I don't have a mom or a grandma who sews. I picked up the craft because I liked it. When I was learning, I didn't have anyone to go for help. I mostly learned through trial and error.
This is why I used the same dull, worn out needle for six months.
I didn't realize that it had to be changed until I took my machine for maintenance. The repair guy explained about sewing machine needle sizes, shapes and points.
I would've kept the same old thing for another year if he hadn't told me about it.
The right needle will not only help your machine work better but it'll also ensure that your fabric doesn't get damaged.
Most sewing can be done with a regular 14/90 needle (I'll explain those numbers in a bit). If you want to achieve high quality stitches, you'll need to choose depending on the type of fabric or project you'll be making.
Choices are good, but many options can be overwhelming. I summed this size-shape issue to make your decision easier. Here are the things you'll need to look at:
General purpose needles come in three different points.
Take a look at your needles. You'll see that they're marked with two numbers. One of them is for the American size and the other for the European.
Sewing machine needle sizes range from 8 to 18 (American) and 16 to 110 (European). These numbers are equivalent. Your needles will say something like: 8/60 or 14/90.
Small numbers indicate a thin needle and large numbers a thick one. Your fabric's weight will determine which of the sewing machine needle sizes you need. Thick fabrics require thick needles, thin fabrics need thin needles.
Here's a chart with some examples:
Universal, sharp and microtex are general purpose needles and they'll work with most of your projects. If you want to achieve higher quality stitches, you'll need a specialty needle. These are designed with a specific purpose in mind.
Choose the type depending on your project. The same rules as above apply for choosing your sewing machine needle sizes.
That was the theory on sewing machine needle sizes. Now it's time to practice! Download your needle guide by clicking the image below.Top of page