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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to use (and when)
The larger the needle number, the larger the blade of that needle. Both needle sizing numbers are typically marked on the package, such as 60/8 and 70/10. Home sewing machine needles are classified as 130/705 H system, which means they should be used in home sewing machines rather than industrial machines.
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.
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