Tag Archives: which way do I thread the needle

Which way do you thread the needle?


If you were paying attention last week, you know how to work out which way round the needle goes in any vintage Singer sewing machine.  If you weren’t paying attention, go back and read this post then do try to keep up with us, dear.

So, having got your needle in the right way round, the question now is which way do you thread it?  Right to left or left to right?

Let’s start with a picture of a needle …

picture of sewing machine needle

Note that this needle is seen flat side down, and that you can see a groove running along it from the eye to where it thickens up.  If we turn that needle over so the flat on it is facing upwards, we see that the other side is completely different.

another picture of a sewing machine needle

There’s no long groove on this side.  Instead, the needle has a little “cut-away” section just above the eye.  That’s called the scarf.  I have no idea why.

So OK, which way do you thread the thing?  Here’s a clue …

picture showing thread path at needle of sewing machine

If you look closely at that picture, you can see that we’re looking at the long groove side of the needle.  Check out the way that thread runs down from the last guide to the eye of the needle.  Now imagine that needle going down through your fabric to make a stitch.  What will happen as it does?

Yep, that’s right – the thread will tuck itself nicely into that groove.  That’s what the groove is for, and there’s your answer to the question as to which way round you thread the needle.

picture of needle of sewing machine showing thread path

You want the needle threaded like in the picture above, so de thread can get in de groove, maaan.   Yay!  Always thread from the groovy side, baby.

Sorry about that.

But, I hear you say, what if you can’t see that groove?  What if your eyesight’s worse than mine, you change needles by feel and it takes you all morning to actually get one threaded?  Fear not, gentle reader.  Assuming that you have a serviceable fingernail or two, the good news is that you can very easily feel the groove with the end of a fingernail.

So there you go.  Whatever the machine, find the long groove, and that’s the side you point your thread at.