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Thread: Needle size

  1. #1

    Needle size

    What size needle do I need to use to sew noseeum & tulle? Also what type stitch? Straight or zigzag?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm fairly new to this "thread injector" stuff. I would hope ramblinrev pipes in here for you. He is very well versed. I would think that you would need a ball point for the open weave of the no see ums material. For the most part you want a "sharp" or "universal" for the ripstop (tight weave material) and a ball point for the more open weave fabrics. As for the size I would go with a #9 and a straight stitch. Take this information with a grain of salt. Perhaps some more experienced "injectors" will straighten both of us out. Good luck on all you DIYs. All I've made to this point is a set of Snakeskins and a stuff sack. Both came out great. I used the above mentioned #9 sharp and a straight stitch. The thread is important too. Don't use cotton as it will dry rot over time. Don't use nylon in your home injector as it tends to cause problems with the tensioner. Use gutermanns Polyester thread.

    -Bill
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    needle size is just too anal for me to wrap my mind around. There are no hard and fast rules except you don't want thread too big to go through the needle eye. As long as you are using standard, readily available thread that should not be a problem. There are charts linking thread size to needle size but frankly I don't have the brain cells to devote to that and I have gotten along reasonably well. If you really want to get scientific, knock yourself out. I use large needles because my eyes can't see the eye on a smallish needle. Makes it tough to thread.

    I would use a sharp or universal needle for the application you are suggesting. The idea that tulle would use a ball point makes some intuitive sense. Generally speaking the only fabrics needing ball point needles are close knits and stretch fabrics like high lycra content lingerie/swimsuit and leotard materials. Those are not widely used in hammock gear making. The reason for the ball point is to avoid splitting yarn fibers. A sharp or universal needle will pierce right through a knit yarn resulting in a weakened spot in the fabric. Any stress on that spot will tend to break the fibers and create a hole. In knit fabrics a hole translates to a run. Not a good thing. Talk to a lady friend about runs in hosiery unless you have first hand experience. A ball point needle will not pierce the yarns... but rather push them aside so holes, weak spots and runs do not occur. The same dynamic is a work with the high stretch lycra fabrics. Netting like tulle is not the same kind of situation.

    IMO the most versatile stitch on the sewing machine is the straight stitch. You can use the zig zag if you want. But to be honest, the only time I use the zig zag is for garment buttonholes and the occasional reinforcement bar tack. I don't even sew webbing loops with zig zag any more. I prefer the straight stitch for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is most of the commercial webbing I see is done with straight stitches. But that's a personal choice. Either one will hold the things together.

    Hope that helps.
    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."
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  4. #4
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    I use a 90/14 needle & Tex 40 thread with a straight stitch for both noseeum and tulle.

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    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Look at what makers do to find two different approaches to noseeum or other netting. One is to stitch directly to the next functional material. That will usually be zipper tape or DWR nylon or polyester fabric.

    The other approach is to take care of the needs of the of the noseeum and stitch to an interface, and stitch that interface to the zipper tape or DWR. The interface can be ribbon, grosgrain, or a strip of fabric. I don't have enough experience to say this is better, but it is what I have done. It minimizes demands on my fabric handling.

    Don't knock yourself out finding Gutterman thread. Any polyester thread will do.

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone!

  7. #7
    wildewudu's Avatar
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    Just wanted to throw a couple bits in on selecting needle size. I have a chart from a thread manufacturer I use that has a list of recommended needle sizes based on thread size. With a little research, you should be able to find the recommendations listed by the manufacturer of the thread you're using. Like Ramblin'Rev says, it's not a science. It needs to look good, be strong enough for the application and consider what kind of materials are being used (heavy duty canvas and lightweight nylon have different needle requirements, obviously).

    The recommendations (based on thread 'tex' sizing):

    Tex Size: Needle Size:

    T18 9
    T24 10
    T30 12
    T40 14
    T50 16
    T60 18


    If you're using a home machine, you're probably mostly using thread around T30 or T40 and should be just fine with either a size 12 or a size 14 needle. I personally like using size 12 for smaller holes and you can use T40 thread in the smaller needle (smaller hole with larger thread = more filled-in gaps in the material) if it fits.

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