A needle’s job is to pierce fabric to create a hole for a thread to pass through. That’s it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. So, what’s a needle size—the number on the packaging or the point of the needle—got to do with it?
The needle’s size is determined by the weight of the fabric it can pierce in a single pass. Thicker fabrics, such as denim, require a larger needle so the hole the needle creates doesn’t pull shut. Cotton and linen, on the other hand, can get away with a smaller needle.
Before you jump into the fray and start sewing with your machine, be sure you know what fabric you are working with.
When it comes to sewing, many things matter: the fabric you are using, the stitch on your machine, the feet you are using, and the needle you are using.
For the beginner who is just starting out, I would say the needle is one of the things that matters the least. Sure, a sharp needle makes it easier to sew.
But, so does practice and experience. For someone who has not sewn a lot of projects, the main thing is to get a feel for the machine and a feel for the fabric.
That said, there are some common mistakes that people make when choosing a machine needle, and they are worth knowing about.
Sewing Machine Needle Types
For the most part, when you’re sewing you don’t need to think about the needle you’re using. The biggest consideration is usually the needle size your fabric calls for, and you usually have a lot of options for finding the right needle size.
But sometimes you do have to consider the needle material. This is especially true when you’re doing something like embroidery or sewing with leather.
Depending on which sewing machine you own, you will probably have a few different needle options to choose from.
The needle you sew with can make a big difference in how your project turns out, so it is important to know what you are using.
The common sewing machine needle is used to sew a large number of fabrics and materials. It is a sharp, slender needle made of steel, coated with plastic material.
Sewing machine needles are small metal needles that are used in sewing machines to stitch together fabric and other materials.
Sewing machine needles differ in size and shape depending on their intended purpose, as well as the type of material being sewn.
There are two main types of sewing machine needles: universal needles and specialized needles.
Sewing machine needles have different shapes and sizes for different purposes.
The type of needle you choose will depend on the type of fabric you are working with and what you will be sewing, although there is some overlap depending on your project.
A straight needle makes a good choice for general sewing, such as sewing clothing or sewing a set of sheets.It’s also good for quilting and hand sewing heirloom quality projects.
A stretch needle also called a jersey needle, is for sewing stretch fabrics like knits. It has a long, thin eye that won’t break when the fabric is stretched.
A universal needle is similar in appearance to a stretch needle, but it is for all-purpose sewing. Universal needles are used to sew most woven fabrics, while specialized needles are used to sew a specific fabric.
But there is still so much to learn beyond that. What about the needle size? What size needle should you use with your material?
Sewing Machine Needle Sizes Types
The modern sewing machine needle is a slender, pointed instrument made of high-grade steel that is used for making the thousands of tiny holes in fabric necessary to stitch clothing, household furnishings and other items.
Sewing machines and their accessories come with a variety of sizes and types of needles.
You can buy them in packages of the same size needles, or as a set of different sizes. If you don’t have your manual to tell you the sizes of your needles, you can look at the packaging of the needles to see.
These needles are available in a wide range of sizes, each with a different diameter. While the most common size is 14-18 needles, there are a number of other sizes that are available to help sewers do specific types of work.
The sizes of sewing machine needles are shown in millimeters or in a combination of millimeters and a letter. The number of the needle size ranges from 0 to 19. The larger the number, the smaller the needle. For example, a size 15 needle is smaller than a size 10.
Twin needles and triple needles
As a quilter, you will probably run across a time when you need to use more than one needle on your sewing machine. There are two different ways to accomplish this: you can use two needles, or you can use three needles.
Which will work best for you? It depends on what you are sewing, and the type of needle you are using.
Twin Needles A twin needle is essentially two needles attached to one shank, and it is used when you want to create a double row of stitching. The stitches from each needle will line up together.
Twin needles are used to create decorative stitches, like the zig-zag stitch or stitch that is used on the top of a quilt sandwich.
Choosing the right needle for your sewing machine is a fairly simple process. You just need to know what type of machine you have, what fabrics you plan on sewing with, and what type of needle you want. The needle you choose will be determined by what type of fabrics you plan on sewing on.
If you plan on sewing with lightweight fabrics, you will need a universal needle. If you are planning on sewing heavy-weight fabrics, you will need a ballpoint needle. It is also important to remember that sewing machine needles are graded by number. The larger the number, the heavier the needle. The heavier the needle, the thinner the fabrics you can sew with.