You may have noticed that when starting up a new sewing project, a sewing pattern is important, and you must find some nice fabric – pro or not, most people know this part. But if you make use of a sewing machine, the sewing needle itself is just as important and essential a detail as anything else. Making use of the right sewing needle will both make the process easier for yourself as well as make your projects cleaner and more beautiful (and not look homemade!). So, you want to spend time on that part, right?
LET'S START WITH THE BASICS
A good rule of thumb: new project, new needle. In short, the needle and thread are heated by the many quick movements your sewing machine makes, and that tears it.
On top of that, the sewing thread “pulls” the needle, as it’s pulled through the sewing machine’s hooks. So the smoother an even thread you sew with, the better for the sewing machine and needle.
If you sew with an uneven thread with knots along the way, it will pull a little on the needle every time a “knot” or unevenness is going through. It will therefore increase the risk that your needle will be bent, or perhaps the tip of it will be damaged.
HOW TO INSERT THE NEEDLE
Some may feel this part is very difficult. It is (absolutely) not! There are several methods for this though. Sometimes the needle must be inserted with the eye of the needle facing forward, and other times it is sideways. Try inserting the needle one way to see if it fits. It will only be possible to insert it the right way, so when it slips up, you got it right. Tigthen the screw when it’s all the way up.
If you want to see it visually, you can see how on our Instagram, by clicking here.
WHICH NEEDLE SHOULD I USE?
The sewing machine needle is one the most important parts of the sewing machine. Better needles = better results.
There are many different types of needles. Denim needles, patchwork needles, leather needles, etc. The two most standard needles are universal needles and ballpoint needles.
Universal needles can, as the name indicates, be used for many different types of projects. This type of needle is sharp enough to get through woven fabric, and just round enough to be used for stretch. This needle works for pretty much everything. But if you are sewing in for example leather, jersey or denim, you might want to change it to a specific needle for that.
Ballpoint needles are slightly rounded and are used for knitted fabrics/jersey. With a needle like this, knitted fabrics do not have to be difficult to sew in (or at least has a reputation for). Using the right needle can make a huge difference.
WHICH NEEDLE SIZE SHOULD I USE?
When choosing a needle for your sewing project, your starting point should be the fabric you are using. However, when choosing the size of the needle, it depends on the thickness of your chosen fabric.
Remember: The size of the needle refers to the thickness, not the length of the needle itself. So, the bigger the needle, the bigger the hole in your fabric. Use thin needles for light fabrics, and thicker needles for thick fabrics.
The most standard size needle is 80/12 or 75/11 and is the one that is inserted into your sewing machine when new.
For the lightest, most delicate fabrics like chiffon or organza, we recommend using the smallest needle size: 60/8. And we recommend using size 90/14 for the heavier fabrics, such as corduroy.
So to sum it up… By making use of the correct needle, thread, and fabric combinations, you make sure that your project will look nicely in the end. If you are using a wrong combination – especially if it’s thick fabric (like denim) and a thin needle (75/11) – you’re at great risk the needle will either bend or break.
In addition to this, your stitches will become uneven, there’s a risk the fabric will wrinkle, or maybe your machine will skip stitches. Let’s be honest: All something you do not want to bother with or spend extra time on. So do yourself the favor of spending as much time on using the correct needle, as you spend on your fabric. You will not only end up happy with the good result, but also the much better sewing process itself.
Now you are ready for all types of sewing projects. Get started!