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Multi-Needle Monday: Replacing the Needle

All multi-needle embroidery machines require you to change the needle at some point during ownership. Believe it or not I have been asked this question more than once! Some owners have NEVER changed a needle. I do not know how they have been stitching quality embroidered items without ever changing a needle.

I suggest you read the manual that is included with you machine when purchased. Follow the directions for your brand of embroidery machine and purchase the recommended needles. The tool supplied by my brand of machine is a small Allen screw driver. The screw driver fits into a hole at the top of the needle shaft. One of my cherished tools is a pair of beading tweezers. The tweezers are used to hold small beads, chain links or clasps; I have found them to be extremely helpful to hold the needle in place until I have the screw driver inserted. Always double check that the needle is secure and pushed as far up into the shaft as possible.

Step 1. Allen screw driver and pack of needles- flat back type.needle1bl

Step 2. Beading plastic coated tip tweezers-found at craft stores in beading or jewelry making section.needle2bl

Step 3. Always make sure the embroidery machine is turned off before changing a needle. Locate the hole above the needle to be changed and insert the Allen screw driver into the hole. Turn the screw driver counter clockwise, hold the needle with the tweezers and gently remove from shaft.needle4blneedle5bl

Step 4. Insert new needle into the needle shaft with flat portion facing back of machine, hold in place with tweezers and push all the way to the top of needle stopper.Use the Allen screw driver to tighten the screw; do not over tighten.needle7blneedle8blneedle9bl


*I should point out that Baby Lock/Brother multi-needle machines have a specific tool called the Needle Changing Tool for this function; however I have found that using the plastic tip tweezers works better for me.

If you are having multiple thread breaks and uneven looking stitches change your needle. And always double check your owner’s manual for exact needle suggestions and instructions.


Learn more in my Craftsy class; How to Start a Home Embroidery Business with Marie Zinno.

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  • Belinda

    When I first got my machine, I wondered how often I should change my needles, but could not find anything telling me when. After I had over 1 million stitches I asked an experienced embroiderer and she said “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, if you are not having problems, don’t change them”. So I didn’t, I had well over 10 million stitches before I started having issues, I changed the needles and the issues went away. One thing I do perhaps differently than others is I do not always start embroidering with needle one. If I am only using a few colors, I will mix them up to use 3, 4 & 5, or 4, 5 & 6 rather than always using 1, 2 & 3. That way those needles and needle bars get used too. I love my Babylock six needle!

  • April M

    Wow great tips from Belinda thank you to Marie Zinno fro bringing up subject. The fact is when a needle dulls your machine has to work harder and could cause a needle to bend slightly not even evident to you as you stitch. Could cause a repair expense and down time during production!

  • Judy McDaniel

    I am trying to find the post on the stand along software from last week. in June of 2015. Any help would be appreciated.

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