Sewing Machine Needles To Use (and When)

A thicker needle with a larger eye is needed for sewing with heavy fabrics or multiple layers of fabric.

A smaller needle with a smaller eye is best for sewing with lightweight or delicate fabrics.

The size of the needle is indicated by a number, with larger numbers indicating a thicker needle.

Most sewing machines will come with a variety of needle sizes, or you can purchase different sizes separately.

It’s important to choose the right size needle for your sewing project to ensure that your stitches are strong, and the needle does not damage the fabric.

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.

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.

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.

Sewing machine needles to use (and when)

Schmetz needles work in Singer sewing machines

Schmetz home sewing needles work with all major sewing machine brands including Baby Lock, Brother, Elna, Janome, Husqvarna Viking, New Home, Pfaff and Singer.

Home sewing machines use needle system 130/705.

Singer sewing machines use the same needles

Singer quality-crafted machine needles are strong and durable enough for denim fabric hems or industrial zippers.

Intended for all-purpose use, with regular point needles for use on woven fabrics, Singer needles are universal, super-strong and fit all home sewing machines.

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

What 90 100 top stitch needles can do

The top stitch needle is a favorite needle on many home sewing machines.

The 90 100 top stitch needle is for quilting, piecing, sewing, and embroidery.

A thin layer of embedded titanium nitride makes top stitch needles last up to six times longer than standard needles because they resist abrasion.

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.