Anatomy of Sewing Machine Needles

A sewing machine needle consists of:

  • shank – clamped by the sewing machine’s needle holder

  • shoulder – where the thick shank tapers down to the shaft

  • shaft – a length suitable for driving the eye and thread through the material and down to the bobbin.

  • groove – cut in the back of the shaft to release the thread into a loop that aids the hook or shuttle to pick up the thread

  • scarf – provides extra room for the hook or shuttle to pass close by

  • eye – carries the thread

  • point – penetrates the material by either parting the threads or cutting a hole in the fabric


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