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How to Change the Needle on an Embroidery Machine


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When I first started my embroidery adventure so many years ago, I had a hard time changing the needles on the embroidery machine because it was so small. I know it's hard to see the eye of an embroidery needle when you're trying to change it. The hole is so small you wonder how on earth it holds up to all the work an embroidery machine does in a day.

To make my day a little less stressful when a needle needs changing, I purchased a pair of hemostats, available from medical supply stores, uniform shops and most embroidery accessory companies. They allow you to clamp the needle tightly and easily move it into position. The key is to align the eye of the embroidery needle with the hemostats’ handles.

This tells you where the eye is without seeing it. Simply push the needle up into the needle bar on the embroidery machine and move the handles of the hemostats so they face straight out. (Remember to placed the flat side of the needle or the indent behind the eye of the needle, depending on your needle requirements, in the back) Tighten down the screw and release the hemostats.

For perfect embroidery needle alignment, I like to use the old needle to make sure it's in straight by putting the tip of the old needle into the eye of the new needle, loosen the screw just enough to be able to turn the embroidery needle slightly and turning it until it is in perfect alignment.

My name is Joyce Fletcher and I've owned and operated a custom embroidery shop for over 15 years. My goal is to make life easier for those following in my footsteps and trying to master the art of machine embroidery, be it for pleasure or a small or large business. From one embroiderer to another, “Let's put ‘em in stitches!" Please visit me at


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