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  1. #1
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    Sewing thread and needle

    Hi! I know this info is probably out there somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find it or I have just overlooked it. I am wanting to make my own gear. I think it would be a fun thing for me and my son to do. I have been researching and thinks to all of you guys I have a wealth of info but, I cannot find anything on what the best thread, needle and type of stitch is for underquilts and tarps? I read somewhere that a denim needle is best which makes since I think but what about thread? Any suggestions?

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    This is personal preference time. Use a universal point or a sharp point needle. Do not use a ball point needle. Any size you are comfortable using will do. I like larger needles because my eyesight is not so good and I can see the eye to thread a larger needle. Some folks like smaller needles. Knock yourself out. It's your choice. Denim needles are huge and for me a overkill. But hey, what ever floats your boat.

    Any high quality 100% polyester thread is good. Every one has their own favorite brand. Get it at a sewing center, not a big box or discount place. You can get very technical with thread but I don't see the need for non-commercial purposes. Ordinary standard sewing thread is fine as long as it is 100% polyester. Just don't try to put thick outdoor or upholstery thread through a small needle. It won't work well.

    Straight stitch is all you need for virtually any kind of gear making. No need to chase your tail for lots of stitch choices unless you want to put duckies or kitties on the hem of your tarp. Zig zag can be nice to have but is absolutely optional. Anything else you just simply won't use for the vast majority of any gear you might want to make.
    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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    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  3. #3
    Senior Member FLScouthanger's Avatar
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    "...duckies or kitties..." Nice! If they come in pink I'm guessing Diva B would want one.

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    Fronkey's Avatar
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    +1 on Rev's advice. I use guttermans 100% polyester thread and you would be surprised how much gear you can make just by knowing how to do a straight stitch.

    Fronkey

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    Mescudi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    This is personal preference time. Use a universal point or a sharp point needle. Do not use a ball point needle. Any size you are comfortable using will do. I like larger needles because my eyesight is not so good and I can see the eye to thread a larger needle. Some folks like smaller needles. Knock yourself out. It's your choice. Denim needles are huge and for me a overkill. But hey, what ever floats your boat.

    Any high quality 100% polyester thread is good. Every one has their own favorite brand. Get it at a sewing center, not a big box or discount place. You can get very technical with thread but I don't see the need for non-commercial purposes. Ordinary standard sewing thread is fine as long as it is 100% polyester. Just don't try to put thick outdoor or upholstery thread through a small needle. It won't work well.

    Straight stitch is all you need for virtually any kind of gear making. No need to chase your tail for lots of stitch choices unless you want to put duckies or kitties on the hem of your tarp. Zig zag can be nice to have but is absolutely optional. Anything else you just simply won't use for the vast majority of any gear you might want to make.
    Guess I should have read more before I started injecting as I have been exclusively using ball point needles thinking they were the best option. Obviously I was wrong lol. Can you explain the differences between the needle types as they relate to our projects please?

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Sharps are just that. Sharp... They are used for tightly woven fabric and are excellent choices for just about anything gear makers would do. The Jeans/denim needles are large sharps as they need to pierce layers of heavy fabric.

    Universal points are a fairly new addition to the scene. They were designed for just about all purpose stitching. They are also the most readily available. If you were doing mass production requiring many layers of webbing I would not recommend them. But for most other uses they are completely acceptable. My own personal preference is sharps, but I usually buy universals just because I can find them easier.

    Ball point are used for knit and stretch fabrics. Sharps and universals can tend to pierce and separate the fibers in the yarns. For woven fabrics that's not a big deal. For knits and stretch fabrics it can create areas prone to failure. Ball points do not pierce the yarns. Rather they tend to push the fibers out of the way. Thus resulting in fewer runs and better performance for stretch materials.

    Leather needles are used exclusively for leather. Never use leather needles for any thing other than durable non-woven base materials. They have cutting edges along the shaft of the needle which is great for leather but will destroy any woven or knitted material. They are specialty needles and generally harder to find out side the craft and specialty markets.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 11-16-2012 at 12:57.
    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. #7
    New Member mitchrob23's Avatar
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    I am always amazed at the amount of knowledge Ramblinrev is able to drop on these sewing posts. You can learn a lot from his posts. Anyways, I use Guttermann sew all and my machi... er, um I mean thread injecter is straight stitch only so yeah.

  8. #8
    Mescudi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Sharps are just that. Sharp... They are used for tightly woven fabric and are excellent choices for just about anything gear makers would do. The Jeans/denim needles are large sharps as they need to pierce layers of heavy fabric.

    Universal points are a fairly new addition to the scene. They were designed for just about all purpose stitching. They are also the most readily available. If you were doing mass production requiring many layers of webbing I would not recommend them. But for most other uses they are completely acceptable. My own personal preference is sharps, but I usually buy universals just because I can find them easier.

    Ball point are used for knit and stretch fabrics. Sharps and universals can tend to pierce and separate the fibers in the yarns. For woven fabrics that's not a big deal. For knits and stretch fabrics it can create areas prone to failure. Ball points do not pierce the yarns. Rather they tend to push the fibers out of the way. Thus resulting in fewer runs and better performance for stretch materials.

    Leather needles are used exclusively for leather. Never use leather needles for any thing other than durable non-woven base materials. They have cutting edges along the shaft of the needle which is great for leather but will destroy any woven or knitted material. They are specialty needles and generally harder to find out side the craft and specialty markets.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the detailed info! So hopefully what you are saying is that I didn't royally screw up using the ballpoint needles but they are not necessary for the fabrics we use. Is that a fair statement?

  9. #9
    Pag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smuller81 View Post
    Thanks for the detailed info! So hopefully what you are saying is that I didn't royally screw up using the ballpoint needles but they are not necessary for the fabrics we use. Is that a fair statement?
    Ball point needles can create runs in extreme cases but most often they just put more stress on the machine. They're great for knits but as I'm sure you can imagine, pushing a blunt needle through a tightly woven fabric isn't as easy as a sharp one. On higher speed machines ball points shatter on tight wovens.
    --If a cow laughs hard, does milk come out its nose?

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pag View Post
    Ball point needles can create runs in extreme cases but most often they just put more stress on the machine. They're great for knits but as I'm sure you can imagine, pushing a blunt needle through a tightly woven fabric isn't as easy as a sharp one. On higher speed machines ball points shatter on tight wovens.
    What he said.
    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

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