Types of Needle Plates


Did you know that there are different needle plates for different sewing uses? Today we’ll cover the differences between each one.


The Standard Needle Plate

Janome includes at least one needle plate with every sewing machine. The standard needle plate with all sewing machines which have buttonholes or zig-zag and other decorative stitches.

The needle opening in the standard needle plate is an elongated oval hole which accommodates the side to side swing of the needle when stitching your machine’s widest stitch, which may be 5mm, 7mm or 9mm depending on your model machine.

In addition to the standard needle plate, Janome also has specialty needle plates, namely the Straight Stitch Needle Plate and the HP Needle Plate.


The Straight Stitch Needle Plate

The straight stitch plate as the name suggests, is used for straight stitching.

It comes with small round needles holes in the plate to prevent fabric from being pulled into the needle plate when sewing, particularly with light weight or fine fabric like chiffon and voile that are prone to getting pulled down the needle plate opening when using a standard needle plate.

The straight stitch needle plate also offers the benefit of a more stable base and support around the needle. When used in conjunction with the straight stitch foot, it results in perfect straight stitch formation.

Janome recommends using the straight stich plate when you’re doing patchwork piecing; free motion quilting; and machine embroidery plus drapes and bed linen where you have long straight seams.

An assortment of Janome’s computerized sewing machines have smart sensors to pick up on when a straight stitch needle plate is attached to the machine and will automatically gray out all stitches which are not compatible for the straight stitch needle plate.

Some of our machines come standard with this straight stitch plate. If not, there may be an optional accessory straight stitch needle plate you may purchase from an authorised Janome stockist.

The Janome 1600P-QC machine obviously comes with only this plate as it is a straight stitch only model.


The HP Needle Plate

While most sewing machines come with one or two needle plates – a standard (zig-zag) and a straight stitch needle plate –  some of our higher end machines comes with an additional needle plate and a special foot that goes with it.

The HP needle plate, along with the HP foot, is a professional grade system designed for accurate, high speed straight stitching.


Essentially it is a straight stitch plate with left position stitching. The left needle position and narrow configuration of the HP foot make for wonderfully smooth and exceptionally accurate stitching in lines or curves.  This is extremely useful for patchwork piecing when you want perfect, scant quarter inch seams; top stitching; and high speed straight stitching.

When the HP needle plate is inserted, the machine senses it automatically and will move the needle right where it needs to be – the left position that is!

You won’t be able to do any zig-zag with this needle plate on the machine as non-compatible stitches will be grayed out. This avoids having to worry about selecting a stitch type that might cause the needle to hit the foot and break the needle and damage the machine.

The HP plate and foot is compatible with only selected models including HMC15000 Quilt Maker, MC6700P, MC9400QCP and MC9450QCP.

Have you tried the Straight Stitch or HP needle plate? Visit an authorized Janome stockist to see the difference they make to your stitching!




[swp_insta_data id="1"]