I get quite a few queries about needle plates. Questions like: what is the difference between this one and that one? And our newer HP needle plate has some people confused. I am also asked what all the markings on the needle plate are for but I won’t cover that question today. We will keep that for another time.
Janome includes at least one needle plate with every sewing machine. This is the zig-zag plate on all sewing machines which have button holes or zig-zag and other decorative stitches. Some machines have 5mm wide stitches, other have wider 7mm stitches and others still have larger 9mm wide. The opening in the needle plate needs to be large enough to accommodate the side to side swing of the needle as it sews these various stitches. Your Janome sewing machine will have the appropriate zig-zag plate for your stitching.
Straight stitch plate:
Janome highly recommends you use the straight stitch plate when you are doing ……straight stitching. Why? When you stitch with a top load bobbin system, the stitches are formed in such a way that using a straight stitch plate creates nice straight stitch formation. It tightens up the action of the needle bar. When do you use this plate? We recommend you switch to this plate when you are doing 1/4 inch piecing; drapes and bed linen where you have long straight seams; and free motion quilting. Many of our machines are quite sophisticated and when you attach the straight stitch needle plate to the machine, it automatically grays out all stitches which are not straight. Very clever…..no mistakes with breaking a needle on the plate if you try to do a buttonhole?!
Some Janome machines come standard with this straight stitch plate. If not, there may be an optional accessory plate you may purchase from your local Janome dealer.
Our Janome 1600P machine obviously comes with only this plate as it is a straight stitch only machine which sews at a super fast 1600 spm and is a perennial favourite Janome model.
HP Needle plate:
It is essentially a straight stitch plate with left position stitching but on select Janome models (MC15000 Quilt Maker; MC6700P and MC9400 only) the firmware on the machine automatically moves the needle to the left when this needle plate is attached to the machine. Another clever Janome feature! The left needle position and narrow configuration of the HP foot make for wonderfully smooth and neat stitching in lines or curves. This is extremely useful for top stitching; high speed straight stitching and also 1/4 inch piecing for quilting.
Some Janome machines require that you remove the screws holding the needle plate in place to switch out the plates. Other newer models have the very incredible one step needle plate removal where you just press a lever and the plate pops up. No screws, no screw drivers, just easy needle plate removal. Switch out needle plates the very easy Janome way or clean your bobbin area so much easier. Janome thinks of everything!
AND we have one other needle plate which might interest you: the Janome Ultra Glide needle plate and foot. This is a teflon coated needle plate for even easier fabric movement and stitching. Here’s the scoop on this lovely over at sew4home.
Does your Janome have a straight stitch plate? If it does, do you use it as we recommend?
Do you wish you had the Easy set bobbin system and one step needle plate removal ? Please see your local authorized Janome dealer who can show you machines which have these features.
Have you tried the HP foot & plate? Ask your local authorized Janome dealer to show you how slick this is.
Got any questions we have not answered yet in this GLAD YOU ASKED THAT series? Drop us a note in the comment box and we will see what we can do to answer your questions.