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Shank: The Shank is the long part of the needle. The diameter of the shank affects how thick of a hole it makes in the fabric and how big the eye of the needle can be, and thus how thick the thread can be. Ideally, the eye of the needle is just big enough for the thread. Too much extra room in the eye causes extra wear and tear on the thread. Thicker threads and thicker fabrics, obviously, require thicker needles. Besides diameter, flexibility is another important factor. More rigid fabrics, like denim, need more rigid needles.


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