Selecting the correct needle for your project is just as important as selecting the fabric, thread, and stabilizer. There are different sizes and types of needles for different types of fabric. The European metric sizing system for sewing machine needles is numbered from 60 to 110. The American sizing system is numbered from 8 to 18. For both sizing systems, the lower the number the finer the needle and the higher the number the larger the needle. Most needle companies show both sizes on the package.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind: the lighter the fabric the smaller the needle size and the heavier the fabric the larger the needle size. Many times the thread you will be using for your sewing project will also determine the type of needle you choose. For example, when using a fine, delicate thread, be sure to use a smaller needle size. A full selection of SINGER® needles is available online in our Needles section.
Sewing Machine Needles
Universal (Style 2020) needles are used for all woven fabrics. This needle will penetrate the fabric threads of woven fabrics.
Ball Point (Style 2045) needles are used for sewing on knits; the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by separating them. (Using a regular point needle on knit fabric will result in skipped stitches and fabric damage, causing it to curl.)
Chromium Regular Point (Style 2000) needles are recommended for sewing woven fabrics on all SINGER® and QUANTUM® embroidery machines. This stronger needle is longer lasting and will tolerate the high stitching speed of embroidery machines.
Chromium Ball Point (Style 2001) needles are recommended for sewing knit fabrics on all SINGER® and QUANTUM® embroidery machines. This stronger needle is longer lasting and will tolerate the high stitching speed of embroidery machines.
Denim or Jeans (Style 2026) needles are recommended for sewing denim, jeans, and canvas.
Twin Needle (Style 2025) is used for stitching two closely spaced parallel rows at a time - for decorative stitching.
Hemstitch or Wing-Needle (Style 2040) creates a small hole in the fabric as is sews and is used in heirloom sewing. Use natural woven fibers like linen & cotton for best results.
Leather (Style 2032) needles are used for leather and vinyl.
Serger/Overlock Machine Needles
Universal (Style 2054-42) serger needles are used for all woven fabrics. This needle will penetrate the fabric threads of woven fabrics. For use on SINGER® model 14U serger/overlock machines.
Ball Point (Style 2054-06) serger needles are used for sewing on knits; the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by dividing the hem. (Using a regular point needle on knit fabric will result in skipped stitches and fabric damage, causing it to curl.) For use SINGER® model 14U serger/overlock machines.
Chromium (Style 2022) serger needles are recommended for SINGER® model QUANTUMLOCK® 14T and ULTRALOCK® 14SH serger/overlock machines.
Change the needle after sewing two to three garments or after hitting a pin. Fabric damage is often caused by a bent, blunt or burred needle. Uneven or skipped stitches are often the result of using the incorrect needle size or type.
Fabrics below can be of any fiber, cotton, linen, silk, wool, synthetic, rayon, blends. They are listed as examples of weight.
|Machine Needle Type||Machine Needle Size|
|Sheer to lightweight: Batiste, Chiffon, Georgette, Organza, Voile and all microfiber or microdenier fabrics.||Regular Point||9/70 or 11/80|
|Lightweight: Challis, Chambray, Charmeuse, Crepe de Chine, Gauze, Handkerchief Linen, Silk, Taffeta, Tissue Faille.||Regular Point||11/80|
|Medium-weight: Broadcloth, Brocade, Chino, Chintz, Corduroy, Flannel, Linen, Poplin, Satin, Synthetic Suedes, Taffeta, Terry, Velvet||Regular Point||14/90|
|Medium to Heavy-weight: Coating, Damask, Drapery Fabric, Fake Fur, Gabardine, Ticking, Woolens||Regular Point||16/100 or 18/110|
|Denim and Canvas||Denim/Jeans||16/100|
|Sheer to Lightweight Knits: Jersey, Single Knit, Spandex, Tricot||Ball Point||10/70 or 12/80|
|Medium to Heavy-weight Knits: Double Knit, Sweatshirt, Sweater Knit||Ball Point||14/90|
|Specialty Fabrics: Leather, Suede, Buckskin||Wedge Point||14/90 or 16/100|
Top 10 Needle Troubleshooting Tips
1. For best sewing results, needles should be replaced every 8-10 hours of stitching time.
2. Snags or pulls in woven (non-stretch) fabrics:
This can occur if the needle is either bent or dull, or you are using the wrong style of needle. Use a regular point needle (Style 2020) for woven fabrics.
3. Skipped stitches on woven fabrics:
This can occur when the needle is old, bent or dull.
Remove and discard the old needle. Replace it with a new regular point needle (Style 2020).
4. Skipped stitches on stretch fabrics:
This can occur if you are using a regular point needle instead of a ball point needle.
Switch to a ball point needle (Style 2045) which is specifically designed for sewing stretch fabrics.
5. Popping sound while you are sewing:
This is a good indication that the needle is bent or damaged. Remove and discard the old needle. Replace it with a new one that is appropriate for the type and weight of fabric.
6. Thread is shredding:
This can mean the needle is too small for the thickness of thread, so change to either a larger size needle or a finer weight thread.
Shredding thread can also occur if the thread is old or poor quality (uneven filament).
7. Needles are breaking:
This can be an indication that the needle size is too small for the thickness of fabric being sewn, so change to a larger size needle. Additionally, when you sew, do not “push” or “pull” the fabric, but rather, let the feed dogs draw the fabric along. If you push or pull the fabric as you sew, the needle could deflect causing it to break.
8. Large holes in the seam line of lighter weight woven fabrics:
This can be an indication that your needle is too large for the weight of the fabric. Change to a smaller needle size.
9. When removing and inserting needles, it can be helpful to place a small piece of paper over the presser foot area, so that you don’t accidentally drop the needle down into the machine!
10. When inserting a new needle, be sure that is inserted correctly into the machine, or it may not sew properly. The flat side of the needle should be facing toward the back of the machine. Make sure it is all the way up in the needle clamp, then tighten the needle clamp screw securely.