Types of Sewing Machine Needles: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

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Everyone in the Types of Sewing Machine Needles Industry Should Know

To get the most out of your sewing machine needles, it’s important to know the different types of sewing needles available. Use the appropriate needle and you’ll avoid mistakes like missing stitches and damaged threads. Given that there are several types of sewing needles, we’ll go over what each one is used for, as well as how thick it is, in this piece.

Sewing machine needles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Sewing machine needles come in eight varieties. Ballpoint Needles, Regular Point Needles (Sharp), Quilting Point needles, Topstitch Needles, Embroidery Needles, Wedge Point Needles, universal point needles and Jeans Needles are included in this collection.

Here, you’ll find out what types of sewing machine needles you’ll need for your next project. In addition, the many qualities of each sewing machine needle type will be discussed, as well as which one is most suited to which kind of cloth.

Sewing Machine Needle Sizes Explained

types of sewing machine needles and uses

Ballpoint Needle

The ballpoint needle is the first kind of sewing machine needle and is designed for use with stretch fabrics and knits. The ballpoint needle has a circular pointed tip rather than a sharp one.

In addition, it presses between the fabric’s threads, unlike a needle with a sharp tip. 9 to 16 is the range for a ballpoint needle. It is the most rounded and the biggest of all needles.

Needles with a standard point (Sharp)

Regular point needles should be used for stitching woven fabrics like linen, cotton, or embroidered cloth. Because of the groove above the eye, this style of needle is called a self-threading needle. The needle will automatically thread when you place the thread in the groove and pull on it. With regular point needles, you can sew perfectly equal stitches without damaging your cloth.

This sort of needle may also be found in the majority of basic sewing kits. Edge stitching woven textiles with this needle is a breeze. Needles with regular points come in a variety of sizes. 9 is the thinnest and 18 is the thickest; your options range from 9 to 18.

Needle for Quilting Points

The quilting point needle is another kind of sewing needle. Trapped points allow you to sew many layers of cloth together using this tool. The needle’s tapered tip ensures that the cloth you sew is of the best possible quality. Quilting needles are often smaller and more robust than standard sewing or hand needles, although they may still be sharp. Quilting needles come in a variety of sizes ranging from 9 to 12.

Needles for Topstitch

Topstitch needles, as the name implies, are used for topstitching, a decorative stitching activity in which a person forms a row of continuous threads on the fabric’s surface. In addition to having a larger eye, topstitching needles feature a deeper groove. For heavy-duty topstitching projects, it is a must-have sewing tool.

Needles used in the embroidery process

A self-threading stitching needle is the same as any other kind. Because of its ability to easily flow through embroidered materials, it is often employed for the craft of embroidery. To accept thicker or bigger threads, this kind of needle has larger eyes than a standard needle. It’s also big enough to keep embroidery threads from unraveling.

Needles with Wedge Points

Sewing machine needles with a wedge point are tougher and thicker than those with other sorts of points. Therefore, it is often used to stitch vinyl or leather using a needle and thread.

A smaller version is also available for softer leather. While sewing thicker layers, it’s larger size is useful. Sizes 11 to 18 are offered in wedge point needles.

Universal Point Needles

The majority of the time, while sewing with knit fabric or on a sewing machine, universal point needles are used. Use this needle to stitch knit and woven fabrics because it can easily glide between the waves of the cloth. Knit textiles may be sewn safely since its needle is not overly sharp. Needle sizes 14/90 and 1175 are available, depending on your preferences.

Jeans Needles

Guess what? You’re on the correct track! To stitch denim, you’ll need a needle like this one. As a bonus, it’s also great for canvas and other highly woven textiles. Heavy-duty shank prevents bending and breaking, while the razor-sharp tip makes rapid work of even the heaviest of textiles. Cotton-wrapped polyester, 100% polyester, synthetic or mixed thread, and heavier top-stitching threads should be used when sewing with this kind of needle.

Sewing Machine Needles: Choosing the Best Option

different types of sewing machine needles

The following is a guide that will assist you in determining the kind and size of sewing machine needle is most appropriate for sewing a certain type of fabric:

Sheer to lightweight fabrics

Regular point needles in sizes 9/70 or 11/80 should be used for stitching fabrics such as chiffon, batiste, georgette, voile, organza, and any other micro denier or microfiber material.


When sewing lightweight fabrics such as chambray, challis, charmeuse, gauze, crepe de chine, silk, handkerchief linen, tissue faille, and taffeta, use a standard point needle size 11/80 to provide a smooth finish.


When sewing medium-weight fabrics such as chino, brocade, broadcloth, corduroy, chintz, satin, linen, flannel, synthetic suedes, Polin, terry, taffeta, and velvet, use a standard point needle size 14/90 to provide a smooth finish.

Medium to Heavy-weight

When sewing medium- to heavy-weight materials such as damask, coating, imitation fur, curtain fabric, ticking, gabardine, and woolens, use a 16/100 or 18/110 regular point needle with a regular tip.

Sheer to Lightweight Knits

Using a ball point needle in sizes 10/70 or 12/80 for sewing sheer to lightweight knits like as spandex, jersey, single knot, and tricot will provide a strong and long-lasting seam.

Denim and canvas

Denim and canvas are two of the most popular fabrics. When stitching thick materials such as denim and canvas, a Jeans needle size 16/100 should be used.

Medium to Heavy-weight Knits

When sewing medium- to heavy-weight knits such as sweatshirts, double knits, and sweater knits, a size 14/90 ball point needle will be required to get the best results.

Specialty Fabrics

When stitching suede, leather, or buckskin, use a 14/90 or 16/100 wedge point needle in the appropriate size.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What kinds of machine needles are there?

Straight and curved needle blades are the two fundamental categories that comprise sewing machine needles. Straight blades are the more common variety. The straight needle blades are the most popular kind of needle blade and may be found in a variety of different sewing machines (Lockstitch and Chainstitch). The majority of blind sewing machines have needle blades with a curved shape.

How can I identify which needle to use for my sewing machine?

A useful rule of thumb to bear in mind is that the following order applies: the smaller the needle size, the lighter the cloth, and the bigger the needle size, the heavier the fabric. There is a good chance that the sort of needle you choose for your sewing project will also be determined by the thread that you will be using.

What are 90 14 needles used for?

When you first begin sewing on materials of a medium weight, such as poplin, broadcloth, or muslin, 90/14 needles are the best choice for you to use. Imagine printed cotton used for quilting. A pack of Schmetz universal needles, which is an excellent bundle for getting you started, includes needles of these three sizes as standard equipment.

Stretch needles vs. ballpoint needles?

Stretch – Stretch needles feature an eye and scarf that have been carefully developed to avoid missed stitches. These needles also have a tip that is somewhat less rounded than ballpoint needles. When working with extremely elastic materials like spandex and lycra, a stretch needle is required.

Which needles should be used for sewing with thick fabric?

Please use a needle size 90/14. In order to stitch through numerous layers of fabric and across seams that meet, a Quilting Needle has a point that is tapered and thin, as well as a shaft that is significantly thicker. For more elaborate patterns, try using a 70/10 or 80/12. If the sandwich for your quilt is really thick, use a 90/14.

What is the typical sewing machine needle size?

In the American system, the needle sizes range from 8 to 19, with 8 indicating a very thin needle and 19 indicating a very thick and heavy needle. Needle sizes in Europe vary from 60 to 120, with 60 representing a very thin needle and 120 representing a very thick and heavy needle. In any case, the greater the number, the heavier and/or thicker the needle will be.

What is the most typical size of a needle used for sewing?

When it comes to sewing in general, the most typical piece of advice is to use either an 11/75 or 14/90 universal needle.


The bottom line is that each kind of sewing machine needle has its own set of features. This permits them to provide beneficial effects when they are employed in the proper manner. As a result, it is essential to choose the appropriate kind and size of sewing machine needle for the cloth you will be working with. Failure to do so may cause harm to your textiles as well as dull stitch appearances.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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