Which needle should you be using?
Date Posted:28 February 2022
Each needle type is specifically designed to penetrate a certain fabric. Changing needles was not so necessary in the days when fabrics were only made of natural fibres. Today, modern fabrics like stretch knits, synthetics, etc. are used every day. However, when using these fabrics, changing the needle to match the type of fabric is important to gain the best stitch quality.
Anatomy of a needle
Shank: The section of the needle that is inserted into the machine. Round side to the front. Flat section to the back.
Groove: The thread lies in the groove as the needle shaft penetrates the fabric.
Scarf: Enables the stitch to be picked up. The scarf design varies according to the type of needle.
Size: Indicates the diameter of the needle blade often shown as 2 values (European/American).
Needle point shapes
Using the incorrect type of needle can cause skipped stitches and produce poor quality stitching. Many sewing problems can be avoided by regularly changing your needle and selecting the correct needle for the job. Below is a list of the basic machine needles and a guideline of which fabric is best suited to the needle type.
Other Speciality Needles
Hemstitch or Wing Needles
Are designed for decorative stitching on tightly woven fabrics.
Wide wing blades or fins on each side of the shank create openings in tightly woven fabric such as linen and batiste fabric to resemble entredeux trim.