Home Community Let’s talk about Sewing Machine Needles – Infographic

Let’s talk about Sewing Machine Needles – Infographic

written by Sarah

Sewing Machine Needle Infographic

When I got my very first sewing machine, I didn’t even know needles were removable, let alone that there were about a gazillion options available. I thought you just used the same needle for every project – forever.  But I was just a wee little Sarah back then and didn’t know much of the sewing world. So, so naive. Keeping up with all the needles available is hard, even if you are a sewing veteran. And if you’re just starting out? Impossible.

Here’s the thing –  the needle you use is just like a painter’s brush and you’re thread is the paint. Having the right tools REALLY matter. But there are a few tricks of the trade that take time to memorize and figure out for yourself. But, as a busy woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

So we did it for you.

We literally scoured libraries, magazines, websites, and experimented ourselves for months to gather all the information needed to select the correct needle. We discovered that it’s one thing to have the correct needle for the fabric type and weight, but what about the task? I’m not going to use an Universal Needle to top stitch with metallic thread on cotton fabric. Normally, a Universal needle size 80/12 or 90/14 would work wonderfully, but only if I’m just doing construction.

What about heirloom stitches? They’re decorative top stitches, right? Yup, so go ahead and grab that Winged needle. Clear as mud, right? Nope.  So, save yourself time and frustration and consult our Needle Chart before you start stitching. Toss out that old machine manual needle guide, because this is the last needle reference you’ll ever need.

From the shaft, to the fine point, to the metal it’s made of, sewing needles come in various sizes and types. They may look similar, but these days they’re engineered for optimal performance. Some actually slice the fabric to create a stitch, while others spread the weave to lock in the stitch.

That’s all well in good, but you’re here because you love to sew, not because you want to moonlight as a sewing machine needle specialist, (as fascinating as that sounds). Get back to what you love. Get back to that sewing machine and sew the best project even knowing you’ve got one of the most important tools taken care of.

P.S. Sometimes, needles are interchangeable. It’s true, you can get away with using a top stitch needle to sew metallic thread.  Or, perhaps in your experience, a certain needle works better over another, and that is great! Always use what works best for you. This chart is what has worked for us and what is recommended by others pros in the sewing biz. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a message below. We’d LOVE to hear from you!

Sewing Machine Needles Infographic

Order the 11″ x 17″ Poster

This chart looks even better on a real wall. Keep your needle reference close by while you sew – Order a copy today! Only $6.99 and it ships free.

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George August 18, 2017 at 4:34 am

I really love this,sewing parts online.com/such a pleasure to have you

Sarah August 18, 2017 at 9:03 am

Thank you so much for your kind words! We value your support!

Winifred May 8, 2017 at 3:00 am

Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am in Nigeria and would like to get as many accessories as I can for industrial sewing machines. Do you stock them? And can you send to Nigeria?

Sarah May 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

Hi, Winifred! We do mail to Nigeria and we do sell industrial parts. Industrial parts are very specific though, so I suggest sending a list of what you need to info@sewingpartsonline.com so we can guarantee those parts are still being manufactured.

carmen April 14, 2015 at 10:01 pm

I have to tell you thanks so much for your wonderful tutorials. I have already learned so much. I am in between beginner and intermediate and getting better as I go along. I have referred my friends to your site. Love it!

Ellen Sherrill February 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Thanks so much for the needle info. I needed it! I have another needle issue that I’m hoping you can help me with. I am making a design to topstitch onto heavier fabric for a tote bag. The design is made with overlapping pieces of ribbon which I attached to a fabric template by using iron-on adhesive. When I tried to topstitch the edges, my needle got sticky with residue from the adhesive. Apparently, it even got into the eye of the needle and I can hardly thread it. I’ve tried cleaning it, but it’s still not working well. Is there a way to clean the needle?

Sarah February 25, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Hi Ellen! Yup, this is a common problem with those of using adhesives. You can use either an alcohol swab or nail polish remover to clean off the residue. Works like a charm!

sheisme February 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Thank you

Christine September 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Hi! Finally cut the belt for Emdeko- it is 14″ long, – rubber & cord, tightly compacted.
Love the machine- hate being w’out it!
Have not found the belt anywhere, & the rubber ones just slip, or won’t go on at all! HELP appreciated!

Sarah September 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Hi Christine! Is doesn’t look like a gear belt, does it?

Kim Crowdis December 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

I already knew this. I helped people when I worked in a fabric shop with all kinds of questions.

Daniel November 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Thank you Sewing Parts. My wife will surely appreciate this.

Donnette November 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thank you so much for your Online tutorial.

Sarah November 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm

our pleasure! Thanks for checking it out!

Shirley Reinhart November 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

This is wonderful! Now I know what all those sizes are for. Thank you so much. S. A. Reinhart


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