Needle types and tips

Needle types and tips


We are often asked about the needles that we prefer to use in the Innova machines, and we always answer that we prefer Groz Beckert Titanium Needles. There are many needles to chose from, so we thought we would show you a couple of the packages that we have and explain the differences.

When choosing needles it is important to first locate the size. The package of needles on the right has the needle pointing where to find the size. In this example, this is a size 18 (or 4.0), and it is most often recommended. It is thick enough to help prevent deflection while not leaving holes that are too large. 

The package to the left is also a size 18, but you can see that the letters in the lower left of the label are different from the other package. This picture shows the needle pointing where to locate the type of tip.  For longarm quilting, the most common points are the FFG and R.  These two packages are the same in size but different in point types.  The package on the left is labeled FFG, on the right, R style. Needle point style “R” stands for sharp.  Sharp point needles have precise fabric penetration, sometimes breaking the weave of the fabric. Needle point style “FFG” stands for light ball point. Ball point needles result in a reduction of potential fabric damage by pushing the weave apart.  

If a needle has the letters GEBEDUR printed on the label, this indicates that the needles are titanium coated. A thin layer of titanium nitride helps keep the point of the needle sharp up to six times longer than standard nickel-plated needles. Titanium-coated needles also have a gold color as an obvious visual queue.  

Both packages are also “MR” needles, which means “multi-directional.”  The MR offers stronger bending resistance and extreme stability.  The scarf (the notched area behind the needle) is deep and long, which gives it bigger loop space to allow extra pick-up security.  The deep thread groove guarantees protection of the thread while changing directions.   

Here at Accomplish Quilting, for most quilting applications we recommend the 18 FFG Titanium needle (it is recommended to use the FFG needle with the Innova). We also of course say use what works best for you. Needles are relatively inexpensive and it's worth having a selection of needle sizes to accommodate the many threads in your thread stash. *Remember --- thicker threads should be paired with a larger needle.

Link to buy longarm needles:

When inserting the needle into the Innova machine it is important to make sure the needle shank is inserted all the way up into the needle bar housing and to make sure the needle is facing at 6 o’clock on the hands of a clock or in other words facing straight forward. There are few safeguards to make sure this can be achieved. One is the scarf or indent of the needle needs to be facing directly backwards towards the rear of the machine, this is the part of the needle that the hook point will pass through. The other safeguard is a very thin pin such as a flower pin can be placed into the eye of the needle and can be used as a directional tool to make sure the needle is facing frontward. The last safeguard which is almost fool proof is to buy a “needle alignment magnet” which is a set of two small magnets that can be placed together or used separately and attached to the flat side of the front of the needle. These magnets will point in the direction the needle is facing.

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