Industrial Needles made easy!

There is a lot to think about when choosing the correct needle, and making sure the needle is right for the job makes things easier, run smoother and achieve a better overall finish. Unfortunately there is a lot to think about, its not very straight forward and multiple names and numbers that all mean different things!

But do not fear! Here we will explain the things to look for, making picking the right needle easy-peasy!

  1. Needle Systems:
    • Every sewing machine is compatible with a specific needle system. The needle system is determined by physical attributes like length and thickness.
    • Look for the needle system in your machine’s instruction manual or on the needle package. Examples include 135X17 or DPX17.
    • Some systems use numbers with letters (e.g., 134R) or just a series of numbers (e.g., 134-35).
  2. Needle Sizes:
    • Needle size refers to the thickness or gauge of the needle. Larger sizes are thicker and stronger.
    • Use the right needle size based on the material thickness and thread size.
    • SIZE or NM: There are two sizing numbers you will see on needle packs. Although different number, they mean the same thing, for example 90/14, two numbers, same size. Think of it like shoe sizing, they have UK or US sizing.
    • Metric sizing ranges from 35 to 250 (diameter in hundredths of a millimeter). Size 100 is 1 mm thick.
    • Singer/US sizing ranges from 6 to 28.
  3. Needle Points:
    • The needle point affects both the appearance of the hole in your fabric and the stitch itself.
    • Common needle points include:
      • Regular/Universal (Round) Point (R): Standard for lockstitch machines, suitable for general sewing on light to medium fabrics. A great all rounder!
      • Light Ball Point “SES”: Ideal for woven and knit fabrics, such as T-shirts and other stretchy fabrics. This needle point displaces fabrics, going through the gaps instead of damaging the fabric. Also come as regular or large ball point.
      • Medium ball pointSUK“: More round than its “light” counterpart. This point works perfectly with denim.
      • Triangular point “D” or “TRI”: This point gives a triangular incision, giving a straight seam. Great for plastics, upholstery, hard/dry leather e.g.
      • Reverse twist point “LR” or “R TW”: The cutting point on this needle is angled at 45°. Giving a decorative stitch and reducing a tear through. Perfect for leathers.
      • Sharp Point “SPI”: These needles have a very slim or sharp point, allowing accurate piercing. Great for densely woven fabrics, coated materials, smooth materials, taffata, fur and skins.
      • Most needles systems are available in most points whether that be overlockers, flat machines or coverseams etc. Allowing the use of the correct needle point whenever you need them.

A lot to think about but relatively made simple, to make things easier. We only named the most common points here, there is a lot more. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is the best way to figure things out. Different points and sizes can completely change the outcome of your sewing projects and needs. Don’t be afraid to try something new and experiment a little bit. Although this is a guide, other needles may work better on some fabrics better than the one it is “designed” for.