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Needle Types

Needles are a key element to sewing.  With "sew" many choices in fabric it is important to choose the correct needle to complete your project.  It is also important to change your needle often as a variety of fabrics contribute to the rapid dulling of the tip.  Below are a variety of needles available.  Some needles are offered with a titanium coating that resists adhesives, improves needle wear & penetration of densely woven fabrics.

- Fabric: Woven, Natural, Synthetic Fabrics
- Easily slips through weave of knits and woven fabric with rounded tip and tapered end

- Fabric: Extra Thick Fabric
- Reduces breakage and skip stitches with a sharp point and reinforced blade

- Fabric: Rayon, Polyester and other specialty fabrics
- Guard against excess friction allowing trouble-free embroidery and decorative stitching

- Fabric: Heavy Leather, Vinyl
- Cuts through leather and other heavy non-woven imitation leathers and suedes without creating large holes due to the needles wedge shape slightly sharp cutting point

- Fabric: Quilting, Heavy Woven Fabrics
- Perfect for quilting and topstitching due to the needles very slim acute point

- Fabric: Tightly Woven Mid Weight Fabrics
- Perfect for microfibers, polyester and other synthetic fabrics.

- Fabric: Stretch Fabrics
- Perfect for sewing through stretch fabrics, the point is rounded but less rounded than ball point to pierce through thicker threads

- Fabric: Knit Fabrics
- Designed to slide between the yarns of knit fabrics without snagging with a rounded tip

- For beautiful hem stitches, wing needle punches a hole into your fabric while the sewing machine stitches around the piercing

- Fabric: Topstitch Heavy Weight Fabrics
- Achieve perfectly straight stitch lines for heavy or multiple threads with this very long eye of the needle

- Fabric: Woven and Stretch Heavy Weight
- Designed specifically for overlock stitching

- Fabric: Cutwork Fabrics
- Create beautiful cutwork and reverse applique designs quickly and easily, without any tedious trimming.

- Fabric: Medium Woven Fabrics
- Create two rows of stitches simultaneously and uses two spools of thread and one bobbin thread

- Fabric: Stretch Fabrics
- Creates a dual stitch through stretch fabric with a rounded tip of the needle to pierce through thicker fabric

Needle Sizes

The European metric sizing system for sewing machine needles is numbered from 60 to 130. The American sizing system is numbered from 8 to 21. For both sizing systems, the lower the number the finer the needle and the higher the number the larger the needle.  Generally when selecting, the lighter the fabric the smaller the needle size needed and the heavier the fabric the larger the needle size.  Many times the thread you will be using for your sewing project will also determine the type of needle you choose.  For example, when using a fine, delicate thread, be sure to use a smaller needle size.  If the proper thread and needle combination is not selected, you may experience thread breakage.  

Most companies list both numbering systems on the package.  

Fabrics below can be of any fiber, cotton, linen, silk, wool, synthetic, rayon, blends.
They are listed as examples of weight.

Needle Type
Needle Size
Sheer to lightweight: Batiste, Chiffon, Georgette, Organza, Voile and all microfiber or microdenier fabrics. Regular Point 9/70 or 11/80
Lightweight: Challis, Chambray, Charmeuse, Crepe de Chine, Gauze, Handkerchief Linen, Silk, Taffeta, Tissue Faille. Regular Point 11/80
Medium-weight: Broadcloth, Brocade, Chino, Chintz, Corduroy, Flannel, Linen, Poplin, Satin, Synthetic Suedes, Taffeta, Terry, Velvet Regular Point 14/90
Medium to Heavy-weight: Coating, Damask, Drapery Fabric, Fake Fur, Gabardine, Ticking, Woolens Regular Point 16/100 or 18/110
Denim and Canvas Denim/Jeans 16/100
Sheer to Lightweight Knits: Jersey, Single Knit, Spandex, Tricot Ball Point 10/70 or 12/80
Medium to Heavy-weight Knits: Double Knit, Sweatshirt, Sweater Knit Ball Point 14/90
Specialty Fabrics: Leather, Suede, Buckskin Wedge Point 14/90 or 16/100


Change Needles Often

For optimal performance, change your needle every 6-8 hours of sewing.  Needles should also be changed after encountering sewing problems.  Below are some tell tale signs that it's time to change your needle.  

- Broken or shredding threads
- Skipping or uneven stitches
- Puckered or damaged fabrics
- Popping sounds heard while sewing

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