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How To Know What Sewing Machine Needle To Use

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.


Explore the Top Rated Sewing Machine Needles for ideas and suggestions.

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.

What the numbers on sewing machine needles mean

The numbers assigned to sewing machine needles represent the fabric thickness they are able to sew. Larger numbers are capable of sewing thicker fabric. Conversely, smaller numbers are for sewing lighter weight fabrics. Care must be taken to match needle size with project material for best results.

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.

How to tell the difference between sewing needles

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

Needle size for sewing vinyl

Vinyl is a heavier weight fabric requiring a larger size needle to handle thickness without breaking. Before starting your next vinyl project, prep your sewing machine with a leather or denim needle size 90/14. For perfectly symmetrical stitches in vynil use a denim twin needle.

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.

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 enought to punch through light leather quite easily.

Different sizes of sewing machine needles

The numbers on sewing machine needle packages represent the thickness of the fabric you are able to sew with those specific needles. The larger the number, the thicker the fabric you can sew. Conversely, smaller needles are for sewing finer fabrics.

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.

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