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Sewing Machine Needles; How to Choose the Right One

Do you find yourself dealing with broken thread, tugs in your fabric, or uneven stitches more than you would like? The number one cause of problems like these is not having the correct needle for your particular project. It is easy to find yourself stuck in the rut of simply using the universal needle that comes with your machine. Let Banasch’s help you understand the basics of choosing the right sewing machine needle for your project.

What you need to know about the needle itself:




Needle Map

  1. Blade – The blade of the needle determines its size. You can figure the size by measuring the diameter of the blade in millimeters times 100. For example if it has a diameter of .8 mm, then the size is 80.
  2. Shank – this is the part of the needle that fits into the sewing machine.
  3. Groove – the groove of a needle runs the length of the shaft and holds the thread. The diameter of the thread should take up no more than 40% of the groove.
  4. Tip and Point – this area of the needle determines the overall Needle Type.

Needle Types:

There are a variety of needle types available. In order to know what needle you need, it is important to understand the structure of the textile you wish to sew. Here is a breakdown of the most common needle types:

  1. Universal Needle – Also known as a Round Point, this is the most common needle that can be used for most sewing on sturdy woven textiles.
  2. Ballpoint Needle – This needle is great for knit fabrics because the rounded ballpoint tip is able to slip between the fibers instead of cutting through and damaging them.
  3. DI Leather Needle – This has a diamond shape tip that has the ability to cut though leather.
  4. Stretch Needle – The stretch is similar to a ballpoint needle but is used for extremely stretchy material.
  5. Embroidery Needle – This needle is designed in a way to be non-damaging and have a larger eye, which accommodate’s thicker embroidery threads.
  6. Quilting Needle – This needle is small yet strong, designed for sewing though multiple layers, or overlapping seams. The tapered point keeps from damaging delicate fabric.

Needle Size:

The diameter of the blade determines the size of the needle. The needle should be chosen based on the fabric you are using. Heavier fabric requires a bigger needle, and a lightweight fabric will require a smaller needle.

There is a lot to keep in mind as you choose the right needle for your particular project. Be sure to read the requirements for your particular sewing machine. If you would like to know more about when to replace your needle, please take a look at our blog post – “When to Replace Your Sewing Machine Needle”.

Questions? Give us a shout! Be sure to check out our selection of sewing machine needles. Banasch’s is committed to providing the customer service you love with the product knowledge you need.