Wednesday, February 27

Twin Needles - how to

No this isn't another post about my twins, rather the wonders and joys of the twin needle.
I really enjoy sewing knits. They are quick and easy. Knits don't usually need closure of any kind so no zips or button holes and they don't require fitting lines. Best of all they are comfortable to wear and don't need ironing.

The TRICK to getting a professional look when you sew knits is how you finish it.  This is where you need a twin needle. 

What is a Twin Needle
As the name suggests, a twin needle is two needles together. They come together on a single shank (needle top) that goes into your machine where you normally insert the needle.

Different types of Twin Needles

There are a couple of different types of twin needles. I use the schmetz brand and in this brand I have the stretch needles which have a blue plastic piece on them. The schmetz for woven fabrics are red. Like with all needles - they do work better for the purpose for which they are designed.

Then within each category, you have the option of widths. This is about the distance between the two needles. This is mainly aesthetic and when sewing hems on knits, I prefer a larger gap - such as hte 4,0/75 as I find the hems sit flatter. I find with the narrower twin needle, the fabric between the two rows of stitches pops up a little.

How do I thread the machine?
The bobbin is the same as usual.

Insert the twin needle into the needle clamp ensuring it is pushed up as high as it will go.

You will need two top threads - again these are threaded as normal. Sometimes through the tension or the thread take up lever there may be option for the threads to go on opposite sides. If there are, take this option, but don't worry if there is not. The threads can be threaded together all the way to the needle.  ( I have used difference colours for the demonstration - normally these would be the same)

At this point, thread each needle with a separate cotton. Pull the tails to the back.
Now you have three threads you are ready to simply sew. Just remember, when you are sewing with the twin needle, the stitch at the top is the twin straight stitch, but at the bottom it is zig zag. So you will need to sew your hems from the top , or right side up.

How does it work?

The twin needle is great for knits because it gives you a neat hem that looks on top like a straight stitch, but underneath acts like a zig zag. This way it gives you the stretch without breaking the seams. It also stops the fabric from rolling which knits have a tendency to do. Finally it gives you a professional finish so no one will believe you have homemade clothes.

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