Poor stitch formation, skipped stitches and thread breakage are the bane of a sewers existence. If the needle type/size – thread size – fabric type relationship is improper, bad results happen.
For every sewing application, there is always a “best” needle to use. Several factors play in determining the correct needle: the fabric you’re using; the thread you’ve chosen (for example, metallic or embroidery); or the type of stitch you plan (for example, when topstitching, use a topstitch needle).
For regular home sewing, start with needle size. The fabric’s weight determines the needles’ size. Choose a size 60/8 needle for lightweight fabrics similar to organdy and silk; a 70/10 or 80/12 needle for medium-weight jersey and linens; a 90/14 or 100/16 for heavy fabrics like jeans, vinyl, or canvas.
Once you have the correct size needle, you need to choose the correct point and/or eye for your fabric. You can usually just go by the name of the needle on this one – for example, a denim needle has a rounded point that is ideal for denim fabric.
If this all sounds a little confusing, try clicking on the link below for a guide from Schmetz Needle Company.
This guide was designed by Schmetz to help you find the “best” needle for your project from within their product line. However, it is easy to see that basic information is relevant for any brand of needle.
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