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  1. #1
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Sewing for Downproofness

    I have every confidence my Impetus fabric from BWDD is downproof, however my needle holes are not. What size needle and thread do people typically use for 850+ down applications? Does thread tension need to be dialed down to keep from pulling on the holes as they are stitched? I heard longer stitch length is better since fewer holes are made; I'm guessing down can't escape between stitches so long as seams are rolled/felled properly?

    Thanks for the advice,
    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
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  2. #2
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Well, I'm new to thread injecting but I just used a ball point machine needle on a tarp I just did after MrClean417 mentioned them in one of my threads. They push through the material as opposed to cutting through It semed to work well even going through grosgrain. Using a smaller needle may be better than a bigger one but as I said I'm still new.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    My DIY UQ, 1.1 ripstop from DIY Gear supply, I used a medium sized sharp needle... no leakage, didn't do anything special...

    You will lose the occasional feather or cluster, but it isn't a big deal...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  4. #4
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Well, I'm new to thread injecting but I just used a ball point machine needle on a tarp I just did after MrClean417 mentioned them in one of my threads. They push through the material as opposed to cutting through It semed to work well even going through grosgrain. Using a smaller needle may be better than a bigger one but as I said I'm still new.
    A ball point needle is not recommended for woven fabrics. They are designed and intended for knits and stretch fabrics. A sharp needle does not cut the fabric, rather it pierces it. The yarns of the woven fabrics are pushed aside intact by the sharp point. By comparison, a sharp needle on knits or stretch fabrics can pierce the fibers resuliting in a higher potential for the strands breaking and weakening the integrity of the knit or stretch.

    While using a balll point needle will not damage the woven fabric per se, it can present problems for the machine by pushing lightweight fabrics in the throat plate and creating issues for the feed dogs and stitch quality. It also adds a level of stress on the machine. All in all for gear making _I_ recommend a sharp or universal points. Never use a leather needle on anything but leather and other heavy weight non-woven, non-knit fabrics. A leather needle does cut the fabric and will destroy normal fabrics.
    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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  5. #5
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    A ball point needle is not recommended for woven fabrics. They are designed and intended for knits and stretch fabrics. A sharp needle does not cut the fabric, rather it pierces it. The yarns of the woven fabrics are pushed aside intact by the sharp point. By comparison, a sharp needle on knits or stretch fabrics can pierce the fibers resuliting in a higher potential for the strands breaking and weakening the integrity of the knit or stretch.

    While using a balll point needle will not damage the woven fabric per se, it can present problems for the machine by pushing lightweight fabrics in the throat plate and creating issues for the feed dogs and stitch quality. It also adds a level of stress on the machine. All in all for gear making _I_ recommend a sharp or universal points. Never use a leather needle on anything but leather and other heavy weight non-woven, non-knit fabrics. A leather needle does cut the fabric and will destroy normal fabrics.
    Thanks Rev! What size needle do you recommend?
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Thanks Rev! What size needle do you recommend?
    I don't. I use a large needle because my eyes can't see the eye in a smaller needle. I don't think it matters all that much but I also don't work with down. So I would say whatever you want to use is what I would recommend.
    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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  7. #7
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    I've been using 70s for 30d and under and 90s needles for 70d.

    I tend to use Microtex needles.

  8. #8
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    I have every confidence my Impetus fabric from BWDD is downproof, however my needle holes are not.
    I initially had this concern until I realized that the number of needle holes are miniscule in number compared to the vast number of intersecting thread "holes" in the fabric itself.

    Not to mention, all the stars and planets have to align for the "sharp end" of a single piece of down to match up to any needle hole and receive the force at the correct angle to push it through. Not something that concerns me, in other words.

    I use a medium sharp needle, and change them often. Practice on scrap to get the tension just right (and read an owners manual).

    Rain Man

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    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
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  9. #9
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Sewing for Downproofness

    I have sewn down quilts using fabrics ranging from 30d, 1.1 oz/sy nylon to 7d, 0.67 oz/sy and using down from 800 to 900 fill power. I sewed them with a number 11 needle with either a sharp point or a universal point and Gutterman Sew-All polyester thread. There has not been any leakage of down from any of my quilts.

    BTW, I start every new project with a fresh needle. (Ramblinrev taught me that)!
    Last edited by MAD777; 06-08-2013 at 06:15.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Awesome, it sounds like this is really nothing to worry about. At least compared to remembering to sew up every last inch of seam perfectly before fluffing the quilt the first time

    I'm glad to hear the Guttermann all purpose poly stuff works well; I've had great success using it for every project I've done so far. The 1.0oz fabrics are so thin though, that I think a narrower thread will simply stitch better. And good call on the sharp point; I've noticed my ball point occasionally will jam thin stuff like sil down into the feed dogs if I don't hold it tight, and it makes sense that this will only get worse with thinner materials unless the needle is sharp.

    I'm trying like heck to get my bug net finished up tomorrow, so I can try to get started on the quilt before overtime completely burns me out

    Thanks again for the advice,
    TCB
    "We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains."
    -Li Po

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