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.
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.
The best sewing machine needle for cotton
The best needles for sewing cotton fabric are medium-sized needles such as 80/12 and 90/14. They work well with quilting pieces, lightweight upholstery, denim, cotton, silk and other fabrics of similar weight.
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.
How to finish silk seams
For the perfect silk seam finish, wrap the sewn edges together by sewing them in and make sure they are flat. Additionally, shorten the stitch length to 2mm to reduce the number of puckers you have. Lastly, don’t pull the silk fabric through you maching, just guide it, and keep a little pressure before and after the stitch so the silk stays tight.
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.
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.
The strongest sewing machine needle
The strongest useful sewing machine needle for use on home machines is the 120 size used on heavy upholstery and heavy non-woven fabrics. These are popular in Europe for use on some shoe leather and other tough materials known to break lesser sized needles.
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.
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.