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What Sewing Machine Needle to Use? (2023)

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A question we hear repeatedly – especially from sewer novices – is which sewing machine needle do you use?

There are a surprising number of needles that you are likely to encounter when using your sewing machine, especially if you plan on making clothes.

One thing that can intimidate for beginners is choosing the right set of needles and when to use them.

Here we have a quick Sewing Machine Needle Guide to help you on your way to perfecting your craft.

Sewing machine needle size guide

What sewing machine needle to use

Different parts of the machine needle

The is good to know how the sewing needle works and how it interacts with the fabric and the machine.

The design of the sewing machine needle is surprising. complicated if you look closely. Here is a quick reference for all parts of the sewing needle.

  • Point: The tip of the needle used to pierce the material.
  • Eye: A hole through which they threaded the thread.
  • Scarf: A thin point in the shaft through which the coil/shuttle can pass.
  • Front Groove: A truncation of the length of the shaft that releases the wire in a loop for the coil/shuttle to grasp.
  • As: The length of the needle that drives the eye and threads it through the material.
  • Shank: Where the needle to the sewing machine.

sewing machine needles

Which sewing machine needle should I use?

Suppose we are working on a project with our Singer machine and we have several Singer sewing machine needles.

It is very important that we choose the right one for the job to avoid damaging the fabric.

When When selecting your needles it is important to first identify the material, you will use and the type of needle you will need as that will drastically affect the look and quality of your result.

Then must you consider the sizes of the sewing machine needles, depending on the thickness of the fabric and the thread you use, should not damage the material.

See: Singer’s size chart for different fabrics.

View this list of the needles you may encounter.

Sewing Machine Needle Guide

Universal needle

The universal needle lives up to its name on: it is a general purpose needle you can use for most projects.

Because it has a slightly rounded point that is not too sharp, p penetrates the material instead of puncturing it, which makes it good for woven fabrics.

We use it to repair things like t-shirts, but it’s not good for detailed neither work or thick fabrics like denim.

Jersey/Ballpoint Needle

The Jersey needle is what you use for dense knits and tightly woven fabrics.

It has a medium ballpoint point that allows it to separate the fibers and glide through spaces without damaging them.

It is good for creating even stitches for heavy knits, but can also for spandex and other stretch fabrics.

Stretch needle

The stretch needle is specially used for lightweight knits, spandex and other stretch fabrics.

It has a slightly rounded point to prevent the needle from skipping stitches.

Denim Needle

This needle is what you will use to tailor your denim garments.

It has a sharp point and a small eye to penetrate the thick layers of fabric.

Microtex/Sharp Needle

It is a thin, sharp needle used to cut through materials such as finely woven fabrics such as silk and microfiber fabrics.

It is perfect for heritage sewing as it is great at making straight stitches.

Leather needle

A needle for tailoring leather, suede and other thick nonwovens.

It has a triangular point to create a clean hole to make in leather. When working with leather, remember to sew carefully as the holes are permanent.

Embroidery needle

As the name suggests, I used this needle for embroidery.

It has a larger eye than the universal needle to hold the embroidery thread and a scarf with large grooves to protect the thread and prevent skipping.

Metallic Needle

The metallic needle for metallic thread and is ideal for embroidering designs in fabrics.

It has a larger eye than the embroidery needle and a Teflon coating to prevent shredding.

Wing Needle

This needle after the winged eye area that helps keep the fabric open.

You will use the wing needle for heirloom stitches, hems and decorative finishes in tightly woven fabrics.

Quilting needle

The quilting needle has a tapered point and is strong enough to pierce through the layers of a quilt.

It has a special shaft and eye to prevent threads or fabrics from shredding. You will use it to combine the pieces of a quilt.

Serger Needle

This needle is good for the overlook stitch and is compatible with Serger sewing machines.

Double needle

For when you need multiple needles on a single shank, choose the twin/triple needle.

That’s what makes it good for decorative sewing and hemming.

Twin needles come in denim, stretch and embroidery, while triple needles are only universally available. It is compatible with double needle sewing machines.

Which sewing machine needles do you use most?

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.