Stabilizers title


There are four basic types of needles - sharps, ball points, wedge points and metallic. These are fairly self explanatory as to what they are but you need to know which needle to use when.
  • Sharps - Yes, they are sharp needles. They have a very sharp point that will penetrate threads.

  • Bag Points - They are a little bit different than the sharp in that they have a rounded point These will not penetrate threads as easily and will more than likely go between the threads instead of penetrating them.

  • Wedge Points - These have a sword-like point. They are very sharp but instead of making a round hole penetration they will make more of a slit.

  • Metallic - These needles are made especially for metallic threads. The eye of the needle is shaped a little differently thereby allowing the metallic thread to flow smoothly through the needle.
All of the above types of needles come in various sizes. The lower the number, the smaller the needle.

For very fine fabrics such as bridal satin, satin, silk, linen or similar fabrics, you will want to use the smallest needle you have. A #60/8 Sharp, #65/9 Sharp or #70/10 Sharp would be appropriate sizes for this type of application. For denim and heavy woven fabrics, you will want to use a larger needle to penetrate this heavy fabric. For this application you will want to use # 75/11Sharp, #80/12 Sharp or #90/14 Sharp. Obviously these are ranges for these applications and you will need to make the decision which needle is best for your particular application. For knits and loosely woven fabrics you will want to use a ball point needle. The same size constraints will apply to these fabrics as well. The finer the fabric, such as jersey knits and pique knits, the smaller the needle. If you are sewing on a loosely woven fabric such as tapestry you may also want to use a ball point needle. These will more easily go between the threads of the fabric instead of penetrating them.

Wedge point needles will be used for vinyl, leather, and fabrics that are not woven per se. The theory here is that the wedge point will make a small slice instead of a round hole. In embroidery, the stitches and needle penetrations are so close together that if a large hole were made in these types off fabrics, the design might be "cut" out.

Metallic needles are sharp needles and have a hole that is almost rectangular This allows for the stiffness of the metallic thread to flow through the needle very easily thereby creating less friction and less thread breaks. Sizes for the metallic needles apply here as mentioned in the above paragraphs.

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TENSION - Not Yours, The Thread's

When machine tension is right, your machine sews beautifully. When it's not, you can pull your hair out Getting it right is tricky. Most of us know the basics. The bobbin thread should be the middle one-third of the back of your stitching. This is easy to say, not so easy to achieve consistently.

There are several factors that can affect your machine's tension. Upper tension is obvious~ the first thing you should check. The easiest way to check your tension is to sew out three upper case Is. Check the balance of the upper thread to the bobbin thread. If you don't have enough bobbin thread, check to see if the upper thread is too loose. This will also indicate that your bobbin thread is too tight. Check both to see if they are within the guidelines of your machine. Do not adjust the bobbin thread more than a quarter turn of the screw at one time. Turn the screw counter clockwise to loosen the tension and clockwise to tighten it (Righty-Tighty - Lefty-Loosie). After adjusting, check the tension again by sewing out the three Is.

Thread type can also affect your tension. If you are using rayon thread, your tensions will have to be a little looser because the tensile strength of rayon is not the same as that of polyester. Polyester can stand a tighter tension and needs a tighter tension to avoid looping.

Your needle may also affect your tension. If you have a dull needle it may not be picking up the bobbin thread exactly the way it should.

Speed can also affect tension. If your tension seems a little too tight, slow the machine down a little and see if this changes it.

Also check your needle depth as well as timing of your machine if none of the above adjustments work.

Once you get the hang of adjusting your machine's tension correctly, YOUR tension level will drop as well.

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Monogram Placement

The correct placement of monograms is subject to many variables. Surprisingly, tradition is not a big factor. The size of the article, the size of the monogram, the ease of hooping, and the customers preference are the most important factors to be considered After some experience, you will become familiar with where monograms look best and what sizes and thread density you prefer for various materials.

Here we provide you with some guidelines to follow when monogramming these popular items. Feel free to change them to suit your needs and taste.

TOWELS - Place the monogram on the opposite side of the label on the opposite end. (Measurements are from the bottom of the monogram.)

WASH CLOTHS - 1 1/2" above the hem or 1" above border.

HAND TOWELS - 2" above hem or 1 1/2" above border.

BATH TOWELS - 4" above hem or 2" above border.

BATH SHEETS - 4" above hem or 3" above border.

SHEETS - The bottom of the monogram should be centered about 2" above the wide hem line on the top side of the sheet.

SHIRT CUFFS - To place the monogram in the top center of the wrist, start 1" from the center of the cuff toward the buttonhole and 1/4" to 1/2" above cuff edge. The bottom of the letters should fall at the bottom of the cuff.

TIES - Place 2" to 1 1/2" up from the bottom tip or 9" to 11" up from the bottom tip when worn with a vest.

GOLF SHIRTS, ETC. - Place 7 1/2" to 9" down from the left shoulder seam and 4" to 6" over from the center.

LADIES SWEATERS - Place 3 1/2" to 4 1/2" down from the collar and centered on the front.

SWEATSHIRTS - Place 3" to 3 1/2" down from the bottom of the crew neck edge.

LADIES ROBES - Place 4" to 6" down from the left shoulder seam and 3" to 5" over from the center.


SATIN JACKETS - For designs on the left breast area, place 3 1/2" to 4" over from the center and 6" to 8" down from the shoulder seam. For the back of the jacket, the placement depends on the size of the design and the s of the jacket. A design or lettering can be centered anywhere from 6" to 9" down fort the seam on the collar WOMEN'S FURS - Right side at waist level in the lining.

NOTE: Monograms and names should be place on the left front unless otherwise specified. For children's clothing, these measurements should be scaled down.

NOTE: Another way of determining the correct placement of a left chest design on any size is to draw an imaginary line vertically from the top the shoulder down and then draw another line horizontally through the middle of the sleeve. Where these two lines intersect is your correct placement. This should work on almost any size garment.

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The Stabilizing Factor

Taking The Mystery Out Of Backing

One of the most frequently asked questions is "What kind of backing do I use?" Because we've been through this just as you have, we thought a few guidelines might be helpful. The following suggestions are our own tried and true rules. You may have some other thoughts and feelings about backing.

The reason for using backing is to stabilize the design you are sewing on the garment. This is the foundation of your design and we all know if we don't have a good foundation in any walk of life or project, the whole thing will come out wrong. So let's take these principals to the embroidery business. If you build a skyscraper, you better have a good foundation, this also applies to a large stitch count. The more stitches your design has, the more backing you will need. If you only have a light weight backing, use several layers of backing. Four is not too many. You will have to use some common sense judgment on this. Sometimes multiple layers of backing is better than using one layer of a heavier backing.

Just as the number of stitches determines the quantity of backing, the fabric type will determine the type of backing you need to use. The standard rule is if the fabric stretches, use cut-away, if it doesn't, you can get by with tear-away. Common sense is also a bonus here as well. Sometimes if your stitch count isn't too heavy you may be able to get by with a quality tear-away on knits.

One thing you do want to make sure you check is that your backing doesn't stretch. Some backings may not stretch vertically or horizontally but may stretch diagonally. If you have any of this type of backing, use it for insulation in your walls. That's about all it's good for. I don't know how many times people have sent me knits that they've sewn a design on and the design didn't come out right. What was wrong is that they used a backing with a diagonal stretch.

If you have any other comments or questions about The Stabilizing Factor please let us know.

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Spray Adhesive

A Very Good Friend

Most people have avoided using spray adhesives because of horror stories they've heard about clogging up machines. This is very far from the truth about some spray adhesives. Every spray adhesive which can be purchased is not good for your machine. However, there are a few good ones on the market that have been recognized in the industry as not only working very well but do not clog up your machine.

There are many uses for spray adhesive. The most common use is for applique. (See our applique instructions in this catalog.) It can be used in several ways for applique.

  • If you have a paper, cardboard or even a plastic pattern for your applique, you can use spray adhesive to keep your pattern secure to the fabric during cutting and placing. This allows you to spray the adhesive on the back of the pattern and place it on the right side of your fabric. Once your fabric is cut, leave the pattern on the fabric to give your fabric more stability while placing it on the stitching line of your applique. Just spray the wrong side of the fabric, place it on the stitching line and gently pull the pattern off the fabric. The fabric will stay in place and you haven't stretched it out of shape.

  • Spray adhesive can also be used to position garments or items that cannot be hooped. These can include caps, purses, bags, small items that are smaller than your smallest hoop. just hoop a piece of backing, preferably a cut-away, and spray your item to be sewn. Place it in the hoop just as you would if you had hooped it and sew as usual. Your item should stay in place as you sew.

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