A Beginner's Guide to Sewing Machine Needles

by Nicholas Myers on July 14, 2021

  Sewing Machine Needles Guide


"Domestic sewing machines today basically use the one needle system (705/130H, HAX1, 15X1) but they are available in a large variety of sizes and point styles. Selecting the right needle and thread for the fabric you plan to sew is one of the most fundamental steps to achieving a successful stitching result.

Machine Needles come in sizes ranging from sizes Metric Size 60 to 120 (Imperial Sizes 8 to 20). This size essentially represents the thickness of the needle. The lower the number, the finer the needle. Thread, however, is the opposite, the finer the thread, the higher the number.

When sewing, the thread lies in the needle groove, if the needle is too fine for the thread, the thread will not fit into this groove causing faulty stitching.

The needle must also be in perfect condition. Stitching problems occur from using a needle that is either blunt, bent or if the tip has been damaged.

Sewing machines are very useful for sewing projects, but you need the right needle to get the job done. There are many different needles for different fabrics and purposes, so it's important to know which needle will work best for your project." - Klasse


Universal Needle Uses

Ideal for most woven fabrics, some knits and synthetics. The Universal Needle has a slight ball point making it extremely versatile. It works well on most machines and is the most commonly used needle for synthetic woven and natural fibres. The finer needles are generally used on lightweight fabrics and the larger sized needles for medium to heavyweight fabrics. Suitable to be used with polyester / cotton or silk threads.

The universal needle can be used with most fabrics.


Ballpoint Needle Uses

Ideal for cotton knits, interlock, rib knits, fleece, double knit, and so most knit fabrics. The tip is more rounded that the Universal needle and is designed to push the fabric fibres apart rather than cutting them, preventing the knit fabric laddering or running after stitching. Generally threads such as polyester or polyester/cotton blends are best. Once again the finer the needle the finer the thread to be used.



Stretch Needle Uses

Designed especially for two way stretch knits, lycra, power net, silk jersey, spandex and highly elasticised synthetic fabrics, also ideal for sewing elastic. The Stretch Needle has a specially designed scarf which prevents skipped stitched. Threads are usually polyester or cotton wrapped polyester and for extra stretch the woolly nylon threads are suitable.



Jeans/Denim Needle Uses

Ideally suited for denim fabrics, heavy twill, workwear, and other densely woven fabrics such as canvas and heavy linens. Engineered with a very sharp point and a stiffer shank to resist needle deflection and allow penetration of dense fabric. Threads range from synthetic or blends, cotton wrapped polyester, 100% polyester and heavier topstitching threads.



Metallic Needle Uses

Ideal for sewing and embroidery with rayon and metallic threads on woven or knitted fabrics. The Metalfil Needle is designed with a very large eye, allowing the threads to feed freely as you sew without splitting, burring or shredding. This needle is also suitable for general purpose sewing, giving the added advantage of being easier to thread due to the enlarged eye.



Sharps/Micro Fiber Needle Uses

For silks, micro fiber fabrics and for penetrating densely woven fabrics, also ideal for piercing and quilting layers of cotton fabrics with batting. A strengthened shaft also helps to reduce needle deflections as the needle penetrates multiple layers of fabric. The sharp point also produces smooth buttonholes.



Quilting Needle Uses

Ideal for piercing and quilting layers of cotton fabrics and batting. A strengthened longer shaft also helps to reduce needle deflections as the needle penetrates multiple layers of fabric while maintaining a perfectly straight stitch



Leather Needle Uses

For genuine leather. The leather needle has a cutting point and is used for sewing leather, suedes and difficult to sew projects. It is often referred to as a chisel point needle as the point resembles and acts as a chisel in motion. Do not use with ultra suede, synthetic suede or PU imitation leather.



Topstitch Needle Uses

Extra large eye accommodates thick topstitching thread. Extra sharp point allows needle to penetrate easily through all fabrics.



Embroidery Needle Uses

The embroidery needle is specially designed for machine embroidery using Rayon, Polyester or Cotton machine embroidery threads. This needle features a wider hole to allow the thread to pass freely. Another feature is a pontoon scarf with oversize bump to reduce the chance of skipped stitches which can result when fabric is flexing up and down rapidly with the fast moving embroidery stitch.



Hemstitch/Wing Needle Uses

The single “wing” blade on the side of this needle cuts a narrow hole in the fabric, creating the popular heirloom-style decorative stitching.



Twin Needle Uses

Twin needles are used for practical sewing and decorative sewing such as pintucks, seam finishes and topstitching etc. The size of the needle is measured in mm from tip to tip (2mm needle has a 2mm space between the points). Available in many types and sizes.



Overlock/Serger Needle Uses

Many home overlockers/sergers use the same needle system as domestic sewing machines for which we recommend our Klassé Type G for simplified selection (system HAx1, 15 x1, 130/705H, 2020); however some other overlockers/sergers use other system needles and for these Klassé produces five different system needles which suit 99% of all overlockers/sergers.




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