The needle plate, sometimes called the throat plate, covers the area near the needle. There are 2 commonly used needle plates: the zig zag plate, shown above, and the straight stitch plate shown below. In this article you will learn about the differences in these plates and why you might want to have both of them on hand.
The straight stitch plate has a single hole for the needle to enter the fabric and is used for straight stitching only. The zig zag plate is used for zig zag stitching as well as other decorative stitching that requires the needle to stitch from side to side. The zig zag needle plate has a wide slit to accommodate the various needle positions.
Needle Plate Options
Often the only needle plate included in a machine purchase is the zig zag needle plate because it can be used for decorative stitching and straight stitching. For regular straight stitching, it is best to use the straight stitch needle plate because it is less likely the needle will push the fabric into the needle plate.
If you are having trouble with the fabric catching at the beginning of stitching and you are stitching a straight stitch, try changing the needle plate from the zig zag needle plate to the straight stitch needle plate. The video below explains the difference between the needle plates.
Find Your Needle Plate
Want to find a straight stitch needle plate for your machine? Check with your local dealer or click on Sewing Machines Plus to have one for your machine delivered straight to you.
Another alternative if you don't have a single stitch needle plate is to use a scrap piece of fabric the start and end your stitching. These pieces are commonly called "leaders" and "enders". For me, using the single stitch needle plate works better.