The Ultimate Guide To What Size Sewing Machine Needle For Cotton

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

Post Updated On:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Lessons About What Size Sewing Machine Needle For Cotton To Learn

Needle sizes and thicknesses vary based on the intended use of a sewing machine needle. Broken threads and skipped stitches may be avoided, and a precise seam with a professional appearance can be achieved by using the proper sewing machine needle sizes.

In the case of cotton, though, what size sewing machine needle should you use? Cotton may be knit with needles as little as 80/12 or as large as 90/14. Denim, silk dupioni, and other fabrics of a similar weight work nicely with them as do quilting pieces made of cotton and light upholstery pieces.

Sewing cotton has never been easier than it will be now that you’ve read this article. In addition, you’ll learn how to insert the needle into a sewing machine correctly.

Determine the kind of needle to use for sewing cotton by following these steps:

what size needle for cotton fabric

Cotton material is usually sewed using needle sizes 80/12 and 90/14, which are specialized for various textiles. For your project, don’t be scared to try out other needle types; these are the most frequent sizes.

This depends on your skill level and whether or not you have a needle for cotton fabric in your possession. List of needles and their functions on various sewing materials are provided below.


These will be the needles that are used the most often. Textiles that they can sew include woven and robust (but not particularly elastic) knits, among other things.

They are able to deal with both natural and synthetic fibers in their job. With a couple packs of different sewing machine needle sizes ranging from 10/70 to 14/90, you’ll be able to stitch on a variety of different materials with relative ease. The tip of universal needles is somewhat rounded, as is the base of the needle.

Ball Point Needles

When working with tightly woven textiles or knit fabrics with a low stretch factor, a ballpoint needle may be appropriate. This needle is suitable for usage with cotton, polyester, and polyester cotton blends.

They are able to move between strands without cutting them because of their rounded tip, as the name indicates. It is particularly important when it comes to stretch fabrics, which are prone to tearing and developing holes.

Jersey Needles

When working with knit materials that have a medium stretch factor, this needle is recommended. The rounded tip should be able to pass through fibers without generating laddering or holes.

Needles for Stretching

These are designed for textiles with a high degree of elasticity, such as dance lycra and swimsuit fabric, among other things. These are also widely used in the construction of elastics.

Leather Needles

Leather needles are required if you are sewing leather or vinyl together. They have a sharp tip that pierces the leather when they are used. Ensure that you stretch your stitches in combination with the use of the leather needle in order to prevent perforation.

Needle for Quilting

It is important for quilting needles to be reinforced so that they can penetrate through numerous layers of fabric and batting. As a consequence, there will be no shattering or bending of the needles. When stitching through thicker interfacing and layers in a bag construction project, they are also excellent choices.

Needles for topstitching

Topstitching needles are strengthened and have broad eyes to accommodate the thick thread used in the process. Because of the topstitching on the edge, there will be many layers to thread through.


Sharp needles are thicker, more delicate, and sharper than universal needles, and they are also more expensive. They are used in the stitching of thin vinyl, appliqué, silks, and tightly woven textiles, among other things.

Jeans / Denim Needles

These are, of course, for stitching denim that is thick and substantial in weight. These needles are often available in larger sewing machine needle sizes than regular sewing machine needles. They have enough strength to sew a pair of trousers or overalls by themselves.

Twice (Twin Needles)

Double needles are made up of two needles that should be linked together at the top. They are used to stitch the hems of stretch garments.

When evaluating an alternative needle, there are several things to consider:

  • Insert the needle into the needle bar and align it; do not thread the needle at this time.
  • The needle or bobbin access plate must be removed in order for the hook and bobbin region to be seen within the machine.
  • Slowly turn the handwheel, keeping an eye on the needlepoint as it enters the machine while it is being cranked.
  • Prevent the needlepoint from coming into touch with any of the machine’s components. This category includes the bobbin case, shuttle point, rotary hook, and any other machine component. It’s possible that a flashlight and magnification will be required!
  • The needle plate of the machine should be replaced if everything has been working well thus far. To complete the up-down cycle, gently crank the handwheel back and forth between positions 1 and 2.
  • Keep an eye on the needle tip as it passes through the needle plate (and the unseen fabric) on the upstroke. Check to be that the feed hasn’t started moving the cloth until the needle is clear of the unseen fabric before continuing.
  • If everything is still in working condition, you should use this new needle to sew with.
  • There will be a point in time when the dynamic of the alternative needle is changed, and the hook will be unable to grasp the upper thread during the needle up and downstroke. It’s possible that you skipped stitches. It might be caused by one or more of the following factors:

The distance between the butt of the needle and the top of the eye is different from the distance between the butt and the top of the eye of the original needle.

Following the change from a flat to a round shank, the hook got too far away from the needle and broke.

There is no straightforward solution to the issue of skipped stitches. In the event that you are a sewing machine technician, it is possible that you may re-time the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are the best needles for cotton for a sewing machine?

There is a range of thicknesses available for needles used in sewing machines. Needles with the designation 70/10 are the thinnest and work best for stitching light materials like as silk. Needles with the designation 80/11 work best with fabrics with a medium weight such as cotton, while needles with the designation 90/14 work best with fabrics with a medium to heavy weight.


When looking for sewing machine needles, start by determining the kind, and only then should you consider the size. There are so many possibilities when it comes to size that you’ll have a hard time making a decision. Thanks for reading and good luck with your next DIY project if this guidance was helpful in making your selection of a needle!

Photo of author

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.

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.