Wait, what are “real” tricks to thread a needle on a sewing machine?
I want it!
If you prefer a video tutorial here is the link to my YouTube channel.
If you are interested in how to thread a needle for hand sewing, check out my other article “End the hassle of threading a needle”.
I didn’t think about writing these tutorials before because threading a needle is kind of routine for me – I do it every day and don’t even think about it, it seems so simple. I can compare it with brushing teeth – we know it’s important but we don’t publish tutorials telling people how to do it because we consider everybody already knows it, right?
So I was really surprised to see that this phrase “How to thread a needle” gets 6600 searches per month in Google! It means that people simply find it tricky and need tips to avoid frustration or improve their sewing experience.
Here we go – learn easy ways to thread a needle on a sewing machine and a serger.
1. First, let’s talk about some general rules to follow.
Don’t turn on your sewing machine while threading a needle if you are just learning to use your sewing machine because you can accidentally start sewing and get injured. Have other sources of light around your sewing machine so you won’t need the light build-in the machine. Read my article “Sewing room lighting idea” to get a summary of what we really need to know about lighting in a sewing room.
But if you already know how to sew with a sewing machine then turn it on and keep it on while threading. Actually, some high-end sewing machines require you to turn it on for threading – my Destiny is one of them.
The thread should go from front to back through the needle and shouldn’t be twisted. Look at the video below – that may happen but you can’t sew with the thread like this.
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Just make sure you cut the thread end with sharp scissors (so the cut is clean and nice without any fibers coming apart). Licking the thread also helps. Hold the thread as close to the end as you can.
Sometimes it takes me many tries to thread the needle this way. I need not only good eyesight but also steady hands!
Or use a headlamp to get some extra light and avoid shadows.
There are two small arrows on it. So hold the threader horizontally with either arrow facing up. Bring thread across the “fork” from side to side.
Gently press the threader across the needle, let go of the thread freely (don’t hold it anymore with your fingers) and pull the threader down on the needle until you hear (or feel) a click. Push the threader – the small metal tongue will push the thread through the eye of the needle as it passes. You will see some loop behind the needle eye.
Bring the rest of the thread with your hand or with tweezers.
Here is another clip with close up and different angles. It’s really very easy and fast. It takes longer to describe it than to do it.
First of all, make sure your needle is in its highest position because the threader has to line up with the eye of the needle. You can do it manually with the handwheel or push the needle up/down button (sometimes twice) if your machine has it.
Hold the thread to the left of the needle. Draw the thread down around the threader guide (or prong) with some tension and bring it from left to right in front of the needle. Depress the threader knob down as far as it will go.
You will see that a very small hook will come out through the needle eye from the back towards the front.
Place the thread under the hook keeping the thread parallel to the table.
Release the threader knob slowly while holding the thread end with your hand. A loop of the thread will be pulled through the needle eye.
Remove the loop from the threader and pull out the thread end through the needle eye.
Sometimes the hook fails to pull a loop of the thread – something can be wrong, then check the needle and its setting.
Unfortunately, built-in needle threaders don’t work well with thick threads (like size ##10-30 weight), very thin needles (size 65/9 and smaller), twin needles, etc. In this case, you will need to thread the needle the regular way.
5. There are automatic needle threaders on modern sewing machines. My Destiny 2 has exactly that. See how wonderful it is in the video below. You practically just press a correct button for automatic threading. This feature is especially nice for machine embroidery when you need to change the thread color many times.
There are double eye needles now. They can be used to sew with 2 threads of different colors at once. They are for decorative use mostly of course.
Let’s see how to thread this double eye needle.
You can do it the regular way.
See also an example of the decorative straight stitch in the video below.
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