Picking the right Needles for your projects!

Needles!
Let’s not forget how important it is to pick the right needle for an embroidery project. It is something that one cannot ignore. This post is completely dedicated to needles so you can find the right needle for your embroidery project!
Without further ado, let’s clear up your questions.

What exactly are Machine Embroidery Needles?

Machine Embroidery Needles are specially designed for Machine Embroidery.
These are not the same as sewing needles; let’s get that out of the way.
Now, what really is the difference between sewing needles & machine embroidery needles? The difference is of the eye and the scarf of the needles. Machine Embroidery Needles have a longer eye than sewing needles plus their scarf is specially-shaped to handle delicate embroidery threads.

Machine Embroidery Needles come in different sizes and points (tips).

Sizes:

Machine Embroidery Needles usually have two numbers written on them which read their sizes. The first one is in the European measuring system (70, 75, 80, etc.) and the second one in American (10, 11, 12, etc.).
For example: 80/12, where 80 (0.8mm) is of the European System and 12 of the American System. The lower the number is, the finer the needle is.

To pick the right sized needle, you need to keep in mind:

  1. The type & weight of your fabric.
  2. The density of the embroidery design.
  3. Type of your stabilizer.
  4. The thread you are using.

In general, a heavy design on a heavy fabric is going to require a large needle. In the same way, a light design on a light fabric needs a small needle.
Still confused?

No problem!

Here’s a small chart to help you get the hang of needle sizes.

75/11 80/12 90/14
Best for
average or lightweight fabrics
like quilting cotton, satin or etc.
Best for garment-weight fabrics
like linen, batiks or etc.
Best for heavy fabrics like
denim, fleece and etc.

The job’s not done here yet.
We still need to take a look at the different points of needles to find the right one for you.

Points:

Machine Embroidery Needles come in three different types of points or tips.

Sharp Pointed Embroidery Needle

The Sharp Point Needle is used for tightly-woven fabrics like cotton so that the needle finely penetrates through the cloth.

Buy The Best Sharp Point Needles

Ballpoint Embroidery Needle

The Ballpoint Embroidery Needle is for knit fabrics because it pushes the knit fibers of the fabric aside rather than cutting them.

Buy The Best Ball Point Needles

A Universal Tip Needle

A Universal tip is kind of like a sharp point-ballpoint hybrid. It can be used for either woven or knit fabrics.
Although, it may not be sharp enough for all sorts of woven fabrics and may source a cut in the knit fabrics.

Buy The Best Universal Point Needles

Types:

Embroidery Needles come either in Titanium or Chromium. Titanium needles are much stronger than Chromium needles with a life time of 25 hours whereas, Chromium has a life time of 5 hours.
In simplest of explanations, use Titanium for heavy embroidery designs that are probably going to consume a lot of time and Chromium for light designs that are going to take less time.

Final Verdict & Advice:

Keeping your fabric, embroidery design, thread and stabilizer in mind, choose a needle. If you are still having trouble with needle sizes then just start with the smallest needle and keep going up so that you understand what different needles are giving off.
Make sure to also check the instruction manual of your embroidery machine to get hints about needles.
Take our advice; be open to experimenting with needles and always do a test run before starting an embroidery project.

Have Fun Sewing & Embroidering!