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Sewing with Batiks

Old 06-15-2015, 11:06 PM
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Default Sewing with Batiks

I am working on a project using Batiks, and found when I have to rip out a seam, the needle I'm using creates a big hole, even though I just put a new one in. (Universal 80/12).

I went to a quilt store today, and 3 of the ladies said they all use a Universal, 80/12, also.

I looked it up on the internet, and it was suggested to use a "Sharp" or a "Microtex" 70/10. I happened to have a Superior Topstitch 80/12 on hand, (thinking it was a "Sharp"), and I couldn't believe the difference. My sewing machine hummed along like it was gliding through butter.

I was wondering what has been your experience with sewing Batiks. Do you use the same needle you use for regular quilter's cotton, or do you switch to a "Sharp".

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:37 PM
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I always use a sharp needle when sewing cotton or other woven fabrics and a ball point when sewing knits. I was taught when learning to sew that a universal needle is universally good for nothing.

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Old 06-16-2015, 12:07 AM
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I change my needle according to what I'm sewing - Sharp or Microtex for batiks and appliqué, Quilting for layers and piecing (and of course quilting, lol), Topstitch/Metallic for metallics etc. I've recently tried the titanium Topstitch and quite like it. The test will be to see how long it lasts.

As an aside - I was recently at a quilting class. A new lady proudly announced that she'd never had to change a needle in the 25 years or she'd had the machine............. Not often I'm lost for words!
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:10 AM
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I never use top stitch needles, I use sharps and sometimes universals for general sewing in the size appropriate for the thread I am using. If doing any specialty sewing I use the needle appropriate for the task ( metallic for metallic thread, embroidery, ball point for knits, etc. )
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:17 AM
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I use microtex needles to sew batiks. (80 for piecing and 90 for quilting) I love working with batiks.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:20 AM
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Topstitch has a bump on the shaft to open up the fabric and will make a bigger hole. It is used for quilting. You want to use microtex or sharp. It sounds like you might also need a thinner thread like aurifil. I use 80/12 microtex and I use mainly Hoffman or Walmart batiks.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:27 AM
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I use a microtex for almost everything quilting related. I got them for use with batiks, but like the long taper for quilting and they're a dream for accurate piecing. When I first started (early 1970's), the universal needle was, well, universally accepted. Today, there are much more appropriate choices.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:37 AM
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I find out the same way you did that the smaller needle is much better for batiks. I asked at the LQS and they all said the superior threads titanium needle.... I figured out that was a self serving recommendation and changed to the 70/10 and it made a much smaller hole. Sometimes I use a 70/8 and have very good results. the last thing I want when I take out stitching is to have the evidence ( the holes) permanently documenting my error. Unlike regular quilting cotton the holes from a larger needle do not disappear when washed.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:40 AM
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I haven't had any problem with using the "quilting" needles by Schmetz. I haven't used their "universal " in a very long time.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:13 AM
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This is such wonderful education! I've never used batiks, but I bought a bunch that I want to dig into!
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