10 Types Of Sewing Machine Needles with their features

Types Of Sewing Machine Needles

With advancements in sewing, inventors have developed different types of sewing machines to fit users’ needs. Therefore, they also created various sewing machine needles, each with its usage and specifications. 

You cannot sew without a needle, but more important is choosing the right type of needle for your fabrics. 

It may be confusing for you to know which is right for me, so proceed to the article to learn the 10 types sewing machine needles

How to Choose the Right Needle for a sewing machine – know these 10 options

a) Universal Needles

This sewing machine needle is the most common one to sew almost any fabric. You can use it in regular household machines, but ensure you don’t use it for heavy-duty work. 

If you want to identify a Universal needle, let me tell you that its SHANK is flat, making it compatible with those machines that can take flat-faced shank needles. 

universal type of needles

More interesting facts

  • Sign of Identification: Flat shank
  • YES: Only for domestic sewing machines
  • NO: Industrial sewing machines. 

b) Ballpoint Needles

Ballpoint needles are another common sewing machine needle that is ROUNDED on the TIP, and they are better used for KNITTED FABRICS, where the rounded tip will push the weave out of the way rather than cut through it. 

Make sure they are not Universal needles because many users confuse them with Universal ones because of almost the same body construction. 

ballpoint needle

More interesting facts

  • Sign of Identification: Rounded Tip
  • YES: For knit fabrics 
  • NO: For all types of fabrics

c) Embroidery Needles

As the name suggests, these types of sewing machines are specifically made for embroidery thread and come with a sharp TIP and wider EYES so that embroidery thread can penetrate through it easily. 

If we talk about the prices, then Embroidery needles are comparatively more expensive than normal needles because their scarps and eyes are specifically made for embroidery. 

embroidery needles

More Interesting facts

d) Wing Needles

Wing needles are specialised needles having WINGS on both sides of SMALLER and LARGER GROOVES so that they can penetrate through fabrics and make wider holes while creating an eyelet or heirloom project for craft projects. 

They are different from other types of needles and are uncommon in homes. 

wing needles

More interesting facts

  • Sign of Identification: Wings on both sides of smaller and larger grooves.
  • YES: For craft projects
  • NO: For all types of sewing projects

e) Leather Needles 

Sewing leather is not possible using the needles mentioned above. Therefore, it is a dedicated needle made primarily for it. You can sew leather, faux fur, multiple layers of leather, etc. 

These needles have a TRIANGULAR POINT for creating clean, perfect, and large holes to help cut the leather as the stitch is being formed. 

leather needles

More Interesting Facts 

  • Sign of Identification: Triangular Point 
  • YES: For sewing all types of leather only
  • NO: For all kinds of sewing projects

f) Metallic Needles 

These sewing machine needles are made of metallic threads. Metallic needles come with Wider Eye, a long Scarf and Groove, and have rounded Points. However, what is more interesting about this needle is that it has a built-in Teflon coating to the Eye so that metallic threads don’t break due to the friction of the needle body.  

metallic needles

More Interesting facts 

  • Sign of Identification: Large Eye, long scarf and groove, has Teflon coating to the Eye. 
  • YES: For Metallic and poor threads
  • NO: For all types of sewing projects

g) Jeans Needles 

Jeans are made of tougher materials like denim, so to sew them, you need a needle with specialised body parts that can pierce denim easily. Jean needles can also be used for heavy sewing twill and linens with minimal risk of breakage and skipped stitches. 

The overall body construction is too tough with a sharp POINT and TIP and strong SHANK so they don’t break. 

jeans needles

More interesting facts 

  • Sign of identification: Narrow and pointed point
  • YES: Use it for denim, heavy twill and linens. 
  • NO: Don’t use leather. 

h) Quilting Needles

As the name suggests, this sewing machine needle is used for quilting works. Its body parts have extremely pointed POINT and TIP with a too-robust BLADE and rounded EYE so that they go through multiple layers of woven fabrics. 

quilting needles

More interesting facts

  • Sign of Identification: Rounded Eye, Pointed point
  • YES: For Quilting works and sewing multiple layers of fabrics
  • NO: For a single layer of fabrics

i) Serger/ Industrial Needles 

These are different needles as they work better with only Serger or Overlocking sewing machines. However, you can also use it in other sewing machine brands and types, but avoid it for better results. 

serger needles

More Interesting facts 

  • Sign of Identification: Serger needles may have one short groove on the front, one on the back, and one on the front.
  • YES: For Serger sewing machines
  • NO: For normal sewing machine (well, you can use it for normal, but I recommend you don’t)

j) Microtex/ Sharp Needles

These are sharper than normal needles with rounded tips, specialised scarves, and eyes so that even a single stitch doesn’t miss. You should use it for fabrics that have Spandex or similar content. Moreover, you can also use it for quilting and applique. 

microtex needles

More interesting facts 

  • Sign of Identification: Sharper rounded tip with specialised scarves
  • YES: For fine woven fabrics and fabrics containing Spandex content 
  • NO: don’t use it for leather, canvas, and multiple layers of materials. 


Frequently asked questions

Are there different types of sewing machine needles?

Due to the different natures of fabrics, manufacturers have developed different needles for sewing machines.

Some of the most common are listed below:

Universal needles.
Embroidery needles.
Quilting Needles.
Ballpoint Needles.
Wing Needles.
Jean Needles. 
Metallic Needles.
Microtex Needles.
Leather Needles.
Serger Needles.

What needles are best for beginners?

Since beginners can use every type of needle, no needles are specifically made for them. However, they should be able to sew different kinds of fabrics easily.

What Do the Size Numbers Mean on Sewing Machine Needles?

Depending on the size of the needle, your sewing machine needle may be marked 60/8, etc. One number represents the European size, and the other represents the American size. American sizes range from 8 to 18, while European sizes range from 60 to 110. So, these numbers on the needle represent the size of a needle.

When should I change my needles?

Changing a needle mainly depends upon the workload and intensity of the project. Therefore, if your work is more intensive, you should change needles after every project. In short, needles are inexpensive, so consider changing them every 8 hours.