Tip & Trick: Choosing the right needle

A needle plays an imperative role when sewing and choosing the right needle isn’t always something we think about. There are a number of different needles for different jobs that can make sewing easier and make your sewing better.

Needle Anatomy

  • Butt: the bevelled end allows easy insertion in the needle bar
  • Shank: Household needles have a flat shank, while commercial and industrial needles have round, threaded, notched or other special shanks. Shanks allows for perfect positioning of the needle in the sewing machine
  • Shoulder: The sloping area transitioning between the shank and blade. Schmetz color codes appear on the shoulder
  • Blade: Needle size is determined by the blade diameter (i.e., size 75 is .75mm)
  • Groove: The groove cradles and guides thread to the eye. The length and size of the groove vary according to needle type
  • Scarf: The indentation above the eye that allows the bobbin hook to smoothly grab the thread under the throat plate to create a stitch. The shape and size of the scarf vary according to needle type.
  • Eye: The hole through which thread passes. The shape and size of the eye vary according to needle type
  • Point & Tip: Length, shape and size vary according to needle types
  • Needle Type: Upper color band indicates needle type
  • Needle Size: Lower color band indicates the size

Universal

Size: 60/8, 65/9, 70/10, 75/11, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18, 120/19
Color Code: none
Feature: Slightly rounded point
Fabric Use: Numerous – woven and knits. A great general purpose needle.

Jersey (Ballpoint)

Size: 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/120
Color Code: Orange
Feature: Medium ballpoint
Fabric Use: Knits and some stretch fabrics. Made especially for sewing on knits. The medium ballpoint does not damage or break knit fibers

Stretch

Size: 65/9, 75/11, 90/14
Color Code: Yellow
Feature: Medium ballpoint, special eye and scarf.
Fabric Use: Elastic materials and highly elastic knitwear. The medium ball point, specially designed eye and scarf prevent skipped stitches.

Jeans

Size: 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18
Color Code: Blue
Feature: Modified medium ballpoint and reinforced blade.
Fabric Use: Denim and similar fabrics. Advanced point design is a Schmetz exclusive. For penetrating extra thick woven fabrics, denims, or quilts with minimum needle deflection, reduced risk of needle breakage and skipped stitches.

Microtex (Sharp)

Size: 60/8, 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18
Color Code: Purple
Feature: Very slim acute point
Fabric Use: Micro fibers, polyester, silk, foils, artificial leather, coated materials, Very thin acute point creates beautiful topstitching and perfectly straight stitches for quilt piecing when precision is paramount.

Metallic

Size: 80/12, 90/14
Color Code: Pink
Feature: Elongated Eye
Fabric Use: Metallic and other specialty threads. A “must-have” for sewing with sensitive metallic threads. The elongated eye prevents shredding and breaking of metallic threads.

Quilting

Size: 75/11, 90/14
Color Code: Green
Feature: Special taper to the slightly rounded point
Fabric Use: Made especially for piecing and machine quilting. The special tapered design allows easier fabric penetration and helps eliminate skipped stitches

Embroidery

Size: 75/11, 90/14
Color Code: Red
Feature: Light ballpoint, wide eye, and groove
Fabric Use: Use with rayon, polyester and other specialty embroidery threads. The special scarf, widened groove and enlarged eye protect fragile threads and guard against excess friction allowing trouble-free embroidery and decorative stitching.

Topstitch

Size: 80/12, 90/14, 100/16
Color Code: Lt.Green
Feature: Extra long eye
Fabricc Use: Topstitch, heavy, multiple or poor quality threads. Achieve perfectly straight stitch lines and even stitches when using a straight stitch plate

Leather

Size: 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18
Color Code: Brown
Feature: Cutting Point
Fabric Use: Leather, artificial leather, heavy non-woven synthetics. Do not use on knit or woven fabrics.

Gold Embroidery

Size: 75/11, 90/14
Color Code: None
Feature: Titanium Nitride coating, slightly rounded point and enlarged eye
Fabric Use: Coarse and densely woven materials. Slightly rounded point and enlarged eye are perfect for embroidery on most fabrics and with the most fragile specialty threads. Titanium coating resists adhesives, improves needle wear and penetration of coarse and densely woven fabrics

Hemstitch

Size: 100, 120
Color Code: None
Feature: A wing on each side of the needle
Fabric Use: Light or medium weight loosely woven fabrics. Popular for heirloom sewing and to create decorative cutwork

Quick Threading

Size: 80/12, 90/14
Color Code: None
Feature: Universal needle with a slip-in threading slot in the eye
Fabric Use: Numerous – woven and knits. A general purpose needle for effortless threading

Double Eye

Size: 80/12
Color Code: None
Feature: Universal needle with two eyes
Fabric Use: Numerous – woven and knits. Use two different threads for shading and texturing effects for embroidery and topstitching

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