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 Choosing the Correct Needle

The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a needle are the type and size of needle. The type of needle should be chosen depending on the type of material and application that will be completed. The needle size should also correspond with the material being used, but more importantly it should match the weight of thread being used.

What are the different types of needles? 
The type of needle that should be used will primarily be determined by the material being sewn. Listed below is a brief description of some of the most common types of needles.
Universal: slightly rounded general purpose needle, used for wovens and sturdy knits
Sharp: sharp point and more slender than universal, good for fine woven materials
Jersey/Ballpoint: needle has a rounded tip, good for closely knitted material
Stretch: slightly rounded tip and specialized eye for use with elasticized material such as Spandex
Jeans: strong sharp point and slender eye for use with tightly woven material such as denim and canvas
Leather: distinct triangular point used to make a large, clean hole in in non-woven materials such as leather and vinyl
AND EVEN MORE! In addition to the various types of needles, each type varies in size anywhere from 60/9 to 110/18! Some specialty needles come in larger sizes, but a typical domestic machine will use the sizes listed above. An example of the differences in needle types are illustrated below.
Needle Size and Thread Weight Comparison
No matter what type of material or machine you are using, it is always important to use the correct weight of thread for the needle size. As a general rule, follow the list below to select a needle that will correspond with the thread being used.
  • 60/8 – 100 weight silk and polyester invisible thread
  • 70/10 – 100 weight threads
  • 80/12 – 50 weight threads
  • 90/14 – 40 weight threads
  • 100/16 – 30 weight threads and thicker