There is a huge range of sewing needles on the market, whether you need needles for embroidery or sewing leather, there is a special needle out there for the job that will give you best the finish.
But you might be wondering, is there no such thing as universal needles that fit every sewing machine?
There are indeed universal needles that can be switched out and interchanged between different machines but they are mainly for domestic use, not for use on embroidery machines or overlocker sewing machines.
To find out more about universal needles, what type you might need and what size needles you need for your sewing project we have put together a short guide about sewing needles for your machine below.
Universal sewing needles are a type of needle which is most commonly used on domestic sewing machines. These needles have a flat face on the needle shank and can be used on a variety of different machines, typically coming in a pack.
We have listed out the common sizes of universal sewing needles down below.
Typically, the length of needles never change but the width does, the size of needles are represented with an American size and a European size. The American sizes range between 6-18 and are the second in the slash while the first number is the European sizes ranging between 50-110.
When working with thinner and lighter fabrics, you should always be using smaller sized needles and for heavyweight fabrics, you will need needles with a thick diameter.
As well as selecting the right size and fit of needle for your machine you also need to select the right type according to the fabric you are sewing. For polyester and cotton, you can typically get away with a smaller 80 size and a universal needle.
We will list the other types below.
Can you use a double-needle on any sewing machine?
You can indeed use a double-needle on any type of sewing machine as long as it can sew straight stitches and zig-zag stitches. A double-needle can only be used on sewing machines that sew straight if it has a wide enough foot opening.
What is a 70/10 needle used for?
A 70/10 needle is best for lightweight fabrics like silk and it will not tear the material.
When should I replace the needle on my machine?
You should replace the needle on your sewing machine as soon as it starts to get dull or damaged, by rule, this is typically around eight hours after use.
What size needle do I need for cotton?
For cotton material, you need a needle size of around 80/12 as it is midweight material.
How many parts are there to a needle?
There are main parts to a needle such as; the shank, shoulder, shaft, groove, scarf, eye and point.
Can you use 90/14 needles on heavyweight fabrics?
You can use 90/14 needles on heavyweight fabrics but 100/16 needles tend to work a little better as they have a thicker and stronger shaft for dealing with the thicker fabric.
Overall, there are universal sewing needles out there to use on any domestic sewing machines but these are not meant for working on industrial machines such as embroidery or overlocker machines that need specialised needles.
You should always make sure you use the right kind of needle for the fabric you are sewing and that it's the right size too, always change your needle once it becomes dull or damaged.