Needle Facts

We carry over 100 sizes and types of needles. Here is some information on needle types, sizes and more.

Here are the most common types of sewing machine needles.

Most household sewing machines use a 130/705H(15x1H) needle.

Fun Fact Did you know the "H" stands for Hohlkehle in German which means scarf.

  • Universal Needle : The needle has a slightly rounded point and is good for most everyday sewing. Comes in sizes 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90, 100, 110, & 120 in packs of 5 or boxes of 100.
  • Embroidery Needle : The needle has a larger eye and a small ball point to avoid damaging the already embroidered area and the fabric. The needle comes in regular coating or Titanium coating. Comes in sizes 75, 90.
  • Metallic Needle : The needle has a very long eye and a special groove to handle Metallic thread. Comes in sizes 80, 90, 100.
  • Top Stitch Needle : The needle has a larger groove and longer eye for thicker top stitching thread.Comes in 80, 90, 100.
  • Microtex Needle : The needle has a very slim point for easier piercing of very fine or densely woven fabrics. Comes in sizes 60, 70, 80, 90.
  • Jeans Needle : The needle has a slim point for penetration of thick fabrics and a reinforced blade for less needle deflection. Comes in sizes 70, 80, 90, 100, 110.
  • Quilting Needle : The needle has a slim slightly rounded point to penetrate thick layers of fabric. Comes in sizes 75, 90.
  • Hemstitch Needle : The needle has a wing on each side of the blade which pushes the fabric aside to give you the hemstitch look on loosely woven fabrics. Comes in sizes 100, 120.
  • Twin and Triple Needle : The needle has two needle in one shank for sewing two rows of stitches. Comes in many widths, types and sizes.

Fun Fact: When you see "NM" on a pack of needle it stands for number metric and indicates the diameter of the needle blade and is measured above the needle scarf in hundredths of a millimeter. So a needle marked NM 80 the blade has a diameter of 0.80 mm.


Matching Needle Size to Thread Size

There are lots of variables when it comes to choosing the right needle size. Things like thread type and weight, fabric, number of layers and more. Here is a general guide:

  • 60/8 – 100 weight silk and polyester invisible thread
  • 70/10 – 100 weight threads
  • 80/12 – 50 weight threads
  • 90/14 – 40 weight threads
  • 100/16 – 30 weight threads and thicker

As a general rule the needle eye should be 40% larger then the thread.


Schmetz Needle Guide

Click here to download the Schmetz Needle Pocket Guide in PDF.

You can also stop in and get a copy at the store.

What do those color bands on needles mean? Checkout Schmetz guide below.


As a general rule when you are having problems with thread breaking, skipping stitches and tension problems the first thing to try is unthread and rethread the machine top and bobbin. Next change the needle. Under normal sewing you should change your needle after 8 hours of sewing. We see lots of machine come in where all they needed was a new needle and rethreaded. We hear it a lot when we ask a customer when they changed there needle, they say it hasn't broken yet. The needle is one of the least expensive items on a sewing machine costing around $1. If you are having troubles, bring your machine in and we will check it out for you. If we can get you going at the counter there is no charge, if not we will give you an estimate. You can also email me at any question and I will try an answer them but many times we will need to see the machine.