PRODUCT REVIEW: JANOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES

blog needle 1 I recently did a blog post about our new PURPLE tip needles.  (on 10th April – scroll to last month in the Archives on right hand side of this blog home page). Since then, further information about our Janome needles has come to light so I decided that a PRODUCT REVIEW of our needles would be a good thing so that we understand when to use what needle.

purple tips

  1. BLUE TIP NEEDLES – these needles are VERY popular. They were manufactured specifically for general sewing on most fabrics as well as for machine embroidery. The BLUE TIP NEEDLE  is a size 11 needle and has a slight ball point tip which is very good for sewing knits and synthetic fabrics like many of the polyester fashion fabrics as it avoids “flagging”. Flagging occurs when the needle does not pierce the fabric adequately and then drags the fabric downwards towards the bobbin area. All sorts of hassles can result such as puckered, damaged  fabric and thread snags & breaks. When using some knit fabrics and especially synthetics, a slight ball point tip goes between  the fibres of the fabric and thus flagging is avoided.  The SPECIAL  FEATURE of the BLUE TIP NEEDLE  is the oversize eye which accommodates embroidery thread well by reducing tension and stress on the top thread (ever had breaking/shredding embroidery thread?)  It also makes threading the eye of the needle easier.   IF you have certain conditions where you are finding it difficult to sew well with a blue tip needle: skipped stitches perhaps? Then we would highly recommend that you try our new PURPLE TIP NEEDLES.
  2. JANOME PURPLE TIP NEEDLES these are relatively new needles in the JANOME range of needles. These are ball point  needles so are especially good for sewing knits & synthetic fabrics . Like the blue tip needle, they prevent flagging due to the special design. However, the needle is a larger needle than the blue tip needle – the purple tip is a size 14. Not only does it have a ball point, but it also has a cobra head. All this talk of cobra’s is making me look under my bed!! I thought I had left those days behind……I have literally killed a number of snakes….yes, ME myself & I!! Seriously one of them was a cobra, but that is another story of when I lived in Africa where snakes in & around your home can be very common.  Back to cobra head: think of what a cobra’s head looks like when it has risen up (nasty, scary image I know) but can you picture those spines or protrusions either side? Well our cobra head needle is just like that – sort of like tiny wing needle spines or protrusions just above the eye on either side of the needle.  What this does is force the fibers of the fabric apart  and allows the stitch to form properly & more easily – voila! less or no skipped stitches.  This purple tip needle is also recommended for high density embroidery designs as it has less resistance to the fabric & thread build-up >>>> meaning you will get better quality embroidery and less thread breakage…..which is a good thing, right?   Think of thick, dense fabrics like denim and multiple layers of fabric like quilts – purple tips work well for these conditions too.  SO, if you are ever having hassles with skipped stitches on knits or other applications, are trying to embroider something very dense, or are sewing a thick, dense fabric : why not give our  PURPLE TIP NEEDLE  a whirl? We are confident you will see much improved results.  Order from your local Janome dealer today!   See my case in point below.
  3. JANOME RED TIP NEEDLES – our RED TIP NEEDLE  is NOT a ball point needle. It has a sharp point, is larger with a size 14 and is an excellent choice for textiles such as cotton, hemp and most normal fabrics. I tend to use red tip needles for most of my sewing and it is a strong, durable needle and works for most applications where a universal needle is indicated.  It is NOT a universal needle though as it does have the oversized eye (like the blue tip needle) which prevents thread breakage and is great when working with tricky threads like metallic & monofilament/invisible threads.  So, it has advantages over the universal needle which is why I tend to sew with the red tip needle a LOT.

blog needle 2

Here is a case in point – just happened to me TODAY. Follow my thought process: I digitized an entire GR hoop for the JANOME MC12000 using JANOME DIGITIZER MBX’s  Photoclick tool. I was trying to stitch out a jpeg image of my grandchild for an upcoming class on PHOTO CLICK.  I hooped up tearaway stabilizer & 1 layer of 100% cotton. I threaded up with a good strong polyester embroidery thread in the needle and Janome bobbin thread.  OK- so what needle would you think would be the best to use? You guessed right: a JANOME RED TIP NEEDLE.  Well both you & I will have to just think again!! I was literally tearing my hair out as the thread just kept shredding and getting all caught up with the bobbin thread. Mess after mess.

  • I tried using the spool stand thinking making the thread delivery was not good.
  • I tried changing to a top stitch needle – no change.
  • I tried adjusting tension, embroidery presser foot height; speed of the machine, you name it. I was almost out of options and getting a fat headache too!
  • Finally (stupid it took me so long to think of this seeing as I had just been writing this blog post?!)  I decided, what the heck…..let’s try a PURPLE TIP NEEDLE.  Same design, same thread, same fabric, same everything just a different needle.  Now understand where I am coming from. I am not embroidering on a thick fabric like a denim, just regular cotton. I am not getting skipped stitches – rather breaks, shredding & jam ups. But the digitizing IS pretty dense in that there are over 62,500 stitches and most are pretty tiny & tightly packed together – This was the way it digitized the pic automatically in Photoclick. SO, guess what???? The rest of the design is PERFECT: NO tension issues, no more thread breaks….nothing but great quality embroidery. Obviously the density of the digitizing NEEDED that purple tip needle with its fancy cobra head to squeeze between the other stitches to form the stitches properly so that the shredding and bunch-ups stopped IMMEDIATELY!   OK, so I am now definitely sold on the purple tip needle!!!!!

Do hope you find this information useful? Send us questions if you need to clarify or know more.

About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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40 Responses to PRODUCT REVIEW: JANOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES

  1. Kathi Keith says:

    This is a great tool. Any way to get it as a pdf so it can be saved?

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    • ymenear says:

      I use a PC. When I open the page I move my cursor over to the side of the article and then right click>print. From the printer options menu I choose PDF and it saves as a PDF file to a designation of my choice on my computer.

      Yvonne

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  2. Diane Wood says:

    Thank you for the above information about Janome needles. If you don’t mind clarifying for me which needle to use for fused appliqué? Sorry, I’m still confused.

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Diane,

      Thank you for your query. You would probably be sewing through 2 layers of fabric, the fusible product as well as stabilizer so any of our needles that are sharp enough and have a good piercing power to penetrate those layers would work. I would probably start with a universal needle and move to a top stitch or purple tip needle if I found that necessary.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA.

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  3. Lorraine says:

    I have a Janome 500e and recently started having troubles with shredding of the thread. The project was FSL snowflakes using Robison-Anton Iris metallic thread. I’ve used the red, blue, purple tip needles with little success. I’ve recently purchased the Schmetz Metallic needle, 130 MET, 80/12. Is this a recommended needle? Would it be helpful?

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    • janomecanada says:

      Hi Lorraine – Schmetz makes quality needles, and these are sure worth a try! Sometimes metallic threads can be tricky. You might also try slowing the machine or bypassing the very last thread guide above the needle to decrease friction. Happy sewing.

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Lorraine,

      We recommend red tips or top stitch needles for metallic threads. Possibly try our purple tip needles? These needles all have larger eyes which help a great deal with shredding/breaking threads.
      But needle type is not the only factor with metallic thread: Are you using the Janome spool stand which screws into the back of your 500E? Highly recommended that you invest in this as the thread delivery to the machine will be optimum.
      Also: you may need a thread net? or Sewers Aid?
      FSL snowflakes are probably a densely digitized design and metallic thread could be problematic on these type of designs due to the mulitple underlays, etc. The penetration of the needle against layers of metallic can cause thread shredding.
      Ensure you are using a polyester bobbin thread. If you are using metallic top & bottom, you are asking for trouble in my opinion. metallic thread is notorious for being challenging so you need to minimize your risk factors.
      Also another issue to consider is the stabilizer you are using. This can affect stitch out as well.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  4. Teresa Morris says:

    I am sewing a knit hem with a schmetz stretch double needle. For the first several items, no problem, then the thread in the extra needle stand started shredding, and I started experiencing skipped stitches. I switched spools of thread with the regular spool and again shredding from the spool in the extra spool stand. Switched needles, still problems. I am following all the recommendations on the Janome site. http://janome.com/en/learn/techniques/general-sewing/creating-hems-in-knits-with-a-regular-sewing-machine/ Help!

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Thread shredding is usually caused by the thread type or condition, the eye of the needle; and thread tension – which may need to be adjusted. Proper thread delivery to the tension discs of both spools of thread is VERY important. The extra spool pin often increases the tension on that spool and may cause problems. The vertical spool stand which is an optional accessory for many of our Jnaome machine models is much preferable for smooth and even thread delivery.

      Skipped stitches can be caused by the fabric type and needle being used. Some knit fabrics cause a lot of skipped stitches and require specialty needles like our Janome purple tip needles. However, Schmetz twin needles don’t come with Janome purple tips.

      Not sure what Janome machine model nor the exact thread & fabric type you are using. But try adjusting tension settings and improving thread delivery so both spools have the same tension & delivery.
      Ultimately we do not recommend using a twin needle to simulate coverhem stitching. It is not the same thing, does not give enough stretch to the seam or hem and can cause issues depending on the needle, fabric and thread.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  5. jyothi says:

    Where can I get ball point needles. I m in India.

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  6. Nancy von Moos says:

    What about the Purle Needle and the Coverpro models? Don’t they take a completely different type of needle–the EXx705? Do you recommended the Purple Tip needles for the coverpro?

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I have not tried the purple tip needles on the Coverpro as they require an EL needle. But let me know what you discover when you try it.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  7. Beth says:

    Liz, what needle do you suggest on silk crepe de chine? Would a Size 11 Topstitching needle be appropriate since it has a sharp point? Is the blue tip needle also a sharp point, or is it more like a universal needle? Thanks! Beth

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Beth,
      I would use a sharp but small needle. It is delicate fabric so what about trying a size 70 universal? I probably would not try a top stitching needle first due to the thickness of it. Not necessary for silk crepe de chine. The blue tip would be a good choice to try out as well. The blue tip is similar to a universal needle although it has a larger eye for delicate threads.

      Have fun.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  8. kamlesh k. says:

    Past many months, i was juggling wid my sewing machine as it was not stitching properly. Changed many needles as thought they r faulty. Then by luck, fitted this blue tip which was already in box. And it worked wonder. Now it stitch perfectly.

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  9. I have a little Decor Excel 5018 Janome. Can Janome sewing machines take Schmetz needles ( as I have a number of packs of these) or do they have to take Janome specific needles?

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Kerry-Jean,
      Obviously we would love you to use our Janome needles for many reasons not the least of which is their quality and the fact that we have some pretty unique needles like our red, blue & purple tip needles. See this janomelife blog for more information about these needles. I would suggest you check with your local Janome dealer and/or your sewing machine manual to ensure you use the correct type of needle. For example, your DC5018 has a needle threader and we cannot guarantee it will work with all needles (eg position of the eye).

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  10. Debbie Foster says:

    Please help me to understand how to use the needle threader on Janome memorycraft 8200
    I have read the instruction book watched the DVD and think I am doing what you should but my needle doesn’t thread otherwise I love my machine

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Debbie
      The best way to get the information you need is to visit your local Janome dealer who can show you exactly how to use the needle threader. It is a one hand threader so is very practical. It may be that the little hook in the needle threader has been bent. This too would require that you contact your dealer to either be repaired or replaced.

      Liz
      Janome Canada

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  11. Janice says:

    How many hours of embroidery can I use a purple tip needle before I change needles?
    Thanks
    Janice

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Janice,
      I would only use the purple tip needle for embroidery when it was very densely digitized and little loops formed on the surface. The unique feature on the purple tip is the cobra head for preventing skipped stitches. if you are not getting skipped stitches, reserve your purple tip for this! I use a red tip for most of my machine embroidery. The general rule is approx. 8 hours or when you start a new project.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA

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  12. Wallie says:

    Could you or do you know if there’s a pdf available with all this needle info. It would be great to print off and have by the machine for regular reminders. I’d forgotten about the purple tip needles until watching the webinar this AM when it’s all about purple tip and knit fabrics. My daughter in law is gung ho about sewing with knits and I’m trying to “educate” her with best tools and tricks for sewing with knits and these needles are definitely going on her gift list for Christmas. Thanks Liz for your dedication and continued education.

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  13. Melinda says:

    Can you use the purple tip needles for all embroidery then? If I’m embroidering a light-ish design on normal fabric, would the purple tip be overkill? I have a Janome 300e machine.

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Melinda,
      I would suggest the purple tip needles for densely digitized embroideries ( amongst its other great purposes) to prevent those little loops on the top of the embroidery when the stitches don’t form properly due to the high density digitizing. The scenario you describe probably does not need a purple tip. A red tip would be just fine for that.

      Liz
      Janome Canada

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  14. Becky says:

    My Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP has suddenly decided to skip stitches when quilting. I’ve owned it since August 2012 and have had it serviced every year. I’ve tried all that I can think of….changing the needle, cleaning the machine, rethreading and it will not stop skipping. I’m sewing a quilt, cotton on back and front, lightweight batting in the middle. I use King Tut thread #40/3 with a #90/14 needle. I’ve tried other needle sizes as well. Straight stitch is fine. When using a zig zag stitch, it skips. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome! Thank you.

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Becky,
      Sorry to hear you are having a frustrating time.
      1. Have you tried our purple tip needles? If not, I would highly recommend it. These are specifically designed to prevent skipped stitches. See my blog posts on this topic. Search: purple tip needles.
      2. Are you using the STRAIGHT STITCH NEEDLE PLATE? Obviously you would only be doing this for straight stitching. This is highly recommended for any time you do free motion or other straight stitching.
      3. You do not mention if you are using the Acufeed foot or are doing Free motion quilting? Strictly speaking the Acufeed foot should only be used for straight stitching – all the stitches on the flip top lid marked for Acufeed. See also your Instruction manual. The whole way the Acufeed system works is a front & backwards movement. It is not recommended for side to side 7mm wide stitches like zig-zag. This might be why you are getting skipping. Not sure but maybe?
      4. Are you are doing free motion and specifically wish to free motion with a zig-zag stitch? Through all the layers of your quilt? I’m puzzled if this is the case as I would only free motion with a zig-zag stitch if I was doing needle painting which I highly doubt you are doing on top of the layers of your quilt. My recommendation for free motion quilting is straight stitch using the straight stitch needle plate and Convertible free motion foot which comes with the machine.
      5. Another point is: how high above the quilt sandwich is the free motion foot when you lower the presser foot? If it is higher than a mere 1mm, I would highly recommend you lower it using the spring loaded adjustment on the foot. If it is too high you will definitely get skipped stitches and breaking threads.
      6. Another big issue which many people find difficult to believe is THREAD DELIVERY. By this I mean how freely & smoothly the thread gets delivered into the machine & tension discs. If you do not own a spool stand for this machine, I would highly recommend you buy one today! Serious. The Janome one for your machine screws into the back of the machine and I do not care what thread you use, this spool stand will work wonders. See my blog post in January 2014 on sewing for little angels for a pic of the spool stand. Here is a link to the accessory I am referring to: http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Accessories/All/Spool_Stand_2_Threads_for_9mm_embroidery_machines. This shows the picture (only one I could find) but the part # you need is #858402009.
      7. If all this fails to improve things, then sounds to me like you need to have your dealer check out your machine. I am not a technician at all but it could be that the timing might be a little out? Or some other adjustment may need to be made? Again, not sure but worth checking out to prevent further frustration. But check out #1-6 above first.

      Good luck.

      Liz
      JANOME CANADA
      PS I sew on this machine model at home and I LOVE it!

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  15. Elaine Bales says:

    I want to know if janome needles are compatible with my Janome sew mini 1/2 size machine? Please advise

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Elaine,
      I do not believe we have sold the Janome Sew Mini in Canada so I am afraid I do not know what needles it requires. Sorry, but you will need to check this in the manual that would have come with the machine and/or contact your local Janome Dealer where you purchased it for this information.
      Liz
      Janome Canada.

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  16. Lahna Neely says:

    Can I buy Janome needles online?

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Lahna,

      I am not aware that Janome sells needles online. We generally only sell through our network of Janome dealers. We suggest you look at the Dealer locator (will be found on the website for whichever country you live in For example http://www.janome.com for USA; http://www.janome.ca for Canada). Then pick a dealer and contact them to ask if they will ship you some needles. Most of our dealers understand that it is not always possible for a customer to visit a store and are happy to therefore ship.
      Hope that helps you.
      Liz
      Janome Canada

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  17. Gail Marie Eakins says:

    I recently purchased a Janome ( which I love) my first new machine ever in my life .My question is what needles can I use in my machine? It is a 2030QDC

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    • janomecanada says:

      Congratulations Gail! Good news: your new 2030 has no special requirements. Standard flat back sewing needles work in your machine. Janome makes quality sewing needles of all types, depending on your sewing project. The universal needle will sew most projects. A size 12 is fairly average. Should Janome needles not be available, a good brand name is Schmetz. Your dealer can help you to make your selection and better understand the variety of needles to choose from. Happy Sewing.

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  18. Samantha says:

    Great, I am interested in which kind of sewing machine to use for beginners. I wish to be able to make my own clothes less a profession but as a hobby. I always wanted to but I don’t know how to use a sewing machine. I know how to stitch and work with patterns and fabric only need a bit of simplicity having a starter sewing machine. Any suggestions is going to be appreciated..Thank you for the fabulous blog post.

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  19. maj says:

    Liz, thanks for the ‘tips.’ Most helpful.

    I have a question that I hope you can help me with since you work for Janome. I belong to the Yahoo group for the 7700. And time to time I find comments about how lacking the machine manuals are. My exact sentiments and I have contacted Customer Service a few times on this. Useless. Who are the ‘important’ people and how to contact in the corporation about this issue?

    I shouldn’t have to go to Bernina or Husk….to seek out help.

    Thanks for any assistance on this one. Happy Mother’s Day!

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    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Maj,
      It would be good to know what things you feel are lacking in the manuals. After reading your previous comment, I believed you were referring to the optional feet & accessories. But maybe you mean something else? What would you like to see in the manual that is not there? Please be specific.
      I would have suggested you contact the Customer service helpline or email. But it would appear you have already done that. Not sure what further I can do other than forward your comments when I discover who to direct them to: I actually do not know who is responsible for the writing/production of the manuals. But I will find out and then forward your comments – hence a very specific list of things you would like them to add would be most helpful. I am not sure it will be added to the current manual but perhaps for future ones?
      Liz
      JANOME CANADA.

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