Using the right sewing machine needle sizes and type for the project can mean the difference between broken threads, skipped stitches and a perfect professional-looking seam.
How to Choose Sewing Machine Needle Sizes
Sewing needles sizes are classed by 2 characteristics:
- THICKNESS – Sewing machine needle sizes and the needle’s thickness. A thicker needle can sew through thicker fabrics.
- PURPOSE – The needle’s purpose such as for sewing stretch fabrics or topstitching or sewing denim.
SEWING MACHINE NEEDLE SIZES
Here we will look at the factors that influence the size and type of needle you will need to use.
What do the numbers mean on sewing machine needles?
If you look at most needle packaging they will have 2 numbers on them with a / to divide them. For example 80/12.
In simple terms, the larger the number the thicker the needle.
The smaller number relates to the American system and ranges from 8 to 20 and the larger number is for the European system and ranges from 60 to 120.
Common sewing machine needle sizes are 60/8, 70/10, 75/11, 80/12, 90/14 and100/16
What sewing machine needle sizes should I use for sewing?
The numbers on sewing machine needle packages represent the thickness of the fabric you are able to sew with the needles.
The larger the numbers the thicker the fabric you can sew. Conversely, smaller numbers are for sewing finer fabrics.
From this table, you can see that 60/8 would be used to sew very fine fabrics such as silk and organza while 110/18 would be used for denim and canvas.
You can buy packets of sewing needs with assorted sizes so you can easily switch over to a suitable needle. I sew a lot of quilting cotton fabric so I always have a lot of 80/12 and 90/14 in my sewing drawers.
SEWING MACHINE NEEDLE Types
As well as looking at the sewing machine needle sizes we need to determine its type. Different shaped ends are designed for different fabrics.
Here we will look at some of the most common sewing machine needles types and their uses.
How long do sewing needles last?
The lady in my local sewing shop is always telling me to replace the needle after 8 hours of sewing. Most sewing needle manufacturers will say 6-8 hours. This might seem like a short life span but needles are cheap and changing them frequently will result in better sewing.
If you accidentally hit a pin when sewing, then you should change the needle immediately as you will have damaged the tip.
Do you have any extra tips for choosing the right needle? I’d love your input. Please comment below.