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Sewing Machine Needles

If you do a lot of sewing by machine, you will want to have a selection of needles for use on different projects or materials. In addition, to ensure top quality stitching, replace your sewing machine's needles when they become dull --- usually after they have been used for several projects.

Sewing machine needles (unlike serger needles) are standardized so selecting what needle to use depends on the fabric, thread, and type of stitching you want to do. Here are some things to consider when choosing needles:

  • Match the needle point to the fabric
    • for general sewing on medium weight fabrics, use a universal point
    • delicate fabrics that run when snagged need a rounded point while heavy fabrics need an acute point. Leather and suede need a wedge point for good piercing capability while stretchable fabrics need a ballpoint.
    • the weight of the fabric determines what size (strength) needle to use. Delicate fabrics need a finer, more slender needle, while heavy fabrics need larger, stronger needles that won't break while sewing
    • always consult a needle selection guide (chart) which shows what type and size of needle to use
  • When using heavy thread or metallic thread, look for a needle made to be used with them so the thread won't fray or break while sewing
  • For a professional stitching appearance when doing topstitching, quilting, embroidery, or hemming, use a needle made for that kind of sewing.

Lastly, keeping your needles in a needle organizer will make identification of the different needles easier since the various types of needles are difficult to identify when lying side by side.


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