If you love sewing but haven’t got a clue how to differentiate sewing needles or what sewing needles you should use for which fabric, this guide is for you!
Sewing needles are basically categorized based on the task they’re meant for, the type of fabric they are designed for and the type of sewing machine they work with.
This guide will discuss different types of sewing needles and the sizes to help every beginner understand what they need as they start their journey in the world of sewing.
The Ultimate Mini Guide To Sewing Needles For Beginners!
Although there are major differences between machine and hand sewing needles, the two also happen to have some similarities which are worth noting. Here are some of the similarities you should know:
Regular/universal point sewing needles
These needles are designed to go through the fabric as opposed to going around it. Needles like that are great for fabrics ranging from lightweight to heavyweight. The ideal size is determined by the type and weight of the fabric you are sewing.
Ballpoint sewing needles
These are great in that they maintain the integrity of your fabric since they go between the fabric threads thus separating them. The ballpoint needles have a rounded tip thus making them good for sewing on knits
Sewing Needles for Hand Sewing
Hand sewing needles may look alike but they have some differences that set them apart from each other. All hand sewing needles have an eye (for passing the thread) at one end and a sharp point at the other but their similarities end there.
Sewing machine needles
The difference between sewing machine and hand sewing needles is in the position of the eye. In a sewing machine needle, the eye is in the same end as the point.
The needles have at least one side that is flat for insertion into the needle bar but shape and size are really determined by the manufacturer of the sewing machine. There are several sewing machine needles mostly based on the sewing machine manufacturer but with that too, you should make sure you get the right needle for the work.
Picking the right needle for your type work
Sewing needle packages have little numbers inscribed on them to indicate the needle points’ actual size. It is good to have a look at these numbers and if you work with different weights and types of fabrics then buying a package with multiple numbers will be advised.
Each needle, however, has a number which should help you identify it but if it doesn’t have, then there should be a system in place to help you identify them.
If you’re working with various fabric weights and types, knowing the needle types and numbers will be important.
Even with the best home sewing machines, having the right type of needle is very important. Review the infographic above for more information!
Basically, sewing needles come in European and American sizing systems. The European sizes range between 60 and 120 while American sizes are between 8 and 19.
Under the European numbering system, 60 is the finest needle while 120 is the thick and heavy needle. This also goes to the American system where 8 is the fine needle while 19 is the thick heavy needle.
The numbering is determined by the size of the blade. That means; the large the number on the needle, the larger the blade. Needle packages often have both sizing numbers and you’re like to see something like 60/10 or 70/10.
If you are using a home sewing machine,
There are different needle classifications systems that you should know. Basically, the needles are classified under 130/705 H system which is normally labelled on the needle pack. Whenever you see this labelling system, the needles are designed to be used with home sewing machines as opposed to industrial machines. This labelling means that the needle has a scarf and a flat shank.
If you are working on fine sheer fabric
such as those used for window curtains, you will require a fine needle which number 8/60 working perfectly for this. Using numbers such as 19/120 would mess up your fabric as it leaves holes after sewing.
If you are sewing heavy upholstery fabric,
you will need a heavier needle that’s capable of penetrating the fabric without breaking. Smaller numbers such as 8/60 cannot handle heavy upholstery and they will either break or bend. The needle you use should be strong enough to also carry the thread needed to sew the fabric.
The kind of needle required is determined by stitching style and material type. If you need to do heavy top-stitching on a lightweight fabric using a heavy thread, a needle that’s in the middle of the numbering system such as 80/12 would be ideal.
Although you will need a heavy thread for this kind of stitching, using a heavy needle 120/19 would only leave holes in your material.
It is important to test your fabric and thread combination on a tester scrap of fabric. Doing this will mean you avoid ruining a project.