This Sewing Machine Needle Guide will help you through the maze of needle types you're confronted by in the quilt and sewing stores.
Choose the Point Style
Always choose the point style (type of needle) based on the fabric you use in your quilt.
Ballpoint needles are for knits. Because of this, we won't discuss ballpoint needles further.
Sharp needles with acute points are needed for high thread count fabrics like batiks. Regular quilt store cottons are happy with about any type of needle in between.
The needle types discussed here are all from the Schmetz line. Schmetz makes a high quality sewing machine needle that is available at most quilt stores.
|60/8, 65/9, 70/10, 75/11, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18, 120/19
|Schmetz Color Code
A multi-purpose needle especially good for the casual sewer who hems a skirt one day and repairing a tee shirt the next. Do not use on high thread count fabrics or for stitching through many layers. In a bind, go ahead and piece or quilt with this one, but there are better choices.
|Slim and acute
|70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18
A strong, sharp needle with a reinforced blade. This needle is designed for use on tightly woven fabrics. Quilters also like it for high thread count fabrics like batiks.
|Small ball point prevents damage when stitching through embroidered areas
|75/11, 80/12, 90/14
Designed for use with rayon and other specialty threads. It has a special scarf, a long smooth groove and large eye which protects fragile threads like metallics from excess friction and shredding.
|Slim, acute, slightly rounded
Engineered for use in both piecing and machine quilting. The shaft is thin and tapered to pass through many layers of fabric smoothly. The design keeps stitches nice and even and helps eliminate skipped stitches.
|Very slim and acute
|60/8, 65/9, 70/10, 80/12, 90/14
A slim needle with a thin shaft. Produces a very small hole and less puckering. It's my choice for any piecing.
The extremely sharp point makes for nice straight stitches. It is designed for microfibers which makes it perfect for use on batiks, pima cottons, cotton sateens.