Tuesday Tip – Use the Right Needle for the Job

Do you go through several projects without changing your needle? If you sometimes skip this step, and then run into problems with your machine, chances are all you need is a fresh needle, or the right needle for the job.

Here are some basics on machine needles.


Don’t try to scrimp and save using the same needle all year! If your needle looks the least bit crooked, replace it! And if the tip has a little catch or a bur, change it!

It will do wonders to improve your sewing, and they are not expensive: the cost is worth it! You will pay more in ripped out stitches if you try to get by. If you are budget conscious, buy your needles when your fabric shop has their notions on sale.

With so many types and sizes of sewing machine needles, how do you know which one to use? In general, the needle has to match the thread or the fabric you are sewing with.

img_0728Needles and thread have numbers to tell you their size. For the most part, for both thread and needles, the higher the number, the thicker it is.

For sewing denim or heavyweight fabrics, upholstery, or sewing buttons, use the appropriate thread and a number 100/16 or 110/18 needle.


Your standard cotton thread for sewing clothes or piecing quilts, is a medium weight number 50 thread. Use a number 75/11 or 80/12 size needle.


Special needles for sewing stretch fabrics and jersey have a rounded point, so they don’t tear the fabric. If you’ve had trouble sewing knits, try a jersey needle.


If in doubt, always refer to your sewing machine manual as a guide.

Happy sewing!

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