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FreeSewing

A twin needle from Schmetz

A twin needle stitch is flexible because of the zig-zag at the back.

A twin needle is useful for when you need to sew stretchable topstitching (like when hemming a knit). You can also use it for a decorative effect.

While a coverlock machine is purpose-built to produce a stretchable topstitch, not everybody has such a machine. A twin needle uses two upper threads and a single under thread. This causes a zig-zag effect on the back, making the stitch stretchable. Meanwhile, you get two parallel lines of stitching at the front.

Animated GIF by Ashley