't they dull already.

  5. #5
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking too, they technically are already dull-ish.

  6. #6
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    I think it was a good question. I've never used any. And, I only know the usual and normal stuff. I need a course in what kind of fabric and needles go together and details like that. Maybe a couple more ounces of smarts to put it all together !

  7. #7
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Can't help ya on the answer, but good to see you posting again!
    HUGS!

  8. #8
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    wow! that really is a good question. a genuine head-scratcher. right up there with "if a tree falls in the woods and there's nobody there to hear it ... does it make a noise?"

    and ... if it does get "dull" ... does that make it better? or worse?

    i'm so glad i don't have any ballpoint needles. i'd end up spending my day playing with it to find out.

    i've recently noticed that by the time my pointy needles need a change they've not only become dull, they've become ever-so-slightly crooked. i can't see it, but it's just enough to take the needle's eye out of line with my auto-threader. i was beginning to think my threader had stopped working and was really irritated about it because my machine is only a few months old. then i stuck in a new needle and it worked perfectly again.

    my point being (sorry ... couldn't resist the pun) that you might want to watch for other types of needle wear - not only whether or not the tip is still permorming the way it's supposed to.

  9. #9
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    Good question! Don't know the answer..but isn't the ball point needle more for sewing with knits? I am not so sure i would use it for piecing or quilting..

  10. #10
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    You working on knits? That is what you use a ball point for right? Hummm have to ponder on that one LOL

  11. #11
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    I use a ball point needle when doing machine embroidery on sweatshirts and t-shirts. I don't know if they get "dull" but after a couple of projects, the thread will start to "shred" -- a good sign that I need to change needles :lol:

  12. #12
    Super Member Shorebird's Avatar
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    Ball Point needles were designed to be used on knit fabrics. If you are piecing with a non-knitted cotton, I would recommend you use a different needle. I have seen people who will not change a needle until it breaks, or becomes so bent that it cannot be used. Needles are one of the most important parts of piecing quilt, and I want to get the best result I can........so I change my needles after about 8 hours of sewing - 3-4 hours of embroidery work. You can buy good universal needles in bulk ( I got 100 for about $35.00 from my Viking Dealer).....Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Good question, guess I never that of that.

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    Go to www.FaveCrafts.com. They have a downloadable booklet of Sewing for Beginners and it has lots of information about needles, etc. Have fun and it is free. They have pateerns, crafts, knitting, crocheting, etc. you name it . ALL FREE http://www.favecrafts.com/master_ima...ners-eBook.pdf

  15. #15
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I was born way before you and used to wear a lot of that ugly polyester....ok, don't go there, it was the style! I sewed most that I wore. I would end up breaking the ball needle before it ever got to not going through the poly. I'm sure it shredded thread and I'd change it for sure, but I remember them lasting a lot longer than my sharps do. I don't break as many now, but every once in awhile I forget to let the machine pull the fabric and I'll pop one.

    Give those girls a hug from and Aunt Sharon and tell them to give you two each. Hugs

  16. #16
    Baywatch quilter's Avatar
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    Never thought about it... is this a trick question? LOL... but I think that they probably do...or get bent. Ialways change needles frequently... no matter what. :shock:

  17. #17
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    Two good things about our poly in those days, it never faded and it wasn't linty, other wise, glad those days are yesteryear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrspete
    I think it was a good question. I've never used any. And, I only know the usual and normal stuff. I need a course in what kind of fabric and needles go together and details like that. Maybe a couple more ounces of smarts to put it all together !

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrspete
    Two good things about our poly in those days, it never faded and it wasn't linty, other wise, glad those days are yesteryear.
    Go to www.FaveCrafts.com. They have a downloadable booklet of Sewing for Beginners and it has lots of information about needles, etc. Have fun and it is free. They have pateerns, crafts, knitting, crocheting, etc. you name it . ALL FREE http://www.favecrafts.com/master_ima...ners-eBook.pdf

  20. #20
    Honey's Avatar
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    When used to long, the ball can come off a ball point needle. That can cause real problems with the way your machine sews. I was told by several different people that you should change your needle with each project. They said it was like pounding a well with a dull point. Your machine has to work harder and harder to drive the needle through the fabric. Eventually it will cause parts of your machine to wear out. I figure a new needle is a whole lot less expensive than a new part for my machine.

  21. #21
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    your right Honey, i change my needle after every project too..

  22. #22
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    they can get scratched and cause pulls.

  23. #23
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewjoyce
    I use a ball point needle when doing machine embroidery on sweatshirts and t-shirts. I don't know if they get "dull" but after a couple of projects, the thread will start to "shred" -- a good sign that I need to change needles :lol:
    Yes, needles get dull or slightly bent. The first thing to do if your stitching isn't right is to check your threading on your machine and then to change your needle. If the thread is fraying, perhaps your needle isn't inserted in it's position perfectly or you need a larger needle size. I remember when I first got my sewing machine, the dealer told me to change my needle after 3 hours of sewing with it. Also, if when sewing you start to hear sort of a "plunking" noise instead of no noise, that's another indication you need a new needle.

  24. #24
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Lots of good information here. Thanks for the website link!

  25. #25
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Good answers!!! I will indeed make sure to check for drag, bending etc.
    Mimisharon knows what all the poly/dbl.knit sewing is all about. Yes, I'm still working on those blankets. My time schedule got away from me due to some illness and a stay in the hospital.

    So far, I've done several blankets 30 , 9 patches each (15 front 15 back) all of poly/dbl knit and no problems with the needle (now knocking on wood). Thanks for the web site, I'll check that out. Not a beginner sewer/seamstress, still kinda a newbie quilter though. But, there's always something new to learn while reading, even if it's a refresher.

    Terri, nice being able to post every now and again too!! I sure missed everyone!

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