About Size 11 Sewing Machine Needles
Size 11 needles work well on light-medium weight knit fabrics and are the recommended needle size for light to medium weight embroidery.
Size 11 works especially well when quilting with polyester thread. A size 11 needle should be part of a good basic sewing kit.
What a 90 14 needle is used for
90/14 needles are suitable for medium weight fabrics, slightly heavier weight cotton, polyester, linen and lightweight upholstery fabric.
Lighter weight fabrics such as silk require a smaller sized needle. The lighter the fabric, the smaller the needle required.
Embroidery needles vs sewing needles
Embroidery needles have larger eyes than regular sewing needles to accommodate embroidery thread.
The sharp tips on embroidery needles penetrate tightly woven fabric and felt better. Embroidery needles, sometimes called crewel needles, are used for crewel embroidery
Choosing the best needle for free motion quilting
For free motion sewing machine quilting, choose the needle size that best suits the weight of your thread.
As a general rule, 40 wt thread requires a size 75 needle. Unless you are piecing together extra thick padding, a small to medium-sized needle that is sharp to slightly rounded will work fine.
Sewing machine needles that work on leather
Cutting point sewing machine needles work well on heavy leather materials.
For lighter weight leather, something like an R point Groz-Beckert sewing needle works well.
R point needles are considered sharp enough to punch through light leather quite easily.
Best sewing needles to use with silk
Typically, silk fabric, and other lightweight fabrics, require a smaller needle such as a 60/8, 70/10 or 80/12.
70/10 needles work well with your fine silk and chiffon, while 80/12 needles are best for medium weight silk.
Needle type that works best on batting
A quilting needle works best on batting because it has a thin shaft. Machine quilting with a quilting needle is ideal for pushing through batting, and binding materials.
The slightly rounded tip and tapered shaft of a quilting needle easily pierces several layers of woven fabric, without damaging them.
How to know what sewing machine needle to use
As a general rule: smaller needles are best used on lighter weight fabric, and larger needles work best on heavier weight fabric.
The thread used for your sewing project will determine the size and type of needle you choose. In general, product labels will tell you which fabric type they were designed for.
Difference between stretch and ballpoint needles
Stretch needles have a specially shaped ‘scarf’ or groove on the back side, which ballpoint needles don’t have.
Stretch needles are designed to push through stretchy fabrics, like those used for most swimwear. Ballpoint needles tend to miss more stitches than stretch needles in stretchy fabrics.
Between needles, when to use them
Between needles are what quilters use to ‘sandwich’ padding and patterns together. The shaft of a between needle is shorter than average so that it does not bend as easily while quilting.
Between needles come in different sizes, however, the best size for your quilting application is the one which barely allows the thread you are using to fit through the eye of the needle.