What Size Needle Do I Need to Sew Vinyl? ( with More Tips)

What Size Needle Do I Need to Sew Vinyl?

If you’re sewing with vinyl or leather, be sure to use a heavy-duty needle to handle the thicker material. A good rule of thumb for picking the correct size needle is to look at the packaging of your fabric and try to match the number with a needle from your sewing machine’s manual. If you’re using vinyl and don’t see a size listed on the packaging, try using a 90/14 or even larger.

Before you start, grab a Leather or Denim needle size 90/14. This is a great addition to your needle collection, as it’s ideal for projects like these that involve heavy fabrics. You could even use a Denim Twin Needle ( it sale here) for perfectly symmetrical stitches.

Types of Needles for Your Sewing Machine

Now it’s time to find out what types of needles exist to use in your sewing machine. They vary according to their complexity, thickness/size, or type.

According to its complexity

  • Simple needles: The simplest needles are usually found in low-end sewing machines—they have no decorative stitching options, but are used for basic tasks like hemming or fixing simple rips. These have a single hole on top and a single hole on the bottom so they can only be used to make one type of stitch.
  • Double needles: with two stitches, for somewhat more specific or decorative tasks. It can be used to sew knit fabric or the bottoms of pants.
    Double needles with different degrees of separation can be found. The further apart they are, the further apart the stitching will be.

  • Triple needles: three stitches, for exclusively decorative stitches. They are very rare to see on sewing machines.

According to your tip

  • SPI: So fine it does not cause damage to denser fabrics, microfiber, coated materials, or shirt cuffs. For sewing on delicate fabrics and microfiber, this is your best bet. It’s sharp enough to do its job but soft enough that it won’t pierce through the fabric you’re working with. It’s also a good choice for heirloom or antique pieces.
  • R: Used for normal fabrics with standard seams (pushes the thread to one side).
  • SES: Used for sewing lightweight fabric. Sometimes it is used in high-density fabrics to avoid damaging the material.
  • SUK: Used for sewing medium-weight fabric. It is sometimes used for mid-weight denim.
  • SKF: Used for sewing thick fabrics and dense stretch fabrics.
  • Special Ball Point: used for sewing thick fabrics and medium thickness elastic materials covered with elastomeric threads.
needle point types

According to its thickness and size

The needles are usually classified with two numbers: the largest corresponds to the European measurement and the smallest to the American one.  These classifications tell us the thickness of the needle. For example, a rating of 80 EU means the needle is 0.8mm.

The European numbering goes from Nº65 to Nº120, while the American numbering (also called Japanese) goes from Nº8 to Nº20. Therefore, this numbering starts with the thin hands and ends with the thicker ones.

You can follow a simple rule. The size of the needle varies proportionally with the thickness of the fabric.

  • 60 (EU)/ 8 (USA): it is the finest needle you can find on the market. It is perfect for very fine or delicate materials such as silk.
  • 65/9 to 70/10: for fine fabrics such as cotton.
  • 75/11 to 90/14: for all types of fabrics with a medium thickness.
  • 100/16: thick fabrics.
  • 110/18: perfect for denim (you can also find special needles for this task) or upholstery.
  • 120/20: For thicker types of fabric.

According to your Letter

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

H is a letter that signifies universal needles that have dimensions between 60 and 110. They are slightly rounded at the point, and are designed primarily to work with simple and “non-capricious” fabric materials.

HJ ( click for amazon)  – This type of needle is designed to process dense and compacted fabrics. The main distinction is their sharp cutting. These needles can be used to process these types of fabrics are treated: jeans, twill, and tarpaulin.

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

HS  (check value on amazon)-  These letters signify needles that are specifically designed for elastic fabrics. The most notable distinction is that they have an edge that assists in avoiding any skipping stitches while stretched fabric. Furthermore, H-S needles come with an elongated tip that is slightly rounded and can be used to sew synthetic fabrics and knitwear of medium weight.

HE ( check price from amazon.com)- HE needles are for embroidery and operate only in conjunction to embroidery threads. The primary difference is the fact that they feature a notch, around edge, and an expanded ear spot that shields the fabric or thread from being damaged. H-E needles are designed intended for decorative embroidery.

HQ  ( buy from amazon.com)-Quilting requires HQ. They’re distinct by having an exclusive bevel as well as a smaller ear. Additionally, H-Qs feature an edge that is rounded to avoid puncture marks from the material.

H-SUK ( it sale here– H-SUK is a type that features a rounded tip that prevents the possibility of causing damage to the fabric web. The basis of operation lies in the way the needle passes across the fabric threads which expands those threads in the fabric as well as loops as precisely as is feasible.

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.

The history of needles is as long and rich as that of sewing itself. In ancient times, needles were made from bone or animal horn, then later from various metals like bronze or steel. The current system of needle manufacturing was developed only in the 19th century due to the improvement of modern sewing machines, as well as the emergence of a wide variety of sewing techniques. Now a loving seamstress can choose the right needle to create products from any type of fabric material: from cotton to denim and from leather to silk.

The Main Characteristics of Sewing Needles

Needle Point

The thing is, when the eyelet penetrates the tissue, 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 eye is the most important element of the needle. It plays a vital role in the quality of stitches, and for that reason, it should be chosen with great care.

A smooth inner surface and perfect streamlined shape on the outside – are the main characteristics of an ideal needle eye. The thread passes through without any hindrances – even if you work at a high speed. Moreover, the ideal needle eye eliminates thread breakage or interlacing during sewing.

Groove (notch)

 The problem is that most machines come with needles with round grooves, which can damage the foot of the machine over time and make it difficult to reproduce proper loops. To fix this issue, you need needles with a “Pontoon” groove instead—the kind with three small ridges instead of one large one. These needles are now preferred by professionals because they won’t cause any damage and allow you to reproduce good loops every time.

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 fabric during a puncture and increase the operational 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.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 cannot 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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