When starting a new sewing project, spool of thread, the sewing pattern, and fabric are the basic element which is required initially. And one of the most important parts of this process is sewing machine needles that can never be ignored. Different sewing machine needles are used in different types of fabrics.
The needle is one of the components and replaceable parts of your sewing machine and knowing what to use depends on the type of sewing project you want to create and the type of sewing you plan to do.
Putting extra sewing machine needles in advance is a great idea because you want to change them regularly. Your sewing machine needle should be replaced after every two to three sewing projects, or if you hit the pin.
No matter how simple or sophisticated your sewing/embroidery machine is, needlework is at the heart of the sewing process. Its role is to deliver the thread from above and through the project, while the hook of the machine holds the thread to keep it attached to the bobbin thread. With the right needle, your machine can sew without error. With the wrong needle, even the best machine in the world can skip sewing.
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A Guide to Choosing the Right Sewing Needle
Choosing the right needle for sewing machines can lead to a successful project. Sewing machine needles are specially tailored to your sewing machine and can sew thread through any fabric quickly and easily.
Choosing the right sewing machine needle for your project can sometimes be a hectic task, as machine needles come in an awesome range of sizes and styles. But there are two facts that must be remembered
Many things can determine the type of needle to choose: the fabric you are using; The thread you choose (for example, metallic or embroidered); Or the type of stitch you plan (for example, topstitching or hemstitching). When you are regular, not decorative when sewing, the type of fabric determines the shape of the needlepoint and the weight of the fabric determines the size of the needles.
Sewing Machine Needle Sizes
Understanding the numbers mentioned with sewing machine needles can help you make the right choice and solve machine errors.
All the numbers mentioned with sewing machine needles can help you finding the right needle. It’s a simple labeling system, but you may confused because there are two types of numbering needles one for European and another for American machines and both are different
Before purchasing the right needle check properly is it American numbering that starts from 8 to 19, 8 is fine needle and 19 is thick and heavy needle. On the other hand European number size starts from 60 to 120, start 60 is fine needle and 120 is thick and heavy needle.
Increasing needle number is thicker and heavier needle.
Now let’s look how needle size is important according to the fabric.
Think of a nice window curtain. You need a fine needle-like an 8/60 needle. Using 19/120 will cause holes in the fabric.
Now let’s look at the massive upholstery fabric. If you try and sew through the upholstery fabric with an 8/60 needle, it will bend or break. The use of 19/120 provides a needle that is strong enough to penetrate into the fabric and holds the thread tight enough to fit this type of fabric.
Now let’s look at the combination; you have lightweight fabric, but you want to make heavy top-stitching details with heavy thread. Normally, a heavy thread calls for you to use a heavy needle-like 19/120, but it will leave holes in your fabric. Now you experiment with a needle falling somewhere in the middle like 12/80.
Always test your thread and fabric combination on fabric scraps rather than the item you are working on. Consider needlework dangerous with scissors going into your fabric.
You can list the needle size as 90/14 or 14/90. The order of the numbers does not affect the size.
Sewing Machine Needle Types
Home sewing needles
Almost all sewing machines designed for home (or domestic) use adopt a single flat shank needle system. Depending on the manufacturer it is called 130/705, HAx1, or 15×1. The system works with home sewing machines made by Bernina, Brother, Elna, Husqvarna, Janome, Zuki, Melco, Nechi, Baby Lock, New Home, PIFOF, Poetry, Ricar, Simplicity, Singer, Viking, and White.
50 Pieces HOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES ASSORTMENT (ORGAN 15X1 SIZE#9,11,14, 16, 18) 10pcs per size
00 ORGAN FLAT SHANK 15X1 HAX1 HOME SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES – SIZE #75/11
The stretch needle, also known as a ‘scarf’, allows extra room for the hook to go in and prevents skipped stitches. Such as Lycra, Power Net, Two Way Stretch Knit, Silk Jersey, Spandex and most elastic synthetic fabrics or actually stretch. It is advised to use Polyester or cotton wrapped threads. Stretching fabrics are more difficult to work with and choosing the right needle is very important to achieve a good end result.
Schmetz 1722 Stretch Needles, 130/705 H-S 75/11, 5 per pack
Stretch Machine Needles-Size 14/90 5/Pkg
Wing sewing machine needles
This needle is very important, whenever you try to put your hand at hairloom sewings. This needle is important for hairloom sewing.
The shoulders of the wing needle shank are flared and create openwork stitching on woven fabrics.
Euro-Notions Hemstitch Needle, Size 100, 1-Pack
Euro-Notions Hemstitch Needle: Size 120
Leather sewing machine needles
Chisel point needles are known as leather needles. When we use leather needle they looks and acts like a chisel. These needles are made for to sew on genuine leather, suede and tough projects, but should not be used with PU imitation leather, ultra suede or synthetic suede because the properties of these fabrics are different from those of genuine replicas.
SINGER 2087 Leather Machine Needles, 3-Count
Euro-Notions Schmetz Leather Machine Needles, Size 16/100 5/Pkg
Denim/jeans sewing machine needle
These are for thick and skinny denim stitching. They often come in thick sewing machine needle sizes and are strong enough to sew yourself a pair of jeans or overalls.
Singer Sewing Machine Needles 2020 Red Band Size 14/90 (30 Count)
Euro-Notions 1712Jean & Denim Machine Needles-Size 16/100 5/Pkg
Embroidery sewing machine needle
Embroidery needles are similar to sharps, but they have a larger eye so that they can be threaded with embroidery floss or multiple strands of thread.
These are available in range of length..
50 Schmetz Gold Embroidery Sewing Machine Needles – size 90/14 – Box of 10 cards
Euro-Notions 1712Jean & Denim Machine Needles-Size 16/100 5/Pkg
Microtex sharp needle
Microtex shart needles have a very sharp point as the name implies. These are designed for use with woven fabrics.Accuracy is important for tasks such as topstitching and quilting.
Microtex Sharps in small sizes work well on lightweight, tightly woven fabrics.Because these needles have small eyes, the delicate thread is required and delicate stitches are created.
Euro-Notions Microtex Sharp Machine Needles-Size 12/80 5/Pkg
SCHMETZ Microtex (Sharp) (130/705 H-M) Sewing Machine Needles – Bulk – Size 80/12
Universal needles are the most versatile needle available. They have a slightly rounded tip, meaning they can stitch woven fabrics instantly and work with some knits.
Euro-Notions Universal Machine Needles, 10-Pack (2 pack)
SINGER 4790 Universal Regular Point Sewing Machine Needle, Assorted Sizes, 10-Count
Quilting needles are designed to be used thanks to the multi-layer fabric and wadding reinforced shaft, however, they are quicker than quilters and shorter in length than the sharp needle to achieve stitching. Beginners often use smaller needles such as size 7 or 8, while more experienced quilters often choose the larger option.
SINGER 44729 Quilting Machine Needles, Sizes 80/11 & 90/14, Multicolor 5 Count
Euro-Notions 71834 Quilt Machine Needles-Size 14/90 5/Pkg
How to thread a needle
The concept of threading for sewing machine needle and hand sewing needle is different but eye for both needles are almost same size. Putting white paper or anything with white contrast behind the needle will help to thread it fast.
Threading method is same in both types of needles, first cut the thread edge with sharp scissors because sharp cutting edge will easily thread in to needle.
Try to stiffen the end of thread with water drop or beeswax. It will help to make the thread edge straight. A needle threader in the accessory is available with mostly sewing machines these days. Threading with a built in needle threader is very easy.
Hand needle threading technique is little different from the sewing machine needle threading. Whether you have a small needle or a big needle, you can thread it easy by this technique. This video will help you to understand the technique of how to thread a needle.
Take a thread and put it on your palm, start threading 7-8 inch behind the edge of thread. Start rubbing eye of needle on the thread and you will surprise that thread is automatically threaded in to the eye of needle.