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For the most part, the majority of machines made today use what is now referred to as Standard needles, Basically, this means it is a 15x1 needle here in the states and an HA-1 on the European market. I'm not ready currently to open a discussion about all the different cross-references for the non-standard needles. Instead, I would like to share some different tips and tricks that can be used when there is more need than options. Also, I would like to clarify that because of all the different names and brands that some manufacturers have used over the course of the last century I am going to refrain from using (branded) names and only use the manufacturer's names when necessary. I will use the needle type or style.
When our herd started growing it didn't take very long before we ran into a snag. We were first introduced to a non-standard needle in the form of a National sewing machine, It happened to be a VS machine that that had the original 120-year-old manual with it. And you guessed right it calls for a 20x1 needle. There was one in it so I had the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize the exact differences between it and the common 15x1 needle. The difference between the two is at the clamp end. The point to eye difference was nil as well as the actual shaft length, But the shank end where it is clamped into position was longer,which means the clamp channel is longer. If a 15x1 needle is substituted and fully seated into the channel then the needle is too short to allow a stitch to form. But if it can be scooted down almost an eighth of an inch (3/32nds-thickness of a new dime) and still clamp securely it will pick up stitches and sew just beautifully. It may be necessary to adjust a smidge due to machining differences. Since learning this I have heard of others who were not so lucky and the needle would not secure in place. Currently, we have eight different machines that are using this cheated system, Including a National made rotary machine and 3 different New Home VS machines. I don't guarantee it to work in all situations requiring a 20x1 needle but given my personal success over a variety of attempts it is a viable effort to try in a pinch.
|20x1 needle vs 15x1 needle|
|206x13 needle vs 15x1 needle|
One last little tip before I go. If you are down to the last needle in the pack and you realize it is defective in that it has a burr on the tip, it can easily be removed by using the technique above with the exception of the angle on the needle. Use an angle of 10 degrees or less and don't over sharpen to the extent it shortens the needle, With an angle that flat it would take hours to shorten the needle enough to make a difference anyway. Hope you find this helpful or ridiculously funny either way, HAPPY SEWING,
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