Okay lets get to the instructions...............You are happily pleating a way when you hear the most dreaded of sounds to a smocker..........Crunch! :-(
Of course the broken or bent needle is usually in the middle of your pleating project. Before I would remove everything from the pleater and start over.
That was until I learned how to replace a needle in the middle of my pleating from Judith Adams at a SAGA convention a few years back. Yeah Judith!
The first thing to do after you hear the crunch is to clear the pleats off the ends of the needles. Okay just to be honest, the first thing I do after I hear a needle break is to talk to my pleater. I'll let you fill in the words..........
Elevate the front of the pleater with a spool of thread or a book.
If the needle broke in to pieces, make sure you find all the pieces.
As a matter of habit, I always knot one end of my pleating threads when I am threading my needles.
Remove the broken or bent needle and dispose of properly. I use an old medicine bottle with a Janet....... I mean child proof lid.
Re thread the pleater thread with a new needle.
Look closely at the needle holes left in the fabric. They will be important in getting the new needle in place.
Take your new threaded needle and weave it through the needle holes on the last pleat. Take note at the direction of the curves on the needle.
Push the tip of the needle into the needle slot and then lay the needle down into the corresponding grove.
Here is another view.
Slowly turn the handle of your pleater and continue pleating.
When your pleated fabric comes off the pleater there will be a few missed pleats where you changed the needle. That is okay. The pleating row above and below can show you where the pleats are. You could also back smock the area of missed pleats if you want.