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Finding The Right Sewing Machine Needle for Your Creative Threads

Finding The Right Sewing Machine Needle for Your Creative Threads

The sewing machine needle is an integral part of the sewing process. The needle should be sharp and strong enough to pierce through several layers of fabric. It also should be able to make smooth and even stitches without causing any damage to your project or machine. Choosing the wrong type of needle can damage your sewing machine or cause accidents when working with delicate fabrics like silk or leather.

Fabric type matters.

If you intend to work with a particular type of fabric, consider this before selecting a needle. Some hands are thicker than others, specifically for heavier materials like denim and leather. Others are thin and delicate, perfect for lighter fabrics like silk or lace. You should also consider how often you'll be using your machine; if it's mainly used to make clothing or curtains, then a sharp needle is probably best suited for this task. If you're focusing on craft projects like making stuffed animals or quilts, it may be better to choose a blunt-ended needle instead because these materials require more patience than speed when sewing them up.

Sewing machine needle types

There are several types of sewing machine needles that you can use to accomplish several tasks.

Ballpoint needles

These are the most common, used for general stitching. To prevent fibres from breaking or bending, they have sharp points and rounded edges.

Embroidery needles

These needles are used for embroidering on suede or leather materials and other fine fabrics such as silk and velvet. They have a large eye to accommodate multiple threads for multicoloured embroidery projects.

Jeans/Denim needles

Because denim fabric is so thick, it requires specialised sewing machines that utilise heavy-duty denim or denim needles with more prominent eyes than standard sewing machine needles. This allows for thicker materials to pass through without ripping or breaking any threads.

Leather needles

These have a sharp point and large eye so that they can easily pierce through tough hides without damaging them (or breaking any thread!), making them ideal for working with items like shoes or handbags made out of leather textiles.

Microtex needles

These needles are ideal for fine fabrics like silk, velvet, and other delicate materials that can't withstand a lot of pressure.

Quilting needles

Multicoloured quilting projects require large eyes to accommodate multiple threads. These needles are also made from exceedingly soft materials, so they won't damage any delicate fabrics you might be working with. Sewing machine needles are the most common type of needle and can be used in any sewing project, whether you're just starting or have been sewing for years! This tool is designed to help you thread your needle more efficiently by placing the thread through a hole at the end of it instead of trying to poke it through yourself.

Stretch needles

Stretch needles are ideal for knits like t-shirts, socks, and other garments made from stretchy fabrics. They have a special coating that helps them grip the material without causing holes or tearing it.

Topstitch needles

These needles have a reinforced point and a large eye, which makes them the perfect choice for sewing seams that need to be topstitched.

Universal needles

These needles are ideal for general stitching and can be used for woven and knit fabrics. They have a sharp point and large eye so that they can easily pierce through tough hides without damaging them (or breaking any thread!), making them ideal for working with items like shoes or handbags made out of leather textiles.

Size your needles accordingly

When choosing your sewing machine needle, the fabric weight and stitch type must be kept in mind. The thicker your thread is, the bigger the needle you want to choose. It's also important to consider what type of material you're sewing—if it's something like denim or canvas, a thicker needle will help prevent shredding and fraying as you sew along.

Match your thread with a needle

Needle size is a measurement of the diameter of the eye. The larger the number, the larger the needle and vice versa. Needle sizes are determined by how much thread can pass through them at once.

When picking out your needles, choose one that is suitable for your thread thickness—too small, and you'll get skipped stitches; too big, and you'll have problems with shredding or breakage. Look for this information on packages and needles, so it's easy to find when shopping online or in stores.

If in doubt, use a universal needle

If you are unsure what type of needle your machine requires, it is best to avoid caution and opt for a universal hand.

Universal needles are used in almost all sewing machines and fabrics. They can be used for practically any material, except for those that require a particular type of needles, such as leather or suede.

Linen and cotton need sharp needles.

A sharp-pointed needle is a way to go for sewing with thin fabrics and knits. You'll also want to use a sharp point needle if you work with slippery or heavy fabrics.

If you're after a smooth ride (and who isn't?), stick with an extra ballpoint needle. This type of needle has an ultra-fine coating that prevents the thread from snagging on the surface of your fabric as it passes through during stitching. Sheer sewing materials, such as chiffon, organza, and silk organza, prevent unsightly lint buildup at seams.

Ballpoint needles are best for stretchy fabrics.

The first thing to consider is that ballpoint needles are best for sewing stretchy fabrics and knits. They are more flexible than other needles, which allows the fabric to move as you sew. When sewing delicate materials such as silk or lace, you may need an extra-wide stitch length when sewing multiple layers of fabric together. It also makes them ideal for sewing over seams since they don't pierce through the threads in your seam allowance as quickly as other types of needles.

Ball point needles are not suitable for fabrics that require a sharp point, such as leather, vinyl, and heavy canvas, because they tend to dull quickly on these materials, causing skipped stitches or holes in your garment when used with thick threads like embroidery floss or heavy weight yarns (like wool).

Heavy-duty fabrics require wedge-point needles.

A wedge-point needle is ideal for heavy-duty sewing fabrics such as denim, leather, and canvas. This type of needle has an angled point that allows you to sew through thick materials without breaking or bending the tip. It also helps you create a stronger stitch using heavy thread because it will enable your machine to take in more fabric as it passes through the feed dogs.

You may also want to consider using a wedge point needle if you're sewing thicker fabrics like wool or quilting cotton.

Quilt with a quilting needle.

If you're a quilter looking for a needle to use with your favourite fabrics, there's an option made explicitly for the task. Quilting needles are longer and thicker than regular sewing needles, which gives them a higher strength rating and makes it easier to push through multiple layers of fabric at once. They also have larger eyes, so they can accommodate heavier threads without breaking.

Heavy or visible stitching needs a topstitching needle.

If you're sewing for the first time or are used to doing delicate work with a serger and want to try something different, try a topstitching needle. Topstitching needles have sharp points and high carbon steel or stainless steel.

A topstitching needle is perfect for decorative stitching like quilting and embroidery because of its point.

Embellish with an embroidery needle.

Embroidery needles are specifically designed to work with embroidery thread, which is usually made of cotton or rayon and has a higher twist than regular sewing thread. Embroidery needles have more enormous eyes that allow the thicker threads to pass through more quickly and sharper points so they don't fray the end of the thread. If you're using a topstitching needle for this purpose (which is also sharp), make sure it's appropriate for whichever type of stitching you're doing, be it chain stitch or French knots.


There are many sewing machine needles to choose from, and it cannot be easy to know which one is right for your project. However, if you consider the fabric you're working with and then determine the ideal needle size for your project, you will be able to find the right needle for any project!