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  1. #11
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post
    I was having a problem punching thru the webbing. Maybe I had a dull needle??? But the Ball point was suggested on a sewing website. They recommended it for heavy material,i.e., webbing. And like you said , whatever works. Next project I'll try the NEW jean needle and report back.
    I have not seen that lisitng on ball point needles but maybe something has changed. A thought... and this would make a lot of difference. You have an older machine than mine. Ond of the things that has changed over time is the speed of the machine. It is possible that you are not exerting the same pressure on the needle as I am because of the slower machine. Less impact force could make a hyge difference. The other possibility is they have revised the design of a ball point needle in the past few years. It's been a while since I used them. So again... whatever works.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

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  2. #12
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    First a little about my experience. I make sail covers and outdoor stuff out of sunbrella, about 9oz per yard. Additionally, I repair sails and am in the process of making my first. Doing this type work, I use 16, 18, 20 needles and V69 and V92 thread.

    When I started working on ripstop, using a similar setup, it bunched, gathered, and all together looked terrible. My thougts were use a stronger thread to make it stronger. That didn't work so well. I did a little research and found some good info on ripstop from a kite sewing site and it is working well for me.

    -For normal 1.7 or 1.9 ripstop I usually #14 needle and a 46 thread. A #12 needle works, and a #16 works, but any smaller or bigger and you'll fight it.
    -Lighter weight ripstop 1.1 oz and silnylon, if the above doesn't work, I'll drop down to a 30 wt thread with a #11 needle. I purchase most of my thread from Sailrite.com, because I have experience with their bonded polyester thread and I know what size I am getting.

    Unfortunately, unless your are buying thread in bulk, the spool will rarely list what size it is.

    Guttermans and Mettler Metrosene Plus are both great threads and their "regular" weight is about V46 (If I remember correctly). The "fine" weight is about a V30. I prefer Guttermans to the Metrosene Plus. I do not like Coats and Clark for ripstop, although I am trying to use what I have left. Coats Strong Outdoor thread is a T67, which is the same as V69 and a little stiff.

    There are thread charts to match with needle sizes available online, but this is what I recall.
    #9-11 - 30wt thread - lightweight fabrics, silks
    #12-#16 - 46 wt thread - light weight fabrics 3oz to 6 oz???
    #16 - #18 - 69 wt thread - heavier wt fabrics, up to 10oz wt fabric, sailcloth
    #18-#20 - 92 wt thread - really heavy fabric, boat travel covers, up to 18oz
    Any bigger than that you need need a different machine.

    You may not be happy with the selection of you local Wally world, probably will need to visit a sewing center for quality thread.

    I am sure someone has mentioned, polyester thread only. No cotton and nylon upholstery thread can be a little finnicky.

  3. #13
    Frawg's Avatar
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    Oddly enough, I just tried a new jeans needle on some of the Harbor Freight webbing yesterday. It worked fine with some polyester "strong outdoor thread" from C&C. (yeah, I know.... but it was on hand, what can I say? )

    Edit: Hey, nacra533, thanks for the great info! If you have any site URLs to recommend, I'm all ears. You probably already know about the Kite Sewing 101 page on sewing silnylon.
    Last edited by Frawg; 07-31-2009 at 22:56. Reason: felt like it... ;)
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  4. #14
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post
    I was having a problem punching thru the webbing. Maybe I had a dull needle??? But the Ball point was suggested on a sewing website. They recommended it for heavy material,i.e., webbing. And like you said , whatever works. Next project I'll try the NEW jean needle and report back.

    That sounds a little counter intuitive. Usually ball points are used for loose weaves in fabrics so you separate the fabric instead of cutting through it as "Rev" mentioned. If it's working, keep it up. A sharp needle works well for me in webbing. Another option if it will fit your machine is "Serv 7" needles. They are normal size, but the shanks are a little thicker so the needle is stronger for the same size. Sometimes, if using a "Serv 7", you can drop down a needle size in the same fabric.

  5. #15
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    here's a good website for needles and fabric.

    http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/needle.shtml


    Incidentally there is a relative newcomer on the block called a "universal ball point" needle which is a hybrid between the two. The "ball point" is indicated at topping out at size 16 while the sharps will go to size 18 and jeans size 20.

    Things change and I am not always up on the most recent stuff. I've been stitching on and off for 50 years and I have found what I likie and tend to stick with it. Mea Culpa.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  6. #16
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=nacra533;136590]There are thread charts to match with needle sizes available online, but this is what I recall.
    #9-11 - 30wt thread - lightweight fabrics, silks
    #12-#16 - 46 wt thread - light weight fabrics 3oz to 6 oz???
    #16 - #18 - 69 wt thread - heavier wt fabrics, up to 10oz wt fabric, sailcloth
    #18-#20 - 92 wt thread - really heavy fabric, boat travel covers, up to 18oz
    Any bigger than that you need need a different machine./QUOTE]


    Thanks for posting that chart ... I think... I've seen them before and they are very helpful and useful for commercial folks for whom quality and durability are the most important factors. I don't usually bother with that kind of detail for the DIY crowd because too much information leads to overload or paralysis. hehehe

    Plus most readily available spools nowdays don't list the size so the information can be more distracting that helpful. BUT... having said that... the chart is useful for the person who wants to have the most control over what they are doing.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  7. #17
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Thanks nacra533, You have a bunch more experience than I do. One more reason to love Hammock Forum.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  8. #18
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frawg View Post
    Oddly enough, I just tried a new jeans needle on some of the Harbor Freight webbing yesterday. It worked fine with some polyester "strong outdoor thread" from C&C. (yeah, I know.... but it was on hand, what can I say? )

    Edit: Hey, nacra533, thanks for the great info! If you have any site URLs to recommend, I'm all ears. You probably already know about the Kite Sewing 101 page on sewing silnylon.
    Yep. kite sewing 101. I've seen some other sites that I didn't book mark with some info, but most of what I needed was on the kitesewing 101.

    If I didn't have a litte experience sewing other stuff before I started sewing ripstop, I would have quit right out the gate, thinking I just didn't know how to sew. It was frustrating at first, even with some experience. One good thing about sewing the heavy stuff first, because of the weight and lengths of fabric, was I already had the "bad" habit of pulling tje fabric out of the back of the machine. Working with the ripstop (and especially silny) under tension while going under the foot did not require much of a change in technique.

  9. #19
    Darby's Avatar
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    Here is something I found on here along time ago about thread. http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa102100a.htm
    Beer won't solve problems, but then again, neither will milk !
    Designer of the Switchback Hammock
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  10. #20
    Frawg's Avatar
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    I'm with gargoyle -- love this group for the wealth of info that comes out on just about everything! I'm happy to soak up anything you experienced folks care to share.

    BTW, One other resource I've found helpful is the Yahoo group on Outdoor Sewing.
    - Frawg

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