The information presented here is a guideline only. Fabrics, backing brands, needle brands, thread type and size vary from company to company. This guideline is meant to give the novice user a general guide. Sharp or ball point needles are used for most embroidery. Many other types are available for special use, leather points, Teflon™ coated, and titanium to name a few. Whatever brand, type or size you are using, the thread should easily pass through the eye of the needle. The needle creates a hole for the thread to pass through, sharp points cut a hole, ball points separate the fibers to create a hole without cutting the fibers. What you are sewing plays a big part in the needle size you select. Usually heavier fabrics require larger needles to prevent needle breakage and punch a big enough hole for the thread to pass through. Commonly cutaway and tearaway backings are used. Backings come in a variety of weights and stability. Cutaway is normally used for knit fabrics and tearaway for woven fabrics. The key to selecting the correct backing is remembering why backing is used: to stabilize the fabric so the machine can form a stitch. The less stable the fabric the more the need for backing. Experiment with different combinations. You might also try laundering your experiments. Different designs can also affect the need for changes in needles and backings.
We hope the following information is useful to you.
|Lt Weight Denim||70-75 Sharp||Tearaway||None||Hoop Tight|
|Med. Denim||75-80 Sharp||Tearaway/None||None||Hoop Tight|
|Heavy Denim||80 Sharp||Tearaway/None||None||Hoop Tight|
|Oxford Shirting||70-75 Sharp||Med. Tearaway||None|
|Dress Cotton Shirting||70 Sharp||
|Pique Knit||70-75 Ball||Lt./Med.Cutaway or Polymesh and Tearaway*||Yes||Hoop smooth, don't distort knit.|
|Cotton Interlock||70-75 Ball||Lt./Med.Cutaway or Polymesh and Tearaway*||Detail -Yes||Hoop smooth, don't distort knit.|
|Sweatshirts||75-80 Ball||Med. Cutaway||Detail -Yes||High stitch density or running on tubular frames may require more or heavier backing.|
|Lt. Weight TShirts||70-75 Ball||Med. Cutaway or High Density Tearaway or Polymesh and Tearaway*||Detail-Yes||Light TShirts may not hold some embroidery well, problems may not show until laundered.|
|Caps, Woven||75-80 Sharp||Med. to Heavy Tearaway||None||Caps with fused buchram may not need any backing. Backing should completely cover the sewing area and be hooped with the cap.|
|Caps. Corduroy||75-80 Sharp||Same||Detail-Yes||Same. Extra underlay may eliminate the need for topping.|
|Canvas||75-80 Sharp, maybe 90, depending on weight of canvas.||Tearaway or None||None||Hoop tight.|
|Cordura/Coated Fabrics||Same, maybe teflon or titanium coated.||Tearaway or None||None||Watch for build up of the coating on needles.|
|Terry Cloth||70-75 Sharp||Med. Tearaway||Yes||Extra Underlay|
*Many left chest designs can be sewn very successfully on knits using a combination of our Polymesh and a Medium to Light Tearaway. Hoop 1 piece of each with the knit garment, have the Polymesh next to the garment and the tearaway as the outside layer. Polymesh is very successful when embroidering on light colors or white that are sheer enough for a standard cutaway to be visible. Once you are finished embroidering the garment pull off the tearaway and trim around the Polymesh.