Selecting the correct needle for your project is just as important as selecting the fabric, thread, and stabilizer. There are different sizes and types of needles for different types of fabric.
The European metric sizing system for sewing machine needles is numbered from 60 to 110. The American sizing system is numbered from 8 to 18. For both sizing systems, the lower the number the finer the needle and the higher the number the larger the needle. Most needle companies show both sizes on the package.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind: the lighter the fabric the smaller the needle size and the heavier the fabric the larger the needle size. Many times the thread you will be using for your sewing project will also determine the type of needle you choose. For example, when using a fine, delicate thread, be sure to use a smaller needle size.
Sewing Machine Needles:
- Universal (Style 2020) needles are used for all woven fabrics. This needle will penetrate the fabric threads of woven fabrics.
- Ball Point (Style 2045) needles are used for sewing on knits; the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by separating them. (Using a regular point needle on knit fabric will result in skipped stitches and fabric damage, causing it to curl.)
- Chromium Regular Point (Style 2000) needles are recommended for sewing woven fabrics on all SINGER® and QUANTUM® embroidery machines. This stronger needle is longer lasting and will tolerate the high stitching speed of embroidery machines.
- Chromium Ball Point (Style 2001) needles are recommended for sewing knit fabrics on all SINGER® and QUANTUM® embroidery machines. This stronger needle is longer lasting and will tolerate the high stitching speed of embroidery machines.
- Denim or Jeans (Style 2026) needles are recommended for sewing denim, jeans, and canvas.
- Twin Needle (Style 2025) is used for stitching two closely spaced parallel rows at a time – for decorative stitching.
- Hemstitch or Wing-Needle (Style 2040) creates a small hole in the fabric as it sews and is used in heirloom sewing. Use natural woven fibres like linen & cotton for the best results.
- Leather (Style 2032) needles are used for leather and vinyl.
Overlock Machine Needles:
- Universal (Style 2054-42) overlocker needles are used for all woven fabrics. This needle will penetrate the fabric threads of woven fabrics. For use on SINGER® model 14U overlock machines.
- Ball Point (Style 2054-06) overlocker needles are used for sewing on knits; the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by dividing the hem. (Using a regular point needle on knit fabric will result in skipped stitches and fabric damage, causing it to curl.) For use SINGER® model 14U overlock machines.
- Chromium (Style 2022) overlocker needles are recommended for SINGER® model QUANTUMLOCK® 14T and ULTRALOCK® 14SH overlock machines.
Change the needle after sewing two to three garments or after hitting a pin. Fabric damage is often caused by a bent, blunt or burred needle. Uneven or skipped stitches are often the result of using the incorrect needle size or type.
Fabrics below can be of fibre, cotton, linen, silk, wool, synthetic, rayon and blends. They are listed as examples of weight.
|Machine Needle Type||Machine Needle Size|
|Sheer to lightweight: Batiste, Chiffon, Georgette, Organza, Voile and all microfibre and microdenier fabrics.||Regular Point||9/70 or 11/80|
|Lightweight: Challis, Chambray, Charmeuse, Crepe de Chine, Gauze, Handkerchief Linen, Silk, Taffeta, Tissue Faille.||Regular Point||11/80|
|Medium-weight: Broadcloth, Brocade, Chino, Chintz, Corduroy, Flannel, Linen, Poplin, Satin, Synthetic Suedes, Taffeta, Terry, Velvet.||Regular Point||14/90|
|Medium to Heavy-weight: Coating, Damask, Drapery, Fabric, Fake fur, Garbadine, Ticking, Woolens.||Regular Point||16/100 or 80/110|
|Denim and Canvas||Denim/Jeans||16/100|
|Sheer to Lightweight Knits: Jersey, Single Knit, Spandex, Tricot.||Ball Point||10/70 or 12/80|
|Medium to Heavy-weight Knits: Double Knit, Sweatshirt, Sweater Knit||Ball Point||14/90|
|Specialty Fabrics: Leather, Suede, Buckskin||Wedge Point||14/90 or 16/100|