What is the Standard-Size Sewing Machine Needle?

What is the Standard-Size Sewing Machine Needle?

When we think about sewing, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a needle. Well, maybe not the first thing, but it’s certainly up there. We don’t realize how standardization has affected the sewing needle over the years.

Table of compatibility of sewing needles and fabrics

MaterialTextileNeedle sizeNeedle marking
TextileLight (material for shirts, blouses)60-70H, H-M
Medium (suit material)80-90H, H-J
Heavy (coat material)100-110H, H-J
DenimLight70-90H, H-J
densely woven materialsLight (microphase, silk, taffeta)60-80H-M
Medium (twill, canvas)100-110H-J
KnitwearThin60H, H-S
Highly elastic knitted fabric or knitted fabricThin65-70H-S

Properly approach the choice of a needle for sewing – it must correspond to the type of fabric being processed and the threads.

There must be one needle per product – this is a law observed by professional seamstresses. Never save on this sewing tool – this will allow you to always achieve only the best results in your work.

The needle is the most important element of the sewing machine, on which, in fact, the quality of sewing depends. Needles can have different sizes of ear holes and grooves, different tip sharpening variations, and other nuances that must be taken into account when processing different types of fabrics.

For example, since polyester does not stretch in hot water, it is necessary to choose a needle with a small hole in its ear.

On the other hand, if you are working with silk or soft materials, you need a needle with a large hole in its ear to allow the thread to flow more easily.

Also important is the tip of the needle: some have a sharpened tip while others are blunt. Sharp tips are better for woven fabrics and blunt ones are suitable for knits.

So, how to choose this sewing element correctly so that the line comes out of the highest quality, and the final result exceeds all expectations?

Universal Needle Standards

As a rule, universal needles are universal in name only. They are considered such because their diameter and tip shape (round, flat or angled) is close to the standard ones. However, the body of such needles is longer.   The majority of buyers will not notice any difference in the quality of work with this type of needle and branded ones. However, when buying universal needles it is important to pay attention to their length and diameter. The main thing is not to forget to always buy an appropriate needle for your machine. This will help you avoid unpleasant situations and reduce frustration during sewing.

All sewing units presented on the site are equipped with universal needles that allow you to work with any type of fabric. First of all, these are needles of the 130/705H and ELx705 standard, ideal for household appliances.

Needle numbers

When you are buying a new sewing machine, you need to select a needle that will fit your needs. But with all the different types of needles available, how can you possibly make sense of the selection? Given the number indicated on the package, you can determine the thickness of the needle – it is usually indicated in millimeters or inches.

The higher the value of the number, the correspondingly greater its thickness. For example, the number of needle you selected is 90. This means that its thickness is 0.9 mm or 14 inches. If you see two numbers, for example, “90/14” – this means that the thickness is indicated in both mm and dm.

Choosing a sewing needle

In order to choose the right needle for a specific fabric material, you need to know how the letter designations indicated on the package are deciphered. You can see both the names of the fabric and just letters – these values ​​will give you the opportunity to determine the scope of the selected needle.

H – H is the Latin letter denoting the 60th size of universal needles, having a size in the range of 60-110. These needles are intended for processing simple and so-called “non-capricious” fabrics. The rounded point is suitable for all types of yarns, from fragile to rough. The needles are durable and therefore allow for high productivity.

HJ – this type of needle is intended for processing thick, compacted types of fabrics. Their main difference is sharp sharpening. With these needles, the following types of fabric materials can be processed: twill, jeans, tarpaulin, etc.

HM are very thin, pointed microtex needles that are used for specific materials where pinpoint puncture is required. Mostly these are microfiber or densely woven materials.

HS – H–S-shaped needles are a variety of machine needles that are used exclusively for sewing in stretchy fabrics such as jersey, lycra, spandex, and elastic. Unlike regular needles, H–S needles have an additional groove on the underside of the tip to allow the thread to flow freely. This groove also helps to prevent skipped stitches when sewing with elastic, since it allows for more flexibility during the stitch formation.

The shape of H–S needles also allows you greater visibility when sewing along zippers or other parts where the fabric is especially thick. Since H–S needles are intended for use with stretch fabrics only, they should not be used for sewing with woven or non-stretch fabrics since they can cause skipped stitches or damage to the machine.

HE is embroidery needles that work only in tandem with embroidery threads. Their main difference is that they have a notch, a rounded tip, and an enlarged ear hole that protects the thread or fabric from damage. H-E needles are exclusively for decorative embroidery.

HQ – The presence of bevels on the head of the needle, which is called the “eye” or “eyelet” of a needle, allows the thread to pass through more easily. Bevels in a higher number, up to six or seven. In quilting needles, H-Qs are distinguished by the presence of a special bevel and the small shape of the ear hole. In addition, H-Qs have a rounded point to prevent puncture marks on the material.

H-SUK – Japanese hand sewing needles, such as H-SUK, have a rounded point, which makes them more suitable for sewing fabrics with stretch and knits. The principle of operation is that the needle is passed through the fabric threads between them, expanding the threads of the fabric and loops as accurately as possible.

H-LR – designed for leather treatment. The main difference is the presence of a cutting edge, with which the necessary cut is made (45º towards the seam). As a result, the seamstress can get a perfect decorative seam with slightly beveled stitches.

It was the improvement of modern sewing machines, as well as the emergence of a wide variety of sewing techniques, that led to the need to produce various types of needles. Now a loving seamstress can choose the right needle to create products from any type of fabric material.

The Main Characteristics of Sewing Needles

Needle Point

All needles produced today, depending on the tip, are divided into two broad groups:

  • Used for textiles – have a rounded tip that accurately pierces the fabric.
  • Used exclusively for leather – the point is presented as a blade and is designed to cut through the material.

The effectiveness of the drawn line and the degree of tissue injury risk are dependent on the skillful selection of the needle, taking the point into consideration.

Separately, it is worth mentioning needles with refined tips. If you want to produce the highest quality products, then it is best to give preference when choosing needles to products from SINGER, which produces needles with elongated thin heads (for example, “SINGER 04801” or “SINGER 01025“).

 The thing is, when the eyelet penetrates the fabric, maximum pressure occurs, which can damage the material. Fine-tipped needles exert minimal pressure and consequently significantly reduce the risk of injury.

Needle Eye

The needle’s eye plays an important role in the quality of the stitching. It must be smooth and rounded on both sides, which will prevent the thread from getting stuck or tangled. Also, its diameter must be sufficiently large to allow the thread to pass through easily and without resistance. In addition, there must be a sufficient opening between the eye and the shank to allow the passage of a wire that fixes the needle in the needle holder.

To have all these qualities, it is important to choose a needle with a good-quality eye. There are needles with eyes made of brass or steel; this material allows for an excellent finish and makes it possible for the eye to maintain its shape for a long time. The ideal choice for embroidery is a needle with an eye made of brass.

Groove (notch)

The sewing machine’s buttonhole-stitch foot is used to sew buttonholes. When the buttonhole is sewn, the stitches are cut and the buttonhole is formed. However, the stitches cannot be cut if the needle hits a knot on the thread. If this happens, it could damage the sewing machine’s foot or even stop it from working. The new needles with a “Pontoon” groove eliminate this possibility and make it possible to easily reproduce good loops in your buttonholes.

Needle shaft

For quality sewing, use needles with short or double shanks used in most needle systems. This will allow you to increase the impact of the needle on the tissue during a puncture and increase the life of the needle itself.

Needle groove

The shape and quality of the needle groove will determine how perfectly the thread should be sewn and whether it will jam when the needle pierces the material. Most preferred for modern sewing needle brand SINGER – they are distinguished by the presence of a rounded edging of the recess, necessary for reliable protection of the fabric. In addition, they exclude the delamination of bulk material.

Needle flask

The needle holder has its own specific size, and therefore the diameter of the needle flask is also of great importance when choosing a sewing needle. If the dimensions of these elements do not match each other, you simply will not be able to insert the needle into the holder.

Some needle systems require a flat bulb, while others are round. In the latter case, the design of the flask has a recess for fixing the needle. Generally speaking, each type of needle system has a special coding designed for a specific type of sewing unit.

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