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.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Decorative stitches, GARMENT SEWING WITH JANOME, Janome Sewing Machine, JANOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES, Sewing, SEWING NOTIONS and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to PRODUCT REVIEW: JANOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. jyothi says:

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

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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