Always a good idea to have the right needle for the job, nothing worse than starting a project and the material is snagging, machine may make a thudding type noise, change that needle!
We always recommend Schmetz needles over any other brand as they go through more than others in the manufacturing processes.
The difference between needle sizes like 10, 12, 14 16 (70, 80, 90, 100) etc is approx 1 thousandth of an inch (0.00254mm)
Here’s a list with pictures for the most used needles for all domestic machines (some exceptions may apply)
Top stitch needles have a large eye to allow thicker threads to pass through smoothly. They have a sharp point for most general sewing applications, from dress making to machine embroidery and machine quilting.
Metallic: The special construction of the metallic needle provides trouble-free sewing with metallic thread. A must-have for sewing with sensitive metallic threads a large eye makes threading easier and accommodates heavier thread. The elongated eye prevents shredding and breaking of metallic threads during the stitch formation.
Twin needle: Ideal for tuck piping and one or two coloured ornamental seams.
(Only suitable for zig zag machines with a transversal hook)
Microtex: Sharp point for straight stitches on delicate and microfiber fabrics.
Embroidery needle: Designed for rayon and polyester embroidery applications.
Great if you don’t have a needle threader built in to your machine, there’s a small slit where you run the thread down the side and it just slots in!
Leather point: Designed for leather, artificial leather and heavy non-woven synthetic applications.
Overlock: Self explanatory!
Jersey or ball point: Designed for sewing on knits and some stretch fabrics.
Jeans: Modified medium ball point and reinforced blade. For denim and similar fabrics. Advanced point design is a SCHMETZ exclusive. For penetrating extra thick woven fabrics, denims, or quilts with minimum needle deflection, reduced risk of needle breakage and skipped stitches.
Mixed domestic: General sewing of knit and woven fabrics. Slight ball point.
Singer 14u overlock use only.
Just for fun, here’s one of the larger sized needles available, this is system 794 which fits a 39 1/4″ arm golf bag machine, pictured next to a domestic needle for size guidance for you. There are larger ones!
Picture of the factory workers producing needles, amazing when you think how much a pack of needles costs and how much work is involved making them.
Lastly, a small conversion chart of sizes for you for domestic needles: