Can You Use A Double Needle In Any Sewing Machine Or Only Certain Ones?

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Last Updated on 19 September, 2021 by

How To Use a Double Needle On Any Sewing Machine

Using a double-needle on a sewing machine is a very useful accessory, as it allows you to thread your sewing machine with two threads and have two seam lines on each side of your fabric.

However, you might be wondering, can I use these needles on any kind of sewing machine? The answer to that is yes, most sewing machines will enable you to use a double needle as long as it can do a zig-zag function. 

We will get into the details of how to use a double needle on any sewing machine below to make things simple for you.

What Is a Double Needle?

As we touched on above, a double-needle is a needle that has a single shank and a two-shaft, these two shafts each have an eye where the double thread passes through, resulting in a zig-zag stitch/two-row stitch on the back of your fabric.

If you have a zig-zag sewing machine which has a plate that can match the size of your needle, you can use a double needle on any sewing machine like this.

Do I Need To Use a Double Needle?

The advantages of a double-needle are that it can reinforce your stitching due to there being two threads at once, as well as save you time and increase the speed of your workflow.

However, in terms of durability, believe it or not, double needles still might not be strong enough in comparison with a single stitch due to the way they have to loop around the fabric.

This might make a double-needle seam less appropriate for heavy use material like clothing that a single seam.

Which Size Double Needle Do I Need?

Double needles do differ in size and affect the variety of stitch width you can choose.

They are sized with two numbers to show the size of the needle. The first number corresponds to the distance in between the needles and the second number which follows is the size of the actual needle.

Numbers in terms of distance for these needles range between; 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and means the distance between each needle is measured in mm, e.g. 4mm distance.

For example, the distance in between your needles could be 2 mm and the size of your needle might be number 80, this would give a measurement of 2.0/80.

To figure out how wide you can go with your stitch you will need to take into account the width of the hole in the throat plate of your sewing machine and the distance number on your needle.

Simply subtract the distance number of your needle from the width of your throat plate and you will be left with a stitch width number.

How Do I Sew a Double-Needle Hem?

Now you know you can use a double needle on any zig-zag sewing machine and how to pick the right sized number, we can show how to use one of these needles to create a hem with a sewing machine.

We have put together some easy to follow steps below for creating your perfect double-needle hem.

Step One

First thing you need to do before sewing your hem is serging the bottom (if you desire) and measuring the hem you want.

After doing this you can start to prep your sewing machine by making sure you have two spools of thread and two spool holders, make sure your extra bobbin is filled with thread and insert the double-needle into your machine.

Step Two

Now you can start to thread your needles, start by taking the first spool of thread and threading it into the needle of your right as usual, then take your second spool of thread and thread the left needle.

Step Three

Use a straight stitch on your machine and test to see if your double needle is stitching fine on a spare piece of fabric.

You can then go on and sew your hem on your preferred side of your fabric with your double needle.

What Can I Use a Double Stitch For?

Now you know how to use a double needle on your sewing machine for making a hem, it's pretty easy to use it for other types of stitches too.

We have listed out some other common uses for a double stitch below which you might not have considered.

Decorative Stitching

Double stitching can create some cool decorative stitches on your fabric as long as your stitch width works with your needle hole.

For extra stability and to avoid your fabric ruching up when sewing you could use interface underneath and use more open stitches rather than dense.

For Making a Coverstitch Hem

To make a double hem on a piece of fabric like a cover stitch hem is easy with a double-needle due to the parallel line seam it creates.

You will have a zig-zag stitch on one side of your fabric and two parallel lines on the other side. Just remember to use a stretchy thread if you are planning to sew this hem on knitted fabrics.

Attaching Ribbon Trims

A double needle stitch can allow you to sew a ribbon trim in one go as long as the distance of the needle size is not too big so as it can allow for both ends of the ribbon to be sewn.

To Make a Parallel Topstitch

When you need to sew two parallel lines straight on a piece of fabric it can be very hard to keep them matching and straight, a double-needle will avoid this and keep both seam lines accurate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Double Needle In a Sewing Machine

What do I need to sew with a double-needle?

To sew with a double-needle you will need a zig-zag sewing machine with a zig-zag needle plate which is big enough to accommodate your needle, as well as two spools and two threads.

Can I use a double-needle when sewing knits? 

Yes, but it is preferred to buy a stretch double needle when sewing knits as this can help sew on this kind of fabric without ruining it.

Is it possible to double stitch on sheer fabrics?

Yes, but the sheer fabric may get ruched quite easily under the machine, so in this case, it might be best to use a stabiliser underneath the fabric.

Last Words

Overall, a double-needle can be used on a wide variety of sewing machines as long as they can do zig-zag stitching and have a wide enough needle plate for your needle, just make sure you get the right-sized double-needle for your fabric.

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Mum, Wife and Blogger at, having excelled at textile arts in school, I soon thereafter embarked my journey as an assistant to a Fashion Designer. This fueled my passion for making clothes and soon lead me to creating Top Sewing Machines. A site where I talk sewing machines, overlockers along with tips and tricks and buyers guides.
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