Sewing Machine Needles & How to Choose Them

on June 15 | in Sewing + Quilting Tips, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 569 Comments

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Manda from Tree Fall joined us with a Stash Interview several months ago. It’s clear from her handcrafted quilts, soft toys and home accessories that Manda loves print, pattern, and beautiful fabric. Manda spends a lot of time with her sewing machine, creating new designs and old favorites. Learn more about Manda here, and enjoy her article today about Sewing Machine Needles. Get ready to move beyond the universal needles that came with your machine (and check out today’s Bonus Giveaway at the bottom of the post)!

From Manda: When you become the owner of a sewing machine, you often sit down and read through the user manual, to familiarize yourself with which stitch to use for which fabrics and how to clean it, thread it and all the other general aspects of running a machine. What you don’t always do however is familiarize yourself with which sewing machine needle to use.

If you’re anything like me, you tend to stick to the universal needles (often sizes 10 -16) that come with the machine. And also, if you’re anything like me you’ll often find yourself in the position of wondering just why the tension suddenly seems wrong, or you’re suddenly dropping stitches.
Choosing the correct type of needle for the right sewing project is a task that many of us find a little daunting. But it needn’t be, it’s just a case of matching the type of needle to the type and weight of fabric and understanding that needle types relate to the structure of the fabric they are used on.
The size of the needle depends on the size of the fabric yarn, for example, if you’re using a fine fabric then you need a fine needle that will not mar the fabric, but that still has a larger enough eye to ensure that the thread will not fray or break whilst being sewn with.

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  • Sharp points (regular) are for use with woven fabrics (including cotton and linen etc) because they cause a minimum amount of puckering and produce an even stitch without damaging the fabric. These are not recommended for use with knits as they can cause skipped stitches. Sharp points are more slender through the shaft and should be used when edge stitching on woven fabrics, sewing on finely woven fabrics or heirloom stitching on very fine fabrics. They are also a good choice when sewing with synthetic suede. These needles come in varying sizes from the finest size 9 to the heaviest size 18.
  • Universal Point needles have a slightly rounded point that is similar to the ball point needle and is used for general, every day sewing of most woven or knit fabrics. The needle is tapered so that it slips through the fabric weave of the knit easily whilst still retaining enough sharpness to pierce the cloth. It is usually Universal needles that come with your sewing machine. They come in many different sizes with the 14/90 and the 11/75 being the most popular.
  • Ball Point needles are specifically designed to be used with knit and stretch fabrics. They have a rounded point rather than a sharp one (the larger the size of the needle, the more rounded the needle point) and they push between the fabric yarns rather than piercing them the way the Sharp Points do. The needles should be used when sewing with interlock knits, coarse knits and other fabrics that will run if snagged. The needles come in varying sizes from 9 to 16. The larger the size of the needle, the more rounded the needle point is.
  • Embroidery needles have a larger needle eye to accommodate the thicker embroidery threads. They are also designed to protect the decorative threads from breaking.
  • Quilting needles (called Betweens) have a tapered point that allows you to stitch through several layers of fabric (usually the quilt sandwich) and across intersecting seams. They have a tapered point to prevent damaging the often heirloom quality fabrics used in quilting. They are generally smaller and stronger than normal needles with a small eye. They come in sizes 9,10,11,and 12.
  • Topstitching needles are for use with heavier topstitching thread and as such have an extra large eye and a deeper groove. They can also be used with a double thread for a more pronounced stitch. Using the correct top stitching needle can make a real difference to the finished look of your project.
  • Wedge Point needles are used less often as they are designed for use with leather and vinyl. They easily pierce the fabrics and create a hole that will close back up on itself. The wedge shape makes it a superior needle for piercing tough, unyielding fabrics such as leather or suede. These needles come in varying sizes from 11 to 18. The smaller sizes are suitable for softer, more pliable leather, whilst the larger sizes are designed for heavy leathers, or multiple layers.

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Understanding the type of needle is extremely important to achieve a high quality finished project, but so is knowing which size needle to use.
The general rule is that the needle size is judged by the type of fabric being sewn, although there are always exceptions:

  • Delicate Fabrics: When sewing with fabrics such as silk, chiffon, voile, fine lace or organza a fine “size 9” needle would usually be the best choice.
  • Lightweight Fabrics: When using lighter weight fabrics such as synthetic sheers, batiste, taffeta or velvet would a “size 11” needle would be the normal choice.
  • Medium Weight Fabrics: When sewing with slightly heavier weight fabrics such as gingham, poplin, linen, muslin, chambray, wool crepe, flannel, knits, jersey, wool, wool suiting, or stretch fabrics a “size 14” needle is generally best.
  • Medium-Heavy Fabrics: Sewing with fabrics such as gabardine, heavy suiting or tweed would require a “size 16” needle.
  • Heavy Fabrics: When using heavy weight fabrics such as denim, ticking, upholstery or canvas a “size 18” needle is the most suitable.

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The final and perhaps the most important piece of information that needs to be taken in to account when sewing, is that you should always replace a dull or damaged needle straight away. Damaged needles can be responsible for skipped stitches and tearing fabric as well as also causing damage to your actual sewing machine if they nick the bobbin case. And of course you don’t just change your needle if it gets damaged or if you change fabrics, you should also change them every time you start a new project to ensure that you are always sewing with the sharpest needle possible.

Join us for Sewing Machine Month! Enter to win this week’s prize package from our Sewing Machine Month sponsor: Husqvarna/Viking. Comment on any post this week for your chance to win the General Sewing Package (over $150 retail value), or you might win one of four $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!.BONUS GIVEAWAY!:ย  One lucky person who comments today will get a Needles Sampler from Husqvarna.ย  It includes one each of:

  • Inspira leather needles
  • Inspira universal titanium needles
  • Inspira microtex needles
  • Klasse wing needle
  • Klasse twin metalfil
  • Klasse twin universal
  • Klasse twin jeans/denim
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569 Responses to Sewing Machine Needles & How to Choose Them

  1. Janet says:

    I understand that Inspira needles are finished in a different way than Schmetz. One brand uses acid and the other another method. Might you explain?

  2. Autoglass says:

    Cool blog.

  3. Lou Bolte says:

    I am so very thankfull for finding your blog. It is so helpfull to know all this information on neddles. I am learning all I can as I have been sewing for a long time, but in the last 2 to 3 years, I have been quilting and still have a lot to learn. Thanks again for all the info.

  4. Margie says:

    What is the first number on the sewing machine needles? I have many needles with a 90 or 110 in front of the 12, 14 or 16

  5. Danyelle says:

    Thanks – I am learning so much here tonight. Can you recommend a needle and possible a stitch/tension for working with Fleece? I have had many troubles over the years with broken needs, skipped stitches and puckering and yet I never knew that although my straight stitch tension was set correctly that it could have been the need I chose.

  6. Ann Lint says:

    Thanks for your information on sewing needles. It will be helpful to me as I am just learning
    about sewing on my new machine. I want to be sure to use the correct needle for the best results. Thanks!

  7. Esther Feske says:

    I have various needles, but not sure which to use when. This gives me good info to choose the right needle for the job. Thanks!

  8. rebecca says:

    Great info-I have been sewing with terry cloth toweling material and soo frustrated bc the thread keeps breaking and I keep skipping stitches- what particular size needle would you recommend for using with terrycloth- I am thinking in I need a ballpoint? thanks

  9. Miss C says:

    Thank you. That was very helpful!

  10. Concha says:

    Thank you so much, Manda! Very informative post!

  11. Fynn says:

    Thank you for posting this. I was already aware of the different types of needles, but it’s difficult to remember which size needles to use with which fabrics!

  12. Lakshmi Rajesh says:

    Informative post. Wish i could get my hands on the required type and size of needle as and when required. Here in India it is quite difficult to get the same for domestic singer machines as they are not availabile off the shelf. I had to persuade my relatives visiting US or UK to buy some needles for me and they do not hold long enought for my sewing adventures!

    Lakshmi Rajesh , Chennai, India

  13. Brittany says:

    I should print this up and put it with my sewing machine!

  14. Amy says:

    Topstitching needle… who knew?! This summary is very helpful and leaves me feeling much more confident to stray from the standards. Thanks!

  15. Laure says:

    Great information! Extremely helpful for all of us!

  16. Suzanne Rowe says:

    Great info on needles. It is always great to get a refresher course on what needle is the best for each fabric type.


  17. Christy says:

    Thank you for this information. I am usually uncertain in what to use with various projects… and get irritated when I’m breaking needles repeatedly. This is a great resource to help me choose the correct needle on the front end. Thanks!

  18. I’d better bookmark this. You’ve gone into a lot more detail than my manual does.

  19. Karen Sikes says:

    Great information to have…will print out to keep for reference….

  20. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for the info! I never know what needle to use, since I am self-taught. I’m printing this out. =D

  21. mandy says:

    So concise! Great information for anyone to have!

  22. Kim D. says:

    Thanks for the great resource.. I sometimes forget to change my needle until my sewing machine acts out.

  23. amy says:

    that is so helpful!!! thanks so much ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Patti says:

    I’ll be keeping the link for future reference. I had trouble with thread getting all messy a few months ago and my mother diagnosed an old needle plus the wrong needle for the job. I had no clue what she was talking about! Your description here is better than the several books I’ve read since my thread mess. To the point and clear. Thanks!

  25. Danielle says:

    Awesome information! I will definitely be using this for a reference! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Christine Z. says:

    thanks for the lovely article. I might just get past the universal needle now……..

  27. yvonne says:

    this is great info. thanks!

  28. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for this. I don’t know why but changing my needle is always the last thing I think of when I’m having problems. Maybe now I’ll remember to replace it first before pulling the whole machine apart!

  29. Gerwerken says:

    This is the kind of information that should be in the beginning of every learn to sew book. Something like the type and size of needle one should be using is an absolute basic that every sewist should learn at the very beginning, but is often left to trial and error. I was happy to find that my best guess on needle type and size, based on my own trial and error, seemed to be correct.

  30. Heather says:

    Thanks for the info. I still need specific examples like you talked about with the quilting. I would love for some of the free patterns to have some recommendations for needle sizes.

  31. Jenna H. says:

    Thank you for the info, especially in such a clear and concise format. I knew there were many types/shapes and sizes of needles but have never had a good explanation of those types/sizes or their precise uses. I will definitely be referring back to this.

  32. Talela says:

    Thank you for the information about sewing machine needles. Of course I have been using the wrong needles for certain projects. Now I need to go shopping!

  33. Carol says:

    Great tutorial! The number one thing I’ve found is to change the needle often.

  34. Malorie says:

    Good to know this information…sometimes sewing problems come not from the machine, but the wrong needle!

  35. auschick says:

    Thank you for these tips! I recently bought a machine and selecting needles can be so overwhelming! I’m planning on printing this out for future reference ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Jodie says:

    Great information. Maybe this is why my machine keeps skipping stitches. *Sigh.*

  37. Heather T says:

    Very helpful and thorough!

  38. Mary Morrison says:

    I am making a notebook of information that will help me with my machine embroidery. This information will be put in the front. Thank you for making it available for us.

  39. Patty Ojeda says:

    Thank you so much for a timely and informative blog! I learned more from this blog about needles and which needles to use with different fabrics than any other article I have seen!

    Thank you so much!


  40. Stacy says:

    Thank you for this insightful information. I have read several sewing books and have yet to run across this information!

  41. Pam says:

    Thanks for the information…I am self taught and need all the advice I can get.

  42. Melissa Ann says:

    I just learned to use a twin needle for pintucks and thought that would be my only ah-ha! moment in the world of needles. Boy, was I wrong. Thanks for all this wonderful information.

  43. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Wonderful information. Can’t wait to start trying out the right needle for the job!

  44. Trudie says:

    This will be a great resource for me! Although I’ve been sewing forever, it has only been in the last few years that I’ve even started paying attention to my needles. Thank you!!

  45. Cheryl says:

    This info is all so true. I’ve noticed things are A LOT smoother by choosing the proper needles for each project and it’s pretty easy to figure out from reading the needle packages – especially when sewing heavy or stretchy fabric. Way worth the few extra dollars & minutes!!

  46. kristine says:

    This is really infomative, thanks for the post.

  47. LisaO says:

    Great topic, I tend to stick to the needles that come with the machine and LOVE the breakdown of what to use when…thanks again for the great topic

  48. Dexez says:

    Wow! A lot of people that sew around here. Now I know why the strech material was gathered. I used the wrong needle ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. MamaBee says:

    As a rookie in the sewing world, this is so helpful! Thank you!

  50. Madrona Tree says:

    Great explanation! I’ve just been stocking up on various needles that my sewing machine tells me I should use. It says, “75 str” for lightweight stretch, “90 str” for med/heavy stretch, and “70” and “80” for light and med/heavy wovens. Because my machine thinks I can get away with just those four types of needles, I always wonder why there are so many others, so I appreciate the post!

    Perhaps the next needle post can expand on this one, and cover wing, pintuck, and other(?) specialty needles?

  51. what a cute pincushion!! ( :

  52. Liz says:

    SMS you really are one of the most comprehensive and informative sewing sites around- thank you!

  53. Shasta Huntington says:

    Great information – especially for a newbie like me! Thank you!

  54. Kirsten says:

    Great information. It once took me a week to figure out that I had the needle needed to be replaced and that my machine was fine!

  55. Jan B says:

    Great information. Now I need to get myself more needles!

  56. Nancy Parry says:

    Thanks for the explanation about needles. I found the information on what size needle to use with different fabrics most helpful.

  57. Oh, thanks so much for this post! Which needles to use has always been a puzzler for me.


  58. Great tipp.
    Iร‚ยดll try them immediatelly!
    Thank you,

  59. Katherine says:

    I definitely needed this!! Thanks for the great info and help!

  60. Erin says:

    Great needle info! Thanks and I’ll be sure to come back to this post for all my future needle questions!

  61. Paula says:

    Thank you for your needle instructions ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m guilty of just using universal needles myself! I will print out your notes!!!

  62. tracylee says:

    Great information! I have been out of quilting needles and have used universal before – you can really tell the difference when you put a new quilting needle on. Thanks for all the information!

  63. Silvia says:

    Thanks for this didactic post! It’s really really useful!

  64. Niki Marusich says:

    Skipped stitches seem to be a regular and very irritating occurence of late. I thought it might be the cotton I was using, but I will try changing the type of needle I’m using now!
    Thanks so much for this info!

  65. diana ramos says:

    Thanks! Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve been wondering about needles.

  66. this is such fabulous information! having the right needle for your fabric is so important! THANK YOU!!

  67. Jeanette Pilson says:

    Thank you for the information on needles. It was very informative.
    Thank you again.

  68. Wow! I didn’t even know that there were so many types of needles. Now I know why I haven’t been able to sew knits with success. Thanks so much I am really glad you posted this.

  69. April says:

    Ooh. I’ve gone through SEVEN needles today alone. My backup machine has morphed into a total piece of junk, while my baby is away being serviced.

    I love, love, love my machine service center (and the sweet little lady who runs it), but I’m just heartbroken that my baby is gone for three whole days.

  70. Angelia Wigginton says:

    Great reference! Thank you!

  71. Bettina Groh says:

    My first sewing machine was a Singer treadle – cast iron legs and oak cabinet with drawers! I paid $4 for it! We were on our honeymoon (1966) and went to an auction. All the dealers there were interested in plates and glassware, so I got a steal! I used it for years.. made suits and coats and whatever. I only bought a new Singer when I wanted something that could sew knits and zig zag!
    My major machine now is a Brother Industrial one and just like my treadle, it only sews straight forwards and backwards. But it handles my teddy bear mohair fabrics like a dream!
    My secondary machine is a new Home and I’d love to try these needles in it!

  72. Mary says:

    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou. My current machine was one that I inherited from my nanna in law and it came with such a hotch potch of stuff it has taken me forever to sort it all out. All I had left to organise was needles and this has just made it so much easier as I now understand soo much more. Thankyou again.

  73. Megan says:

    Wow, I’ve never thought about needles. Great post, thanks!

  74. Francis C. Moore says:

    Good information. Francis C. Moore

  75. Julie C says:

    This is VERY VERY useful. Thank you for sharing.

  76. Eileen says:

    Thanks so much for such a useful and informative article!

  77. Christine B says:

    Wow – I learned so much from this article. Thank you so much for posting it – now I will use the right needle for the right fabric – self taught sewer on vintage singer sewing machines – thanks again

  78. Karen Hudson says:

    Wonderful information. I’m new to sewing and have be wondering about needles outside of the ones that came with my machine. I just printed this out for many years of future reference. Thank so much!

  79. cdelphine says:

    wow, thanks for all the info. Excellent post. *bookmarking*

  80. Deb says:

    I always buy different needles and then are too scared to use them! Now I will feel more confident…Thank you!

  81. Gina says:

    Thanks so much for great needle information that I have needed for SO long! Now if I can just keep up with this tutorial…

  82. Leslie says:

    That was great info! I think I need to replenish my needle supply right away! Thanks!!

  83. Pam says:

    Thanks for this. Info I definitely needed. Printing out for future reference. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  84. Stephanie says:

    I did not know about quilting needles, I will have to check those out. Thanks for all the information!

  85. very helpful! I’ve been sewing off and on for a few years now, mostly just Halloween costumes for my kids. But now I understand why there are times I have a hard time getting the right tension on certain projects! Thanks!

  86. Rachel H says:

    This was very helpful information. Thanks.

  87. This is so helpful! I need new needles for sure!

  88. Molly B. says:

    Thanks for the info! I’ve just recently discovered the importance of good new needles and nice thread!

  89. Kysha Plante says:

    I am glad for this article. I just bought several packs of needles because I broke one sewing canvas shorts. I really had little idea of what size to use though. I sat down with the dvd for my machine and it was no help at all. Thanks for all the great articles.

  90. Leigha says:

    I just bought a new (to me) machine, and since I now have one that works all the time reliably, I am branching out into new fabrics and methods. This post came at just the right time!

  91. Kim says:

    Thankyou for this article. I knew there were types of needles but never knew which ones I needed.

  92. Rebecca says:

    I’m so glad for all of this information about needles and feet and sewing machines. I’m a self taught novice. I tend to be the one in my circle of friends who figures out how to do something, creates fun things with my new skills, then teaches them. I’ve never bought needles. I’ve just used the ones that came with my machine when I’ve broken a needle. The quilting and top-stitching needles and walking foot would probably have saved me some grief. I need to print these articles and keep them with my sewing machine manual.

  93. Leah says:

    thank you for all this– what a help!

  94. Kristin says:

    Thank you for the needle lesson. I had no idea that there were so many options for needles.

  95. Melissa says:

    Interesting. I hadn’t realized what the different needles did. Thanks so much for the info.

  96. Tina says:

    Thanks for the GREAT info! I’ve finally learned that replacing the needle regularly makes life much better. My finicky machine skips stitches (and causes much swearing) if the needle is even a little dull.

  97. Kim says:

    so helpful, thank you!

  98. julia sears says:

    Thanks for the great info. I’ve never used anything but a universal needle, and now I know why I’ve had some ‘issues’ along the way.

  99. Shelley C says:

    Thanks for demystifying needles! I am sure I won’t remember all this info, but I know I can come back and search for it when needed. I want to find a bulk supplier of needles so I don’t feel so guilty to change my needle more often. I tend to want to make do and I ALWAYS get the skipped stitches. I am getting better at listening for ‘popping’ sounds when sewing too. Good to get to know your machine and how it normally sounds to know something’s not quite right.

  100. Jenny says:

    Thank you for this great information! It is good to understand how each needle works. It has taken me a long time to understand how important the right needle is!!

  101. HeatherT says:

    This is very helpful information…..thank you!!!

  102. Amy says:

    This is really great information. It’s time for me to move on from using just Universal needles. I want to buy some sharps and quilting needles asap.

  103. Needles are so imperative and often overlooked – I do it too! Thanks for all the great info!

  104. Russ says:

    Excellent. I’m such a newbie I didn’t realize there were different needles. This is some good info, and will for sure come in handy.

  105. Anne says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful information – I learned so much!!!!

  106. Christina says:

    Thank you Manda for all of the great needle information. I had no clue there were so many different types. Now I’d just like to know more about twin/double needles.

  107. Patty says:

    This is great information

  108. Trina says:

    Maybe this is the problem with my sewing machine, I must need to find a different need, though I just put a new one on it. (It wasn’t working right before I put the new one on, and now its a total mess.) I will try one more time, but I think I may have to bite the bullet and pay to have it looked at.

  109. Ingrid says:

    between new needles and new feet, it’s like having a new sewing machine! not that I’d turn up my nose if I won a new machine…

  110. Rochelle says:

    What a great amount of info! I so appreciate your effort!

  111. Faye says:

    No wonder I’ve broken so many needles!

  112. Aimee says:

    Great information – thanks. I agree that changing your needle after every large project is a major factor in success. Thanks again!

  113. Lisa M says:

    Thanks for the tips, I am going to print this out and keep it w/ my machine. Please enter me in the drawing!!

  114. Mary Anna says:

    I learned the hard way the importance of using the right type of needle. I was working on a quilted handbag and broke needle after needle. I was so frustrated when I headed to a nearby sewing machine store. The lady took one look at the needles and told me what was wrong with them and what I needed to make it right. I’ve not had a problem since.

  115. Jannette says:

    Well that clarified so much. Thank you thank you thank you. What a fantastic amount of information – that is so useful to a non-reader of manuals or instruction books like me. Great!!!

  116. Dawn says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this information! What great tips on use of needles..wish I had it when I was first starting out!


  117. wendy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m printing this out to hang by my sewing machine. I’m never sure what size needle to use for what project… this is so helpful!

  118. Layla says:

    Great article. Question about sizes – where do 100% cotton, cotton blends and corduroy fall under?

  119. Susan says:

    Great information about the different types of needles and their uses. I’ll refer to it often. I know I’m guilty of not changing mine often enough.

  120. Ananda says:

    Thanks for all the information. I’ll sheepishly admitt that I tend to try to use one needle for every project. This info was much needed. Thanks again.

  121. Desiree says:

    Thank you for the load of information. I am like most beginers and have yet to venture away from what came with the machine… I really didn’t think there was much of a difference. Because of Sew Machine month I am begining to really understand my machine. Thanks.

  122. janet says:

    thanks for this post! I’m still working on correctly matching the right machine needle for my projects. What I need now is a tutorial on how to keep all these needles organized!

  123. Sherry says:

    I am learning so much! Thank you!

  124. Katie Mitchell says:

    This was so helpful to me! Now I know what needle to use on my next project. thanks!

  125. Cari M. says:

    Thanks for this info. I first learned about changing needles here, before I’m ashamed to say I used the same needle for a very long time.

  126. Angel S. says:

    Great info! Something a lot of sewers don’t think about, unless they break, but it can make such a difference!

  127. Emma O. says:

    Thank you so much for the information! Maybe it’ll help with the skipped stiches the other day!

  128. Sara says:

    Thank you , Manda and Sew Mama Sew, for your always useful and informative posts!

  129. carmel says:

    that is so usefull!!! thanks! and i saved the article in “my favorits”
    thanks for the information!

  130. susie kilgroe says:

    I just got a new machine and this blog was helpful, since I am no longer a Singer girl!

  131. Elizabeth says:

    This is a fantastic explanation of needles. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out all of this excellent information.

  132. Sally says:

    I love this post! I was about to go buy more needles, as I’m low on nearly all of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  133. Mrs McPherson says:

    Hhhmmmm perhaps I should get around to changing my needle from the one it came with! Thanks for the advice.

  134. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this much needed info. I wish it would be included on every package of needles.

  135. Heather says:

    Great article!!!! I had no idea there was so much to learn about needles. This is such great info for a beginner like myself.

  136. Katie Bowlby says:

    Wow, this is eye-opening! Thanks so much for the info. Clearly, I desperately need to replace my needles!

  137. Lauranie says:

    Love the info, thanks! Now if I can only overcome my fear of the double needle!

  138. danna osen says:

    Such good information and hopefully I will be more conscientious about changing and using right needle.

  139. Sarah Thrash says:

    Thank You for this article. It is nice to have a reference like this all in one place.

  140. Carissa says:

    Great information, thanks!

  141. Michelle Warkentin says:

    I’m going to save this post. Very useful information!

  142. Debra says:

    I love my wing and twin needles. I used them for years in heirloom sewing. Can’t say I have ever tried a leather needle. It would be fun to try.

  143. Jessica W says:

    Very helpful! I broke 2 needles this week-haha. Thanks!

  144. Shannon says:

    Thank you for the great information!

  145. I “sew” needed this today. I’m using a canvasy (?) type of fabric and had no clue what needle to try. This makes guessing a lot easier!

  146. MaryAnn says:

    I’ve printed out all your great info and will keep it near my machine. Thanks.

  147. MalloryFielding says:

    This is exactly what I needed to know. I am just starting out and need all the help I can get. Thanks!

  148. Kim says:

    Definitely an article to print out and refer to regularly. Thanks once again for all this great information.

  149. angelune says:

    wow! this was great. I was just looking into this very topic because I got a bag full of vintage thread and found that it was too thick to use with my regular needles, and now I know that I need to get myself an embroidery needle! I’m about to start sewing with knits and stretch, so learning about the rounded needles is also helpful.

  150. mama-aya says:

    Thank you! What great advice- I’m going to bookmark this and come back to it often, I think.

  151. Taya says:

    Once again such great info!

  152. Judy says:

    This is really helpful. I have several different kinds for my machine, but I end up using the standard ones anyway!

  153. Gretchen says:

    What an incredibly educational post! I shudder to think of all the wrong needle choices I’ve made over the years – but armed with this info, I resolved to improve in the future!

  154. michelle says:

    i never knew there were so many needles to choose from!!

  155. Nikki says:

    I need to change my needle! ๐Ÿ™

    I have a confession: I bought a new machine in December to replace the machine I’ve had for 6 years. March 2009 was the first time I’d EVER changed the needle. I’d made skirts, dresses, wallets, bags, AND a quilt on the SAME needle. And I wondered why it wasn’t enjoyable

  156. Lisa K says:

    Very informative-thank you!

  157. Janet says:

    Thanks for the needle lesson! I’ve always wondered how to choose a needle- so I stick with size 14 most of the time. You’ve opened a whole world of possibilities for me today.

  158. Rachael says:

    I’m always breaking needles…Good info for me.

  159. Christy says:

    Thanks so much for this! I am having issues with my thread shredding and breaking and also skipping stitches. I’m off to try another kind of needle.

  160. kimmer says:

    I’ve been sewing up a storm lately… and I never knew there were so many different types of needles! This article was very informative! Thanks for the chance at a great giveaway!

  161. LisaB72 says:

    Great information…..I have had your blog bookmarked and have gleaned great tips and hints that have improved my sewing.


  162. Water Works says:

    Awesome post! And it reminded me why the sixth bib I made last evening didn’t have the even stitches that number 1 had. A new needle, maybe? Something about two layers of heavy duty bath toweling being used for extra duty bib making.

  163. Jacqui says:

    Thanks for the info. Very useful

  164. Anna G says:

    Thanks for this article -I have been having a lot of trouble sewing oilcloth and quilt layers, and now I know why. I’m off to by wedge and quilting needles!

  165. Mary P says:

    This was really helpful. Thank you!

  166. Thanks for the article on needles….very informative!!

  167. ~julee~ says:

    Thanks for the great information!

  168. carolyn says:

    great info! Thanks!!

  169. BethieB says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of printing this out! It makes a lot of sense and is broken down so it’s easy to understand. Thanks for the great post!

  170. Meredith says:

    A great reminder on what needle to use and when. When I was a beginner- I didn’t know about the use of different needles and ended up with uneven stitches and frustration. This will help other beginners bypass that frustration.

  171. Joy says:

    Lots of good info! Thanks!

  172. Tricia says:

    I should pay more attention to these things, I am going to print this out to use, for sure!

  173. Deb V says:

    This is a great resource. There was a lot of helpful information in this article. Thanks.

  174. Valerie says:

    Wow, I seriously knew none of this, no wonder my topstitched looks wussy, I’m not using the correct tools! Thank you!

  175. jackie says:

    thanks for the great info!

  176. Rose P in AZ says:

    Love the information. Have just changed to using an 80/12 needle to do some straight line quilting with my walking foot. Works well. Thanks.

  177. Jaime says:

    Great information! I’ve never used a quilting needle, but I will look for them now. I’m just starting to learn to quilt and any tips are always helpful!

  178. Thank you so much for the needle tutorial. I’ve always wondered about which needle to use, and the women who work at Joanns always tell me to use a “general size”, about a 12 or 14. I’m printing this out and taping it inside my sewing machine manual. Thanks again!

  179. Holee says:

    Great information. I once bought lots of different fabrics and lot of different needles just to see how they worked. This was a real eye opener! If you take this info and spend some time trying it out, you’ll never have a bad project again with stitches that are skipped or to close together or fabric broken from the needle. Everyone needs to print this out and spend a day working with the needles!

  180. Lisa says:

    Thank you for all that info, I am guilty of just using what comes with my machine and not changing it until it breaks. I think I will go buy some new needles and look forward to some better sewing.

  181. Fiona says:

    A very timely and useful article. Thank you very much indeed!

  182. thanks SO much! Something I’ve been needing to know for a long time!!

  183. Deb G says:

    I printed out your wonderful info on needles and it is now hanging on the wall in my sewing studio. Two weeks ago I purchased 20 packages of various types of Schmetz needles for my 30 year old Husqvarna/Viking machine, and now I know what to use each one for!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  184. Amy says:

    I need to print this out. Very informative.

  185. shelle says:

    Hi! Thanks for the great information. I was wondering if there is a way to sharpen machine needles?

  186. silver says:

    I always forget to change needles between projects. I once started a project on knit fabric with a denim needle in place. Doh! I really need to get myself into the habit of using brand new needles.

  187. Brooke says:

    Great information, thanks!

  188. Dot says:

    Comprehensive, yet concise—one of the better articles on needles that I have seen. Will be helpful when I work with customers at fabric store where I work part-time. All these machine-related pieces have been really good.

  189. Liz B says:

    Very helpful info and well organized. Thanks!

  190. Elizabeth A says:

    I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the different types and sizes of needles available, so I’ve just stuck with what came with my machine. But not anymore! Thanks for the great info!

  191. By LuLu says:

    I’ve always just used the plain ole universal. Just grabbed one out of the pack in what ever size I saw first and gone from there… Maybe I should start experimenting more with different needles!

  192. Mandy says:

    I’m familiar with many needles, but some of the ones you listed were new to me! Wedge needles, who knew? lol. Definitely bookmarking this page for handy references, thanks!

  193. Alissa says:

    Thanks for the info! I am guilty of leaving my needle in my machine for far too long. This was a good reminder to change it (as well as clean the lint out of the bobbin casing!) after every project.

  194. nhmama says:

    This information is certainly going to be saved away so that I can use it when I need it. Pretty new to sewing so these great explanations are so appriciated! Thanks!

  195. Elise says:

    Very informative! Thanks for all the insight

  196. Loralyn Cecil says:

    I completely agree. Needles take only a second to replace and make a huge difference in your sewing.

  197. Kara says:

    Wow! Saving this bookmark (can’t print it out, my boys will find it and turn it into paper airplanes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lots and lots of great info here!!

  198. Eileen says:

    I keep all my gently used Schmetz needles in a NeedlePack I picked up a few years back. Very handy.

    For Denim I use a 100/16 needle. The various needles I have range from a 60/8 to 110/18.

    Best tip – always have spare needles. If you are ready for a break, it is less likely to happen!

  199. knofje says:

    Thanks for so much great information!

  200. Lauren says:

    Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to spell all of that out for everyone, I’m sure it will save a lot of headaches in the future! I need to print this and keep it on the wall in front of my machine as my universal needle guide!

  201. Clair says:

    We just got a sewing machine at home so I am trying to read up more about sewing with it. I saw this blog entry via Craft so I am glad about seeing this. I will share this post to my friends who are interested in sewing with a machine. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is very informative. Can’t wait for the weekend so I could study our sewing machine more.

  202. Teresa says:

    I’m going to print and keep this info ready for when I get my new machine. The needle type/size subject has always confused me. I have an old machine that I’ve started using a lot more recently but I don’t know what needle is in there and can’t remember ever changing it. That’s very bad!!

  203. Pamela Oakes says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever replaced the needle that came on my machine. Can you tell I’m a newbie!? Off to read the user’s manual again.

  204. Rebecca says:

    Interesting that twin needles are photographed twice for this article, but not discussed. I think they are the trickiest of the lot. Perhaps we need a “special edition” just to cover them.

  205. Joy Gross says:

    Thank you so much for the great information.. I didn’t realize there were needles for quilting. I didn’t know there were that many different needles.

  206. trashalou says:

    Oh! Now when I go back to my local sewing shop I will have a slightly more intelligent look on my face when asking for a machine needle. I was in there last week after snapping the last one that came with my machine and think I looked pretty stupid when she said
    “What kind of needle did you need?”


  207. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the post, it answered my “how often should I change my sewing machine needle” question that I’ve been meaning to google the answer for!

  208. Melanie says:

    This was an excellent primer on machine needles, thanks Manda ๐Ÿ™‚

  209. Mar says:

    Oh, I really needed this! My current stock of needles (that came with the machine) is quickly growing scarce, and I was about to go googling which type of needle to buy next. And there it is, all the info perfectly put together for us to enjoy! Thanks!!

  210. Emily says:

    Thanks so much! Something I would have never looked up but I’m really glad to know!

  211. Tera says:

    Thank you so much! This was really helpful and a good reminder to remember to change my needle more often ๐Ÿ™‚

  212. Dejah Leger says:

    Thanks! That was a very helpful article! I think this will make a difference in my sewing results.

  213. Iris Bradbury` says:

    After reading this article I have taken a new look at my sewing requirements when it comes to needles, I have always just sat at the machine and expected everything to be just right.
    I will make sure in future at lest I have the right needle, thank you for the info Iris Bradbury

  214. Bladerunner says:

    How fantastic – I’m just now learning to sew, and I just bought a new machine. This will come in quite handy.

  215. Casey says:

    I do have a tendency to stick with the universal ones as well. Thanks for the great summary!

  216. Cassie says:

    Wow, didn’t realize there was that much to know about needles! Thanks!

  217. Page says:

    This is really something I have been wanting to learn about. Thanks!!! ~Page

  218. Char says:

    I’ve wanted to try quilting with double needles… like free motion quilting…. hmmm… I think it would be fun to find ways to use all those needles…

  219. erin says:

    Thanks for the info!

  220. Tara says:

    Wow! This is super-helpful for someone just starting out – like me! *bookmarked*

  221. Emily says:

    Great information! Thanks so much!!!

  222. Jenn says:

    What a great resource, I’m bookmarking this article.

  223. Beth says:

    Thanks for this post, it is so helpful! I’ve bookmarked it in my S. M. S. folder. Keep up the great work – your themes for each month are awesome!

  224. Ariane says:

    I had no idea there was so many different needles – or that I should change my needles more often than I currently do. I am switching it right after I post this! Thanks so much for the information!

  225. Lisa says:

    This is so awesome, thank you.
    I learned my lesson about Ball Point needles the really hard way.
    I would love to see some samples of using topstitch needles with double thread to see what it looks like with/without. Seems like something I might like to try.

  226. Tam Bell says:

    Brilliant thanks! I just use one needle…now I can confidently go shopping and get a selection for all my projects

    Thanks again.

  227. Lori says:

    I never knew…! Thank you so much for the wonderful information.

  228. Julie GM says:

    Okay SO MUCH INFO!! I will save this page! So happy this was all explained! I needed this info back mos ago!! =)


  229. Debra says:

    Great info, who knew? Glad I know now. You are such a great source of constant sewing information, thanks!

  230. Liane says:

    Thanks for some great info – off to the fabric store for some needles!

  231. Limor says:

    This was really helpful. I’m completely self-taught, so I need all the help I can get.

  232. Erin says:

    I need to print this info out. It’s silly, but most of this is stuff I didn’t know!

  233. Mauri says:

    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information. I will be printing that out for future reference.

  234. Nancy says:

    This was great. This is the type of post that I will link to on my blog for future reference.

  235. Michelle says:

    Wow. I’ve read about choosing needles before but this was more in depth and very helpful. Thanks!

  236. Kristen says:

    Very informational post on all the needle choices.

  237. Cindy says:

    Great article. Thanks for the reminder. I’m definitely one of those who should know better but often don’t change the needle for a quick mending project or such. And for those who make bags out of denim or canvas, you can get needles up to size 24 I believe and when you’ve got a lot of layers of a 12+ oz. canvas, a hefty enough needle can make or break your project. (The right thread as well!) I think I learned this tip from my mother: You should never be able to hear the needle going through the fabric, if you can it’s the wrong needle.

  238. Kate Bessey says:

    This is so useful. Thanks!

  239. Annwen says:

    Wow, this is fantastic! Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us (me) on this. I have been completely confused about this very topic of late and will be referring back to this information many times in the future. Thanks again!

  240. Brenda says:

    Thanks for this. I am so often surprised at how it is a very little thing (a needle), so easy to fix, that is causing my frustration at the machine ๐Ÿ™‚

  241. Penny says:

    oh my, so much to know just about needles!! Thank-you for this info!

  242. Kim K. says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I’m new to sewing and so all the information is awesome!

  243. Curry says:

    There are more needles out there then I realized!

  244. Melody says:

    Fantastic summary! I can’t think of a situation that I couldn’t pick the right needle for from this post!


  245. Jenie says:

    Thank-you for all the wonderful information. I truly had no idea that using new needles could make such a difference.

  246. Regina says:

    great to have all this info all in one place. My biggest error is not changing my needle frequently enough!

  247. lina says:

    Thanks a lot for this helpful info! I love Manda’s blog and enjoy the stash interview too!

  248. Carol says:

    I have really enjoyed reading the blog. I have only found you about a week ago but I have really enjoyed all your info. I even made the sewing machine cover, that you had in a post a few days ago, for my daughter who has just got her first sewing machine.

  249. Carolyn says:

    What fabulous information! I’m bookmarking this page as a reference from here on out! Thanks for compiling all the info into a concise format. It’s so much easier than trying to pull all that from several different books.

  250. eriejeg says:

    I’m printing this out and putting it on my wall in my sewing room. Now, I just have to remember to look at it!

  251. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this information! I have only ever used the Universal needles 14/90, and now it makes sense why they haven’t always worked well with my different projects. I didn’t realize what an important piece of my machine the needle was. Thanks!

  252. Holly DuBose says:

    Printed. Thanks for the great info.

  253. Alissa says:

    This was so informative. I never put much thought into my needle. I took my machine out of the box…glanced over the instruction manual and that was that! This has been so educational.
    Great job.

  254. Jenni says:

    Wow. I’m new to sewing, so this was an eye-opener. I’ll be hitting my local fabric store soon for some new needles. Thanks!

  255. Missie says:

    I am always breaking needles. I’m so glad to read that there is a specific needle for machine quilting. I’ll be sure to buy a few of those before finishing my next quilt!

  256. Jeni says:

    Thank you for all the information!! I have been learning a lot about sewing machines and I need all the help I can get! I am more of a just go for it sewer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  257. Doreen B says:

    Thank you for the info. Will print to read more in detail.

  258. Melanie says:

    this was so helpful! thanks!

  259. Carmen says:

    Thanks for the excellent information. I only recently learned that it’s a good idea to change to a new needle when you start a new project.

  260. Liz says:

    thank you! i so needed this guideline!

  261. Rachel says:

    This was my frustrations growing up and using my mom’s old machine (and just as old needles). I would get sooo frustrated b/c the stitches would keep skipping. Finally when I got my own machine I realized how much of a difference a good needle makes.

  262. Sara says:

    thanks for reminding me about the importance of my needle. so often it really DOES make a difference and its so easy to overlook!

  263. donnag says:

    i have already bookmarked this post as I am always trying to remember which needle goes with which project/fabric. Thanks for this info!

  264. Judy says:

    Just came across your site and i’m so excited. “Sew much to do, sew little time”

  265. brenbren says:

    This info is soooooo helpful

  266. Kristi says:

    Wow…information overload! Thanks for the education.

  267. naomig says:

    Great info! I wish I’d had this info about 2 years ago when I started sewing… I’ve learned all this the hard way, and by trial and error. As a result, I have a huge collection of needles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  268. Deb says:

    Thanks for the needle tips! I’m so distracted half the time I don’t even remember when I last replaced the needle. Good to have something like this all in one place as a reference/guide.

  269. Jane Johnson says:

    thanks so much for the timely tutorial on needles. very helpful!

  270. Stephanie says:

    oh wow, this was another great iinformation post! I havenever used anything but a universal needle, and I need to get better about changing it more frequently. These sorts of posts are another reason why I love sew mama sew! Thanks for explaining everything so well and concise!

  271. Amy says:

    Wow! I’ve learned so much from this article! Thank you, Manda, for sharing!

  272. Beth Prince says:

    Oh my Gosh! Thank you so much for the info– I am always wondering if I am using the right needle or not, and finally I have the definitive answer in one place. I am bookmarking this article!

  273. Catyblue says:

    I’m so printing this and keep it next to my sewing machine. I always have trouble finding the right needle size. Thanks a bunch!

  274. Julia in MI says:

    I already knew a little bit about sewing needles of various sizes, but Manda’s explanations and descriptions were very helpful. Thanks for the great info.

  275. Jeannette says:

    This was so incredibly helpful!!! I’m definitely bookmarking this post.

  276. Corvus says:

    That is such a fantastically useful guide. I too am rather resistant to thinking about and changing my needles, but it seems like a low-effort way to make sewing much easier, so I’ll definently be working on taking needle type into account.

  277. Becky says:

    Thanks for the super informative article! It’s the sort of stuff that I know I should know. Great refresher!

  278. Katherine says:

    Perfect timing on this post, I was at a craft store the other day staring blankly at the wide variety of sewing machine needles wondering which would suit best. I ended up buying universal needles, but this article has helped to understand when a more specific needle might be useful. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  279. Raphiel says:

    Thank you so much for all the info! Super helpful.

  280. Erica says:

    Very interesting. Thanks a lot!

  281. Carin Vogelzang says:

    I haven’t read anything like this before -very informative I guess I always thought it didn’t make much of a difference….now I will go downstairs and look at what needle I have in the machine and perhaps I will have to change it!

  282. Helena says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I bookmarked it so I can easily find it in the future!

  283. Meg says:

    Hmmm… I don’t think muslin belongs under the medium weight needles. I’ve sewn muslin more than any other fabric and I KNOW in my experience that it does better with needles for lightweight fabrics, I never use anything more than an 11.

  284. Kimberly Fennie says:

    Thanks for the needle education! I will be printing this post out to put in my ‘sewing journal’ where it will be a handy reference!

  285. Candice says:

    So informative- I’m definitely bookmarking this blog entry. Thank you!!!

  286. Laura says:

    This was another wonderful post about sewing basics. Keep it up!

  287. Rachel says:

    I didn’t know you got special needles for topstitching, that’s useful to know! I know I’m particularly guilty of not changing my needle often enough.

  288. jenn says:

    This is an invaluable interview! I wish I had known this 15 years ago. I am a self taught sewer and I have learned some things the hard way!
    Great interview thank you so much, it is so nice to have all of this information in one place and I learned a new thing or two!

  289. Joanne says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to quilting and using a sewing machine. So this post was very usefull for me to read. I never thought there are so many different kinds of needles! Great blog by the way!

  290. SARAH says:

    Love needle post! I have been in the habit of picking up a few packs of needles every time I visit the fabric store. That way I’m never in short supply. Also I like a couple of different brands but Singer needles have a guide on the package I save them for refrence.

  291. Kate says:

    Great to have all this info compiled in one place, thanks!

  292. Monica says:

    This was just what I needed. i’m constantly adjusting my macine to get the tension right, but I never change the needles. I think the only time I’ve ever changed one is when it broke. Things are starting to make a little more sense to me, with the articles and interviews.

  293. Sara D. says:

    That is very informative! Needle selection has remained a mystery to me.

  294. Elaine says:

    Thank you for the information! I needed to know this!
    I have learned a lot and you answered some questions
    for me that I have been meaning to research!

  295. Christina says:

    Now I can stop calling my mother with needle questions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  296. Cecily says:

    This is great information. I never really know when to switch and what to switch to. Now I’ll have to give some other size/weight/shape needles a try.

  297. I am grateful for sewing machine month. These posts are answering questions I have never wanted to ask!

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  298. Kristin says:

    Thank you for another fabulous interview. I will have to write all this down and keep it by the sewing machine.

  299. Julie says:

    Very helpful information. Thanks!

  300. Karen Ellis says:

    Thank you for this article – I’ve been struggling with sewing together several handwoven strips of homespun wool. Based in this information it looks like the needle needs to be heavier.


  301. Kristen says:

    Wow, I had suspicions that my skipped stitches might be related to the needle, but no real evidence to explain it. Now I’ll have to go back and try changing out with new needles to see if that helps! Thanks for the great information.

  302. Missy says:

    Thanks for putting all this info in one place. I’ll be checking back here should I ever sew anything other than quilty fabrics. =)

  303. Leslie says:

    Thank you for breaking this down, it really is a lot to take in, definitley taking notes! I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds of needles!

  304. Martha says:

    Wonderful information. I knew that numbers corresponded to different fabrics, but had no idea which was for what. Thanks!

  305. Maggie says:

    This is a great post. Very informative. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  306. phyllis says:

    wow I think I need to print this & put above my sewing machine to keep me straight. thanks

  307. Sarah says:

    wow how apropos! I actually encountered many of those needle issues today! too too many to list here, but regardless of my needing this blog write up, like, yesterday, thank you for the article and being so needle savvy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  308. Thank-you! I am a fairly new sewer and I admit, don’t change my needles often enough and when I do change them, I am most likely not using the correct ones.
    Thank-you for setting me straight!


  309. Alice says:

    This was so helpful! I get so confused with what needle to use for what, I’ve broken 2 just in the past couple weeks. I think I need to invest in some new needles.

  310. freecia says:

    Love this! Between the needles post and feet post, the only things I could use some more “setting the newbie straight on” are thread and bobbins. Why oh why does my sewing machine not tell me which type of bobbin class to buy? And how to tension the bottom bobbin with heavier weight thread (note to self was to buy a few spares to try it out on, so I don’t screw up my only bobbin’s tension)?
    Thanks for the great articles!

  311. Jamie Z says:

    wow! I’ll be bookmarking this!

  312. Orghlaith says:

    Thanks. This is just what I need. Now I can sew more confidently.

  313. Shannon says:

    Excellent post. I’ve often wondered if I am using the right needle for my projects, and this is going to help a lot!

  314. Camilla Moss says:

    Thanks for all the info! It seems I have a lot to learn….I have always sewn with the needle that came with the machine. Looks like there’s a whole new world out there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  315. Jane says:

    Thanks so much for the refresher on needles. I change mine frequently and when I change types for different types of sewing or fabrics I have a sewing machine needle case I use. It has a spot for each size and type so I won’t be confused.

  316. Kathleen says:

    I’m saving this information for reference, and I’m going shopping for a variety of needles for machine sewing. I continue to learn so much from this site. Thanks for sharing with all your readers.

  317. Megan S. says:

    Thanks for spelling all of this out so clearly! Handy information to have.

  318. raven says:

    awesome tips, needles always perplex me!

  319. Marlene says:

    Wonderful info…I will print this , Thanks

  320. Amy says:

    Thanks for this helpful guide. I think I’ll print a copy and keep it with my machine!

  321. Esther says:

    Using the right needle is so important but I still forget till things go wrong too ! It’s far to easy to slip into just sewing without checking the needle first. I have a love/hate relationship with leather needles, they work really well but because they are sharp up the shaft not just the point I am always cutting myself on them!

  322. Julie says:

    Needle know-how! Fantastic, thanks for sharing!

  323. Marissa says:

    Thanks for sharing, it is very helpful.

  324. Carrie P. says:

    I really appreciate this post today. A lot of help for me . Thanks.

  325. Beth says:

    Thanks for the info! Now I can always refer to this post when I have questions!

  326. needles have always confused me….thanks for the info

  327. Julie says:

    Thanks for the info!! A lot I did not know…

  328. Melissa says:

    This is great information! Thanks for needle info. Old sewing machines rock!

  329. Erin says:

    This is great info. I’m terrible about changing needles and I think this will encourage me to change my ways.

  330. AngieK says:

    What a great post, so informative!

  331. Bonnie says:

    Great information! Thanks!

  332. Jennifer Rose says:

    Now I can select new needles without hesitation! Thanks for another great, informative entry.

  333. Jana says:

    I second the changing the needle with a new project!!

  334. Beth G. says:

    Great information! It’s always great to get great tips on things like this. Thanks!

  335. wendy says:

    Great article . . . I’m very new to sewing and this was all the info I need in one place ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for sharing it with us!

  336. stacey says:

    Thank you for the tips on machine needles. I have been trying to unravel this mystery for some time:)

  337. Andrea says:

    Thanks for providing all this useful information! I have been using only universal needles. I think I need to branch out more.

  338. Catherine says:

    thanks for this great comprehensive guide on sewing machine needles. You reminded me to change my needles more often. I never knew about the “sharps” either.

  339. Mary E. Hubbard (retirednana2008) says:

    Thanks for all the great info. As someone stated earlier, I’m printing this out & posting it near my machine. I’ve been sewing for mannnny years, but this is the best set of details that I’ve come across in one place. Good Job!

  340. Sew-Ann says:

    I’m always looking for this info when starting a new project. I have had a few bad experiences with choosing the wrong needle.

  341. Christy says:

    What a great resource. Thank you for all the information. I’m printing it and putting it next to my sewing machine.

  342. Annie says:

    What size needles are for top stitching?

  343. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for this information. I tend to forget that I need to match my needle to the fabric I’m sewing with.

  344. elva fishman says:

    you really do learn something new everyday thanks for the info. love your site

  345. brooke ann says:

    Thank you so much for the info, I especially like how you broke down the needle size to the type of fabric. yay!

  346. Nancy Mc says:

    Thank you for all the great advice this month.

  347. Kelly W says:

    Thank you for the informative post. I’ve wanted to use some embroidery thread on a project but didn’t know if it would work. Now I’ll try the special needle and cross my fingers. Thanks!

  348. Kylla says:

    This post was just in time! I am about to start my first try at sewing with silk and hadn’t considered a different needle, usually just stick with universals. Thanks!

  349. I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference. I always forget which needle I’m supposed to be using and to change needles at the start of a project.

  350. Annie says:

    Now this is what I have been wondering about for some time. And you expalin them so veryclearly that even my lazy brain can understand, thank you, I can now fully understand what each needle is for instead of thining all were the same.

  351. Jessica T says:

    This is a great article! Such a lot of good information, thank you!

  352. Leslie Newton says:

    Thanks so much. This was very informative. Why is it we take such care in selecting fabric and patterns, but don’t pay attention to the basics, such as needles.

  353. Lauren says:

    Thanks so much! This is a topic I definitely need to learn about.

  354. michele m says:

    OMG– I thought there were only 2 kinds of needles–ballpoint and regular–LOL

  355. Krissy says:

    Wow! So much info but great to know. Bookmarking this for reference!

  356. alana says:

    Thanks for all of the great information. Schmetz also has needles specifically for Stretch fabrics and I have always wondered how those differ from their ballpoint needles recommended for knits.

  357. Andrea says:

    Oh, thank you thank you thank you for this post! I’m constantly confused about which needle to buy or which one to use on a project!

  358. Liz D says:

    Wow, I had no idea. It makes me wonder if my quilting teacher was right in telling us to use denim/jeans needles size 80/12. Looks like I’ll be bookmarking this site for future reference. Thanks!

  359. erin says:

    thanks for the informative post!
    i sew a lot of leather, suede and canvas (you know, sturdier types) so i’m always looking for needle advice.
    speaking of which…
    do you know, are “leather” needles made by certain brands the same as the wedge needles described in this post?
    also, are there any brands that you’ve had better luck with than others? your guess is likely better than mine!

  360. Mari says:

    Thanks for all the information! I am relatively new to sewing and had no idea!

  361. Stacey says:

    Thank you, I’ve never found a better explanation, and a self taught sewer I don’t really have anyone to ask.

  362. Carrie L says:

    Thanks for the good info. I’ve just recently started sewing again and have been discovering what a difference the right needle can make.

  363. Lisa says:

    Such wonderfully useful information! I need to bookmark this post so I can refer back to it time and time again. Thank you.

  364. Aparna says:

    I just finished sewing my machine cover. I followed the tutorial by Jessie from Tiny House and even though this was my first sewing project, it came out neat. I am very happy with it. Thank you Jessie.


  365. kim says:

    This is so helpful. Thank you!

  366. kim says:

    This is os helpful. Thank you!

  367. Paula says:

    This is great information. The sewing machine manufacturers don’t provide enough of this in their manuals. I learned a lot from my “Bernina Club” – but everyone should print this out!

  368. this is a great article! things like knowing what needle to use can be daunting for us beginners. i am trying to be less intimidated by my sewing machine, and this helps, thanks!

  369. Kelli says:

    I always tend to stick to a universal needle too…had trouble the other day with machine embroidery leaving holes in the fabric…duh! Use a sharper, smaller needle. It took someone else reminding me to even consider that! Needles are one of those things I tend to overlook assuming it’s a tension, stabilizer, “me” error! Thanks for the info and reminder.

  370. Susan says:

    I am one who has used the same type of needle for years. It wasn’t until I began machine quilting that I realized the difference in them. Thanks for all this valuable info–I have never come acrossed it in all one post.

  371. christine says:

    how incredibly useful this info is for me. thank you!

  372. coffeechris says:

    Thanks for the great knowledge transfer on machine needles good to have all the info in one place. Love that June is Sewing Machine Month……inspires me to give my machine a hug.

  373. Kim B. says:

    As a newbie to sewing, this is an especially informative article! Thank you!

  374. Ann says:

    This would be wonderful in PDF format to print out/refer to quickly, it’s great information!

  375. Darla says:

    So very helpful for this new sewer!

  376. Valerie says:

    Yep, I totally needed to read this today. No more “universal” needles for me, used on every single project. I need to actually use the right ones, and now I have the know-how to choose the right ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  377. kelsey says:

    Thanks for this great info. Time to go change my needle!

  378. Cheryl Sedlar says:

    Great article on needles! I never thought to check my needle on starting a new job. I realized this may have been causing some of my frustration when sewing certain fabrics; I had the wrong needle size. This was a great “refresher course” for me. Your article was well written!

  379. Elizabeth says:

    So insightful, I’ll be referring back to this often!

  380. jen w says:

    wow, what a super helpful article, and also very timely for me because i have machine needles on my list of things i need to get!!! thanks so much for the info….wonderful!

  381. craftytammie says:

    Thanks for clearing this up! And even though I won’t remember it now, at least I will know right where to find it in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

  382. Ellen Ban says:

    I need to get better about changing my needle more often! Maybe winning some would help me change my bad habit!

  383. D'Ann says:

    I am learning so much. For a novice seamstress like me this month is wonderful! Thank-you.

  384. bec says:

    thanks for the post on needles– i must admit i am an universal needle user too…time to change!

  385. amy says:

    Book marking this for sure. I’m always at a loss when trying to figure out which needle to use.

  386. sandyandcosmo says:

    This is the best article on sewing machine needles I have ever read. Thank you!

  387. Leah Caruso says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Good info!

  388. abbytail says:

    great tute, soemhow it was very hard to find such a simple yetgreat tute about which needles to use. Although I knew there were more types of needles around I never got further than trying out the leather and differewnces between dull and sharp points. Now I have a great reference and maybe I’ll finally dear to do something to that lovely silk in my stash? (4 years of admiring it)

  389. Beth says:

    I am really amazed by how much information is out there. Thanks for sharing this. I’d like to take a basics course – by someone who knows all about my Viking!

  390. Christine says:

    I love my little cache of needles….all kinds for all the different sewing jobs. It makes the sewing run smoothly.

    So, I would LOVE to win this batch of needles, as there are some in there that I don’t have!

  391. funderbug says:

    Will be saving this one for future reference. Thanks!

  392. Angela says:

    GREAT info!!! I am going to print this out and keep it with my machine! Thanks so much for the lesson on needles; it’s always something I think about when starting a new project.


  393. Jessica says:

    Great review! Thanks! There are several needles I wasn’t aware of…

  394. Julianne says:

    I always just sued the same old needles. Thanks!

  395. Barbara says:

    Great article. While having the correct needle helps a lot, remember to change them quite frequently for trouble-free sewing.

  396. Rachel says:

    Thanks Manda! You may have just solved a mystery to me. My machine was skipping stitches and on another occasion, the tension was off. I tried fiddling with the machine, but after reading your post, I think it might be the needles.

    Very informative!

  397. lizzie says:

    Thank you for this post – I needed to be reminded of this. Does anyone have a tip on how to better see the needle size, when even a magnifying glass does not help?

  398. Hannah says:

    Oh my goodness. I have been sewing for almost 5 years and have NEVER changed my needle! Thanks for the info.

  399. sarah says:

    I’m working on moving past those starter needles… Reading this post gives me the creative burst I need to try new projects!

  400. Alice Scofield says:

    Thanks so much for all the information – certainly cleared up a lot of questions and will help me make better selections when I ponder the array of needles in the store – maybe next time an article about the various threads out there and the differences and best way to choose the right threads for our projects?

  401. Niki says:

    Thank you for the great needle information. Needles are not something I end up thinking about until I’ve already started a project. Having this great information will definitely help make my sewing better!

  402. Ginger says:

    Thanks! This made it pretty easy for me to understand and now I feel more comfortable trying different needles.

  403. Loved the Sewing needles 101 break down very informative something every sewist should read.

  404. Sarah says:

    I have only recently started using different needles, but also I have only recently started sewing anything other than cotton.

  405. Sheryl says:

    Thanks for this post! I have just recently become aware of the need for different needles, but always wondered what type was to be used where. Now I have a reference!

  406. Bailey says:

    Thanks! This has been a helpful review for me.

  407. Mary says:

    So, I’m accumulating quite a pile of used needles and can’t bear to just throw them out….Is there some place to recycle needles?

  408. Ali says:

    I’ve been nervous about using anything other than the universal point needles – thanks for helping me to understand it all!

  409. Rachel says:

    Wow, thanks for all the great info. I am used to just sticking with one or two types. That was very helpful!

  410. Teri says:

    Thanks for the great info! Choosing needles is no longer a mystery.

  411. Kris says:

    This is great info – I always seem to forget to change my needle and then wonder why the machine isn’t working right…….

  412. Jenny says:

    Thank you for this helpful information. I have a feeling I’ve been using my needles a bit too long…

  413. Beth Walker says:

    Man, I needed this so badly. Thanks!

  414. Sharon says:

    thanks for all this info …. I broke 4 count em 4 needle last night sewing in just a bit of extra elastic a pair of purchased athletic shorts grr I tried universal, ball point and leather!

  415. Hilary says:

    Very useful and straightforward – thanks!

  416. PrutsPrinses says:

    Thank you for the great overview, I will use this as a reference from now on ๐Ÿ™‚

  417. KatieV says:

    Needles—another “scary” sewing item for me! Thanks for the useful information! I’d love to win today’s needle package.

  418. Kristine says:

    I love using my sharp point needles…I think I use them more than universal needles. What would be the best needle to use if I were mixing knits and cotton?

  419. Gwen says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’m sure it will come in handy!

  420. Lola Jo says:

    What a great resource! It’s nice to see all of this in one place. Needles can be confusing and using the right one for your project is essential. Thank you!

  421. Sally says:

    This is a great post. Now, if I can just figure out a way to keep them all organized…. especially the ones that I just use a little bit. If I’m not sewing as often as I like, I tend to forget what size I was using.

  422. Andi says:

    Thanks for the great information! I think I need some new needles! ๐Ÿ™‚

  423. K.A.M says:

    Wow, this is excellent information to know for someone who is new to sewing and inheriting a needless machine. Thank you so much, I look forward to using this knowledge and to following your blog more frequently!

  424. Melany says:

    Yes – great information! Thank you… and do you know – I actually had a needle break and fly right into my eye before when I was trying to sew something with the wrong needle. So, maybe you saved some lives (or at least some eyes) with this information! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  425. Ariane says:

    Thanks for writing this! It was a very useful read.

  426. Penny Sue says:

    Thank you for the great information. I know it makes a big difference when sewing but if you ask at most fabric stores about needles they usually can’t help much. Thanks again!

  427. Hilde says:

    Thanks for this post. I just bought a sewing machine a few months ago so this information will come in handy!

  428. KyLydia says:

    This is a great tutorial. I am soon starting a project with heavy satin. I’m not sure if a size 9 or size 11 needle would be better.

  429. Elle says:

    I just broke my first needle. Thank goodness someone told me that it sounded like your machine falling apart or else I would have been really worried! This post was great timing.

  430. Serena says:

    This makes so much more sense than my manual! Thanks!

  431. Lauren says:

    What a great post – I just bought some silky fabrics and needed to know what needle to use!

  432. girlsmama says:

    Great information! I’m off to buy new needles!

  433. Melissa H. says:

    I had no idea there are so many needle types out there. Thanks for the info!

  434. Lindsay says:

    Super helpful! I’m staring this in my Google Reader to print out later! Thank you!

  435. charlotte says:

    this was quite helpful! i am starting to quilt (at the cutting/piecing part now) and am happy to know about the specific type of needle to use during the final stages… thanks for this great needle information!!!

  436. --ginger. says:

    Thank you SO much for this–because the not-so-nice lady at the fabric store seemed really really annoyed when I started asking her questions about all the needle types. She looked at me like I was a nutbag and told me to buy more universal needles. I’m going to bookmark this page. Thanks!

  437. Patricia says:

    As always, I learned so much. Thank you!

  438. alison says:

    thanks for the needle facts!

  439. qsogirl says:

    this is such a great reference post! Thank you for the information– I’ll be bookmarking it for the future!!

  440. MARIA ISABEL says:

    Thanks for the information. i learn today and all yhe days. greetings.

  441. mub says:

    This is a great article, I’ve bookmarked it for reference!

  442. becky says:

    This is a great summary for me. I have often pondered these exact questions while staring at a daunting wall of needle. Ugh.

  443. Sarah says:

    What a great article! I’ve been seriously needing a lesson in this, I’m just getting to know my sewing machine. Thanks for such a informative breakdown, keep up the good work!

  444. Jenny says:

    Thanks for all the info and the good reminder at the end that I really need to change my needle!

  445. Heather says:

    A similar tutorial for pins would be much appreciated! I know I use the wrong pins sometimes, but I’m not sure what I should use.

  446. Nicole says:

    I’m soo glad that I read this! I’m making notes like a good student!

  447. Jodieth says:

    Wow, this is a fabulous tutorial for sewing machine needles. Thank you so much!

  448. Linda says:

    Thanks for that great information. It’s very helpful. Unfortunately the #9/60 needles are very hard to find are here in Ontario/Canada.

  449. Shawna says:

    I am really enjoying this sewing machine month! There is so much that I don’t know about my machine that I am learning just by reading here! Thank you:)

  450. thanks so much. I sort of feel like a dummy for all the needles I”ve broken and the ‘dings’ I’ve made, when I could have just done the research!! Oh well, now I know! Thanks … Kate

  451. Christine says:

    I loved this article because I just had to replace my needle. I chose a 14/90 and didn’t realize that there were that many choices! I thought my machine was being wonky, but it was just that the needle needed to be replaced! Next time I’m going straight to the needle!

  452. andi says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I am teaching myself and have no one to ask these sorts of questions. This will be printed and saved for future reference. Now I need more needles….

  453. Alisa says:

    Great info! I too, am just (finally) really learning what needles are for what fabric. I just tried out my ‘twin’ needle the other day too. That makes a really neat finish as well.

  454. Ann Dilcher says:

    Ok…so that is one thing I never think to change – the needle. Great advice and reminder to go home and change the one that has been in there for years out for a sharp one.

  455. Julie says:

    Thank you for all the great information! I’ve just been using the needle that came with the machine, I really need to try different ones now!

  456. Rachael says:

    Great information! I’m going to think about changing my needles more often now.

  457. Sarah C. says:

    I’ve been needing to learn more about specific needles, then I won’t make the excuse of not being able to sew certain things. Thank you!

  458. This is really great information – Thankfully my machine helps me out with that. It lets you know what foot/needle to use when you program in the type of fabric that you are using. I love the feature that my sewing machine has.

  459. katie says:

    This is the one area I didn’t feel confident in after sewing for a year now. This article is a big help, thanks.

  460. Karen/twinmom says:

    great post – thanks! Even though I’ve been sewing for almost 30 years, (yikes!!) it’s still good to have a refresher & a reference for those times you doubt yourself. There’s always new info & tips everywhere, I love it! It also prompts me to try out new things, which I love, too. Thanks!

  461. Lindsey says:

    thank you so much, needles are a very daunting task for me and i do tend to stick to the ones that came on the machine ๐Ÿ™‚

  462. Becky says:

    I was struggling with what needles to use just this past weekend, so this is definitely perfect timing. Thanks so much for the helpful hints. This article is so getting printed and added to my notebook of useful sewing info!

  463. Lise says:

    I’ve learned the hard way that I wasn’t using the proper needles. Thanks for helping me figure out what I should be using. ๐Ÿ™‚

  464. Christina says:

    Wow, I had no idea about having to change the needles so often either! Thanks for the tips!

  465. sarah says:

    Wow! I have seen the light! Thanks for all the needle info.

  466. Christi says:

    Wow, I’m printing this out and keeping it next to my machine. Thanks!

  467. Qalballah says:

    Cor that Manda is just a mine of information. I’ve only ever sewed with cotton, but I’m finding all this needle info v. interesting and useful and its making me feel a bit braver about trying other things. And now that I’m here what say I buy a stash of fabric? Oh go on then…

  468. Jenny T. says:

    Thanks – I am constantly frustrated with my machine because of how it handles thicker fabrics, but I’d be willing to bet that half the time it’s just me…..or my needle!

  469. Michal says:

    thanks for sharing this great article!

  470. Michal says:

    thanks for sharing this great article!

  471. Sara L. says:

    Thank you so so much for this information. It is great to have a resource like this to consult when I am starting a new project. Wonderful article!

  472. Sherrille Mackeigan says:

    Never sure which needle to use this is great information. i will be printing this talk for further referance. Thanks.

  473. Renee E says:

    I love this info! I use my twin needles for knit and a universal needle mastly, but I an venturing into quilting and some home decor so this is very helpful.

  474. Bethany says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s very helpful to sewing newbies.

  475. Deanna K says:

    thanks for the post – I’d love some new needles!

  476. mjb says:

    This will make a good reference! I’m definitely learning by trial and error, though, what helps give me less broken needles and better stitching.

  477. azteclady says:

    This is priceless information!

    Thank you for sharing these tips–I’m bookmarking this article.

    I just got a 1918 Singer sewing machine from my mother (originally my grandmother’s) and I’m in love with it. The funny thing is that, while I’m a beginner and am really just trying to learn the basics, I now own three different sewing machines!

  478. Megan says:

    Thanks for this, I’m terribly guilty of using the wrong needles much of the time and languish over the trouble it causes. So, atleast now I am a bit more aware and will take care to purchase and use the correct needles in the future!

  479. Stacy says:

    Great info. I just started chaning my needle with every project and what a difference it makes!

  480. ariel says:

    This is a wealth of info for someone like me, who is used to buying one kind of needle and leaving it in the machine…Thank you!

  481. hilary says:

    Thanks for putting this down to paper it willget bookmarked and referenced back to frequently.

  482. Leigh says:

    Thanks so much! I’ve bookmarked this and will be referencing it frequently!!!

  483. Vickie Angell says:

    Thanks for the info! It is so helpful!

  484. jm says:

    WOW! I’ve always just used univeral needles…I sure learned a lot today!

  485. Trudy Callan says:

    This was very enlightening. Thank you for the great information on needles.

  486. anjelle says:

    This is great information. I’m terrible at remembering to change needles, and I never know which one to choose for what. I’ll have to keep this essay handy!

  487. homejewel says:

    This was a great explanation on needles. It’s easy to neglect that little needle.

  488. Lisa says:

    This could definitely make my sewing projects a little easier. Thank you for all of the great tutorials!

  489. Lisa says:

    Wow! That’s a lot of needle info there! As a relatively new sewer, I am totally clueless about needles and have always just used the ones that came with my machine so this was a great lesson! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  490. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the info on needles – it really does make things easier when you use the right needle ๐Ÿ™‚

  491. Margie says:

    Wow thanks so much for the needle info. I knew what & when to use certain ones but never really knew the differences in the sharp,universal & ball point!! I learn more & more every week here!!!

  492. Jenny says:

    Lots of good information. I tend to forget about my needle unless something goes wrong!
    Thanks for the reminder!

  493. Rae says:

    very good info. I have begun to keep a note of which needle is in the machine. They all look alike to me once out of the package. A dry erase board would be handy for this.

  494. Jennifer says:

    I was just reading about needles in my Singer Sewing Machine manual yesterday as we were taking a long drive. So, thank you for sharing and helping to reinforforce this info. Have a great day!

  495. angel says:

    Whoa. Yeah, of course, it’s not me…it’s the needle! Great info. I’m printing this out and going shopping. Thank you.

  496. Sarah says:

    Ooh this is such a useful post! Thank you!! I have been needing new needles for a while now and now I know which to purchase! ๐Ÿ™‚

  497. Alison says:

    Will you do a post (please?) on how to organized gently used needles? I stick mine into a scrap piece of fabric, and that’s not working for me!

  498. sherri s. says:

    Thanks so much…I have to confess to almost never changing out the type of needle I use–I’ve changed them after a lot of sewing to a sharper one, but always the general use variety. Good to know!

  499. Dacia says:

    wow, this is great! thank you so much! I’m going to change my needle right now!

  500. sonja says:

    This has been such a helpful article…I wish I had it a few months ago when my knit fabric kept skipping stitches…I guess I can go scratch it out of the cupboard now where I threw it disgusted when I couldn’t get it right, now that I know it was the needles all along….

  501. emtdlb says:

    I never really pay attention to my needles. I have had my machine for at least 16 years and I bet I haven’t changed the needle in 2 or 3 years. Only when they broke before then. That could explain so many things happening recently. Thanks for the tips. I definately needed that. Will be printing that off to keep on hand!!

  502. Melissa says:

    This is a great article. I always just buy universal needles but will try to expand my horizons now! Thanks!

  503. Samantha says:

    I thought I knew about most needles, but the info on topstitching needles was new to me. I’ve never even noticed them before! Thanks for the article – I’m bookmarking it now!

  504. Katie says:

    SO GLAD this was posted! I’m really happy to have this as a reference. I try to remember to change my needle to a different size if I need to, but sometimes I’m lazy (because it’s that hard!). Thanks for posting about this.

  505. hannita says:

    This was SO helpful! I know I need new needles but was at a complete loss as to what I should be buying or looking for. Hooray for Manda and Sew Mama Sew.

  506. Sarah S says:

    This is such great information! I just fought my machine yesterday and realized it was due to a dull needle :(. Wish I had seen this post earlier! Thanks SMS and Manda for sharing!

  507. Sara says:

    Those are some great tips! Especially for a newbie like me! Thanks so much!! I learned so much more from this then the manual that came with my sewing machine. Thanks again!!

  508. Tammy says:

    Great information to have! I’ve always been a bit confused about which needles to use! Thank you!

  509. Amy Hunter says:

    I needed this article, until a couple of months ago I thought that universal needles were all the same size, until I was working on a project and my thread kept breaking, then I figured it out. But the lady at JoAnn’s wasn’t very helpful in knowing what size needle I would need. So I just guessed, it worked but now I am so glad to know now. Thanks!

  510. Jen V says:

    I was just wondering this weekend about needle sizes & what not. How timely! Thanks for being such a great resource.

  511. Melissa says:

    Thanks for this information. I’m new to sewing and haven’t changed my needle… ever… I think I have some work to do before I start my next project…

  512. MeganAnne says:

    This is such a good reminder, thanks! Now I just have to remember to remember to change my needle and pick the correct one. I always want to skip this step but it is soooo important.

  513. akemi says:

    Wow! What a wealth of needle information. Thanks so much!

  514. Oh thanks for the needle review – I always wanted someone to explain!

  515. mary ann says:

    This article comes at the perfect time. After a weekend of skipped stitches and wacky tension issues, I finally may be able to fix my problems! Thank you!

  516. Karen says:

    This reminds me that I am due to change my needle!!!

  517. April says:

    That is a lot of info… but I really needed it. I had been wondering more about needles lately and the chart that comes in my sewing machine manual just isn’t too explanatory of the needles that are out there. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for doing a great job!

  518. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the great info. Last time I went to buy needles I stood in front of the display for so long wondering which ones to get that a kind employee came over and helped me. This post makes it seems easy…I’ll be printing this one out for sure!

  519. Lynne in NC says:

    Oh my! this is great!!! I learned the hard way that the correct needle makes all the difference in a successful project. Thanks for a wonderful article.

  520. Lisa says:

    One of those details that even experienced sewers fudge on, but can make all the difference in the sewing process and finished product! Thanks for the info.

  521. Jean says:

    This is perfect! So helpful- I just this month ventured into the world of ball point needle and bought a wingtip needle for hemstiching that I am getting ready to try out!

  522. Sarah Lee says:

    This is great! Thank you for posting this!

  523. Amanda says:

    Great info! I will be printing this out! I have to ask, what is the (pictured) double needle in the orange package used for? I have one of those, but it is still in it’s package.

  524. Helena says:

    Thanks this is some great info. I feel like I am in school. I just keep learning something new.

  525. Mary says:

    I have been trying to change my needle on a more frequent basis. More great info. I will definately be bookmarking all these articles.

  526. Alexis Meschi says:

    This is so helpful! I love it! I’m going to go out today and buy each kind of needle so I can interchange them when necessary. Thanks!!

  527. Rochelle says:

    great info! lover her blog!

  528. Kiki says:

    This is such great info! I knew about different needles for knits and denim, but I’d never heard of the topstitching needle before– I’ll definitely have to get some now.

  529. Christine says:

    So nice to have all of this info in one place. Thank you!

  530. Tina Mackey says:

    I learned the hard way that there are different needles designed for specialty fabrics. I was altering a friends bathing suit and couldn’t figure out why my machine was acting so crazy. So I asked my sister what was going on and she told me that I couldn’t just use a regular needle. That began my trek into the needle world….sew interesting!!

  531. susan says:

    This series has been very educational for me. I am learning something from every interview that makes my sewing life easier. Thanks again for great basic information.

  532. Linnea says:

    What a great reference! I’m often thinking I should be using a different needle but get stuck trying to decide which one to switch to. Thanks Manda ๐Ÿ™‚

  533. Melissa says:

    Another great article!! I’m learning so much about my machine!

  534. Amy W says:

    I’m just a beginning sewer and have only used the one needle that was in my machine when I bought it about 6 weeks ago. This is great information to have, though. I’m really enjoying sewing and I know I’ll be branching out to other needles, soon! Thanks!

  535. Bethany says:

    Wow, this is great information! I know I’ve heard some of it before, but I never knew there were so many different types of sewing machine needles. I will definitely remember to keep this for future reference. Thanks!

  536. Courtney N. says:

    Thank you for making my life easier! LOL. I’ve started sewing a larger variety of things lately and this might save me from A LOT of scrapped and ruined projects. The instruction manual for my machine suggested reading the packages of needles to determine the best choice – not so helpful. Thanks again!

  537. Danielle says:

    Yay! I totally needed this today! Thank you!

  538. SusanC says:

    You have just identified one of my greatest downfalls in machine sewing. I forget about the needle. This information is wonderful and I plan to take my needle more seriously!

  539. alisha says:

    Of course! The needle! I’ve been thinking that my tension was all messed up, but haven’t been able to get it right. I bet it’s actually the needle. Lots of good info here. Thank!

  540. Cinnamon says:

    Thank you for the excellent information on needle sizes. I had a vague idea that certain needles went with certain fabrics, but I’ve always just used a universal. Now I know better. Thank you.

  541. Ann S says:

    Thanks for all the great information! I will definitely be changing my needle more often.

  542. Angel says:

    Thanks for all the great info–I’m going to print this out an post in my sewing area!

  543. Becky says:

    This is so helpful – thank you so much! I was in the fabric store the other day trying to figure out the difference between needles…this clears it up!

  544. molly says:

    and i love manda’s blog. and this post is very helpful.

  545. Mrs. JP says:

    Thanks for the information. Also, thanks for this blog, this weekend as I was tailoring a skirt I found a couple of foots I didn’t know I had and other accessories I didn’t know I had. I love my machine even more.

  546. Sarah E. says:

    Wow! Great information! I’m learning so much!

  547. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for all the fantastic info on needles. I use one kind primarily because I quilt with 100% cotton most of the time, but now I see when I need to change needles for other projects ๐Ÿ™‚

  548. Grace says:

    So crazy to read this right now. I have trouble with my needle right now! By reading your post, I see that I should change the needle (not sharp enough) and move up to a 14 needle. THANKS!

  549. britt says:

    good bit of information, thank you as always! Do quilting needles also have a groove to protect the thread? I thought the teacher said something about this in my intro to quilting class, but can’t really remember

  550. Sherpa says:

    Thanks for the information.

    How often would you recommend changing the needle? Every project, every couple of months?

  551. Lori says:

    ooh….the needle….I almost always forget about that one, other than replacing them when they get dull. Thanks for the great and thorough reminder! I didn’t know about the topstitching needle, I’ll have to get a couple of those!

  552. Ellen says:

    Thanks! I’ve been wondering about needles. This is exactly what I needed!

  553. treevillemary says:

    Thank You very much for this. It will help very much with the needle confusion at my house.

  554. An Van Dessel says:

    Thanks a lot! This is very usefull! I do not only tend to stick to the universal needles but even to one needle in particular. Now I know where to look when I need to change it.

  555. Debbie O says:

    Hi! Thank you so much. I have made a cheat sheet using your information. It should help me when selecting a needle. I will look and know which one to purchase as well as use for my fabric. Thank you again for this valuable info.

  556. Denean says:

    Manda, your Tree Fall blog is right at the top of my favorites list! As a novice sewer, this in-depth information on needles is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  557. Miya says:

    Manda you are a peach! Thank you SO much for doing this!
    This month has been so great, I’ve learned so much!

    Take care,


  558. maryanne says:

    This is really interesting to me, since I don’t know anything about needles. You show a picture of a double needle, but I didn’t see anything written about it in the text. What are those used for?

  559. Thanks for the great rundown on needles! Sometimes it’s tempting to just use a topstitching needle throughout my entire project, but now I know better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  560. Sherri says:

    Thank you so much for this information. It’s helpful to have info in a concise, yet readable manner.

  561. Misha says:

    Wow! I had no idea there were so many different types of needles. I thought is was just the basic light/medium/heavyweight needles. I’m going to have to check out the needle area next time I go to my sewing supply shop! Thanks!

  562. Mary says:

    Oh dear….I only ever replace needles if they break! This might explain some of my sewing problems! New needles, ahoy!

  563. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    Great information on needles that we ALL need to know. Great job Manda!

  564. Anya T. says:

    Thanks for the great info on needles. One tip I have is to remember that needles get dull much faster when paper piecing. After finishing a paper-piecing project, it’s a good idea to immediately replace the needle with a new one so that you don’t start a new project with a dull needle.

  565. Megan says:

    Great post. Thanks for the great explanations!

  566. Katie says:

    Awesome! I’ve always been afraid to branch too far from Universal/Ball Point, but this simplified it. I’m off to buy new needles!

  567. Tanya Barrett says:

    Great information thanks, as a beginner i will be sure to bookmark this page!

  568. Printing this out. Thanks for the information!

  569. Annette W says:

    This was a huge amount of info to take in, but I really needed to hear it! Thanks for teaching me about needles. I’ve never bought needles, but I need to remember to take the ones from my machine the next time I’m out for supplies (to ensure the right type is purchased, I suppose). Thanks again!

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