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Why is My Needle Not Centered in the Needle Hole?
A common concern among Featherweight owners is that the needle is not centered through the needle hole. The short answer has to do with the size of the needle itself.
For example, a smaller size needle will clearly sit on the left side of the needle hole in the throat plate, but a larger needle will be more centered. This is normal, as there is no adjustment on the Featherweight for the position of the needle. Let's answer this common question by looking at the difference in position of the various sizes of original Singer needles.
Below is a photo of an original Size '9' Singer needle. A size '9' needle is very small and similar to a size '10' Microtex we would use today. A fine needle like this would be used on a very close-weave fabric, such as silk or even batiks.
The needle is clearly sitting in the left side of the hole.
Sometimes the needle will look even closer to the left side with a needle this small, but that is okay. The important thing is that the needle does not hit the needle plate.
Below is an original size '11' Singer needle.
Notice how the needle grows in size, but doesn't get closer to the left side of the throat plate hole.
Below is an original size '14' Singer needle.
At this size, the needle appears to be very close to the center of the hole.
Below is an original size '16' Singer needle.
Now the needle looks almost perfectly centered!
Below is an original size '18' Singer needle.
The large size '18' needle obviously takes up more space in the needle hole, but it is about the same distance away from the left side of the hole as the size 9 was.
With each larger needle size, the needle diameter does expand, but it does not fill the needle hole all the way around. A needle only appears to grow on the right side, so that the needle is always the same distance away from the hook. The common fear with a needle being too close to the left side of the hole is that a larger size needle would hit the plate, but the above photos show that the needles only fill the hole more on the right side. If the needles did this on all sides, they would end up hitting the machine's hook as well as the needle plate. This would affect timing and stitches would not form at all.
As stated before, there is no adjustment to the position of the needle, so if your needle is hitting the hole, always start by replacing it. Needles do bend easily, and even a brand new one may have a defect.
To view the table of various needle sizes to fabric, all of our Schmetz needle product pages have the table in their respective item descriptions.