Recently I discovered Microtex machine needles. The person who recommend them, strongly affirmed that they were the go-to needle for ALL quilters. Her argument for these needles was that they are sharper than Universal needles and that the point is longer than Universals, which makes is glide through fabric creating perfect stitches. She also went on to say that they are the best needles for piecing quilts. Well I was sold. The first chance I got, I purchased a pack, came home and started sewing; that was one week ago.
Since that time I have broken two of the Microtex needles. Both times while I was sewing quilt pieces together and no there were no seams involved. Two 80/12 needles in a 1 week time period!
I feel it is important to note that I am one of those few sewers that almost never break a needle, yes I am serious. I have been sewing on a machine for about 43 years and I may have broken a whopping 10 needles in all that time. I simply do not break needles. I change them when they get dull, but I also use up every last bit of stitching that they have in them. I can piece 3 queen size quilts before changing one out. I also do not stitch over my pins, because if the needle hits a pin it could break the needle or more commonly it sure will dull it. The last thing that I do, which I am sure ensures the life of my needle, is that I sew slowly over seams. For one thing it keeps the fabric from shifting when it hits a hard seam allowance, but it also prevents skipped stitches or clustered stitches. Generally I am not a fast sewer. I prefer to take my time and have accurate stitching lines. I enjoy sewing and I enjoy knowing that I did the very best job that I could possibly do. I don’t do sloppy stitching.
So what is the deal with the Microtex? In my experience, I found that it did not go through my fabric as smoothly, I actually felt the needles pierce the fabric every time it went in. I also noticed that the size 80/12 had a problem going through the fabric when I sewed over seams that had been pressed to one side. I was confounded, this is suppose to be an excellent needle for piecing. So I set out to find some answers and here is what I found.
The slim Microtex needles were designed for accurate stitching, you know the stitching that forms a perfect straight line. I have to say they certainly delivered that. My stitching line was perfection! However Microtex needles were also designed for fabrics such as microfibers, polyesters, silks, foils, etc. that are of a delicate nature. Sure they also pierce through faux leather and plastics, but those materials require a very sharp and narrow point to pieces the fabric.
The company also claims that this needle is excellent for top stitching, which I have no doubt of either because of the sharp and narrow point. I just would not top stitch two or more layers together with the 80/12 needle, unless it was one of the delicate fabrics mentioned above.
Although I used an 80/12, I have used 75/11 Universal needles for piecing with better results on typical quilting cottons. It’s funny though, because the woman who told me about the Microtex needles also said that most quilter do not use Universals. Hhmmm.
The woman who recommended these needles is an expert seamstress and long time quilter, who actually uses and prefers the Microtex needles. For her they are the perfect needle. I, on the other hand, am not sold on them. Breaking 2 needles in 7 days has me thinking that I will not repurchase them for quilting. I will however, use them for garment making when I am using finer fabrics. It should be a joy to sew brocades and silks with.