It depends on the type of sewing machine needle the fabric you are sewing and how often you sew.
A general rule of thumb is to change your needle every 8 hours of sewing time.
However if you are sewing heavyweight fabrics or synthetics then you may need to change your needle more often.
If you are sewing delicate fabrics then you may need to change your needles less often.
How Do I Know If My Sewing Machine Needle Is Dull?
The best way to test whether your sewing machine needle is dull is to try sewing a few stitches through a scrap piece of fabric.
If the needle skips or if the fabric pulls away from the needle the needle is likely to dull and needs to be replaced.
It’s also important to keep your sewing machine needles clean. Debris on the needles can cause skipped stitches and poor fabric penetration.
So it’s a good idea to clean your needles regularly with a small brush or toothpick.
How Long Do Sewing Needles Last?
The lifespan of a sewing needle depends on how frequently it is used and what kind of fabric it is used on.
If a needle is used daily on different types of fabric it will dull faster and need to be replaced more frequently than a needle that is only used on occasion.
The average sewing needle should last anywhere from six months to two years before needing to be replaced.
Sewing needles are made of steel and coated with other metals like nickel or titanium for Strength durability and smoothness when piercing through the fabric.
Over time however the sharp point will dull from extended use and eventually break off entirely.
If you notice your needle skipping over threads or leaving tiny holes in your work it’s time to replace it.
How Do I Know If My Sewing Machine Needle Is Blunt?
If your sewing machine needle is blunt it can cause sticking and skipped stitches.
To check if your needle is blunt you can try the following test:
- Cut a 10cm (4in) length of thread. Try to sew with this short length of thread. If the sewing is difficult or the stitches are not regular then the needle may be blunt.
- Alternatively cut a 14cm (5 1/2in) length of thread and tie it in a loop.
Thread this loop through the eye of the needle and pull it gently until the loop comes out at the other side. If resistance is met when pulling the loop through or if the loop does not come out easily then the needle may be blunt.
- Another test is to try sewing on a scrap piece of fabric. If the needle skips or if the fabric pulls away from the needle the needle is likely to dull and needs to be replaced.
- Finally you can also try to sew a few stitches through a scrap piece of paper.
If the needle leaves large holes or if the paper tears easily then the needle is probably blunt and needs to be replaced.
How Long Does A Hand Sewing Needle Last?
It depends on the quality of the needle and how often it’s used. A high-quality hand sewing needle should last for years if it’s used occasionally.
However a lower-quality needle might only last for a few months if it’s used frequently.
The main thing that affects a hand sewing needle’s lifespan is how often it’s inserted and removed from the fabric.
Every time a needle is inserted and removed from the fabric there’s a chance that it will become damaged or bent.
So the more often a needle is used the more likely it is to become damaged or bent. This can cause the thread to break or make it difficult to stitch fabric smoothly.