How to Choose a Sewing Machine Needle as a Beginner

How to Choose a Sewing Machine Needle as a Beginner or for your project

In addition to being a fun and inventive hobby, sewing is a skill that can be useful in a variety of situations. A sewing machine can be a useful tool for your projects, whether you want to produce your own clothes, adjust your existing ones, or design original pieces of home decor.

The huge variety of sewing machine needles on the market, meanwhile, can be confusing if you’ve never sewn before. Every needle has a specific function, and using the incorrect kind of needle for a certain fabric can result in skipped stitches, broken needles, and even fabric damage. To help you choose the best needle for your sewing project, we will walk you through the many components of a sewing machine needle and the numerous varieties of needles that are available in this article.

Parts of a Sewing Machine Needle

It’s crucial to comprehend the many components of a sewing machine needle and how they effect your sewing tasks if you’re a sewing novice. The butt, shank, shoulder, blade, groove, scarf, eye, and point or tip of a sewing machine needle were all covered in the section before this one. We will delve deeper into each of these components and examine their significance in sewing in this section.


The portion of a sewing machine needle that is placed into the sewing machine is called the butt. The type and size of the needle affects how big the butt is.


The long, narrow portion of the needle’s shank that connects to the sewing machine is called the shank. The kind and size of the needle has an impact on the shank’s form and size.


The portion of a sewing machine needle that joins the shank to the blade is called the shoulder. It is a little area that aids in maintaining the needle’s position and keeps it from slipping out of the machine.


The needle’s long, flat portion that pierces the fabric is called the blade. The type and size of the needle has an impact on the blade’s form and size.


The groove is a broad depression that extends along the needle’s front. Through the needle, it aids in guiding the thread and keeps it from fraying or breaking.


The back of the needle has a little depression that is the scarf. It enables the sewing machine’s hook to grab the thread and create a stitch.


The needle’s eye is the tiny hole at its front through which the thread is threaded. The type and size of the needle has an impact on the eye’s size and shape.

Tip or Point?

The needle’s sharpened tip or point is what pierces the fabric. The type and size of the needle has an impact on the point’s shape and size.

After looking at the various components of a sewing machine needle, it is critical to comprehend how to pick the best needle for your job. Depending on the cloth you’re using and the kind of stitch you want to make, you’ll need a specific kind of needle.

For instance, a general needle with a pointy tip and a small eye would be appropriate if you were working with a lightweight woven fabric, like cotton or silk. A ballpoint needle with a rounded tip would be more suitable if you were working with a knit fabric like jersey or spandex.

It’s critical to select the appropriate needle size in addition to the appropriate needle type. The thickness of the needle determines the size of the needle, which is measured in metric sizes. The needle is finer the smaller the number.

Types of Sewing Machine Needles

Types of Sewing Machine Needles

The sewing needle you select might have a significant impact on the outcome of your job. For a newbie, navigating the world of sewing machine needles might be overwhelming. How do you decide which option to pick when there are so many? To assist you in making an informed choice, we’ll go over the various sewing machine needle types and their uses in this post.

Universal Needle

The most popular kind of sewing machine needle is the universal needle. It can be used for a range of fabrics, including knit and woven fabrics, as the name implies. It comes in a variety of sizes and has a gently rounded tip. A universal needle is a good choice to get you started if you’re new to sewing.

Ballpoint (Jersey) Needle

The rounded tip of ballpoint needles, commonly referred to as jersey needles, allows them to slide between the fibers of knit textiles without damaging them. They are therefore perfect for stitching knit materials like stretch velvet, interlock, and jersey. The ballpoint needle reduces the likelihood of fabric damage and skipped stitches.

Stretch Needle

Stretch needles have a medium ballpoint tip and a scarf that is specially made for them. They are perfect for sewing fabrics with a lot of stretches, such as spandex, Lycra, and elastic. The needle’s distinctive construction helps guard against skipped stitches and fabric deterioration.

A Topstitching Needle

Topstitching is a decorative stitching technique that uses needles. They have a sharp point that can pierce numerous layers of fabric and an oversized eye. They are perfect for adding eye-catching topstitching to heavier fabrics like denim and leather.

The Leather Needle

Leather and other thick, non-woven textiles can be sewn together using leather needles. Their point is wedge-shaped and can cut through dense materials without doing any harm to them. In order to handle the thickness of the thread, they also include a blade with a chisel form that makes larger holes in the fabric.

Jeans (Denim) Needle

Denim needles, also referred to as jeans needles, are made for sewing thick materials like upholstery, canvas, and denim. They can cut through thick textiles without breaking because of their pointed tip. Additionally, they have a long, sturdy shaft that can resist the fast stitching speeds and thick fabrics required for jeans and other challenging jobs.

Sharp Microtex Needle

Sharp needles, also known as micro text needles, have a point that is extremely sharp and can cut through densely woven materials like silk, microfiber, and nylon. They are perfect for sewing delicate materials and for making accurate stitches. They are useful for quilting and needlework as well.

Quilting Needle

Quilting needles are perfect for piecing and quilting because they feature a tapered point and a gently rounded shaft. They are made to work effectively with numerous fabric layers, batting, and other quilting materials. To accommodate various thread and fabric weights, they are available in a variety of sizes.

Embroidery Needle

Compared to conventional sewing machine needles, embroidery needles have a slightly rounder point and a wider eye. In order to prevent thread breakage, they are made to accept the heavier threads used in embroidery. To accommodate various thread and fabric weights, they are available in a variety of sizes.

In conclusion, selecting the proper sewing machine needle is crucial for finishing a sewing project successfully. You can choose a needle for your project with knowledge of the various types of needles that are available and their applications. When selecting a needle, keep in mind to take into account the sort of cloth you’ll be sewing with and the thread weight you’ll be using. Have fun stitching!

How to Insert a Sewing Machine Needle?


A sewing project’s quality depends on how well the simple but crucial process of inserting a sewing machine needle is completed. Here is a brief explanation of how to put a sewing machine needle in:

  • Unplug your sewing machine from the power source and turn it off.
  • With a screwdriver, loosen the needle clamp, then take the old needle out of the clamp.
  • Select the appropriate needle type and size for your project and cloth.
  • Insert the new needle into the clamp while holding it with the flat side facing the machine’s back.
  • With the screwdriver, firmly tighten the needle clamp.
  • To check the movement of the needle, reposition the presser foot and start the machine.

Always use the right needle for your cloth and project, and use a sewing machine only after taking all necessary safety precautions. You can easily insert a sewing machine needle and get started stitching by following these easy instructions.

How Sewing Machine Needles Should Be Sized?

Understanding the different sizes of sewing machine needles is essential if you want to select the best one for your project. Two numbers are referenced on a needle when you look at it. Both in European and American sizes, these numbers denote the needle size. While American needles are measured from 8 to 18, European needles range in size from 60 to 110. As an illustration, needles can be specified as 70/10, 80/12, or 90/14. There are only two measures mentioned for this one size.

The basic rule is that the needle size increases with the size number. A smaller needle size will be required if you are working with thin fabrics. To sew properly through thicker textiles, you’ll need a bigger needle. Make sure to select the appropriate needle size for the fabric you are working with because it can significantly impact the quality of your sewing project.

How Often Should I Change My Needle?

To preserve the quality of your sewing projects, it’s vital to routinely change the sewing machine needle, which is a key component of a sewing machine. But how frequently should your needle be changed?

Change your needle after eight hours of sewing or after finishing a big job, according to the usual rule of thumb. However, there are a few things to think about that can mean changing your needle more frequently.

Your needle may need to be changed more frequently if you’re working with tough materials like denim or leather. Similar to skipped stitches, thread breakage may indicate that you need to switch needles.

It’s crucial to take into account the kind of fabric you’re using. A finer needle that needs to be changed more regularly may be needed for delicate textiles like silk or chiffon.

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