“Between” Needles, When To Use Them

A between needle is a type of sewing needle that is used for hand-sewing fine fabrics such as silk and other delicate materials.

It is called a between needle because it is typically used for sewing seams in between layers of fabric.

Between needles are shorter and finer than regular sewing needles, which makes them less likely to leave holes or marks in the fabric.

They are also tapered at the point, which allows them to easily pass through tight spaces or narrow openings without damaging the fabric.

Between needles are commonly used in fine sewing, embroidery, and other needlework.

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 top, 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.

What the colors on sewing machine needles mean

Most new household sewing needles have two bands of color.

The top color band indicates needle type and the lower color band indicates needle size.

Special use needles, like those used for hemstitching, double eye, and quick threading, only have one color band to identify needle size.

How to tell the difference between sewing needles

Larger needles have a smaller number, while smaller needles have a higher number.

An example, a size 18 needle is thicker and longer than a size 24, which is shorter. To discover which you like best, try a variety of brands, types, and sizes until you find one you are most comfortable using.

Between needles, when to use them

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.

Why sewing machine needles break

Over time, sewing machine needles suffer stress damage or bend slightly, especially when sewing thick fabric.

Too much bend can cause the needle to strike the feed dogs, throat plate, or bobbin case of the sewing machine.

Excessive needle breaking can be avoided by slowing down while sewing or by using a sharper needle.

The best universal sewing needle size

The slightly rounded points of the best universal needles are sharp enough to pierce woven cotton fabrics, but not so sharp as to damage knits.

They come in sizes ranging from 60/8 to 120/19, however, a good starting point is the 80/12 size.

To save money, look for assorted needle packs that include two or three different needle sizes.

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.

When to replace sewing machine needles

We recommend replacing old needles at the start of every project, or after every eight hours of sewing.

Change your needles when they become bent, dull or develop a burr because damaged needles result in broken or shredded threads.

The best machine quilting stitch length

The best stitch length for machine quilting is 2.5 to 3.0 which will give you 8 to 12 stitches per inch.

Adjust your stitch length based on fabric thickness and weight, Stronger fabrics often require fewer stitches per inch, but pieces with heavy padding require more.