What Size Sewing Machine Needle for Cotton

What Size Sewing Machine Needle for Cotton

First of all, know that the needles exist in several sizes: from 60 to 110. The thicker your fabric, the more you will have to choose a needle with a high number.

The needles used in sewing machines are quite accurate. They are acceptable for all brands of sewing machines since they adhere to high production standards.

Finding needles with the right heel for your machine is crucial, though. The two very different kinds of sewing machine needles are thus those with a round heel and those with a flat heel, commonly known as standard. Correct needle placement and an even loop of the seam are guaranteed by the heel.

Standard needles with a flat heel are frequently available. The majority of the time, very ancient sewing machines are compatible with round shank needles.

We now have to adapt our needle to our fabric. Here are the  different needles:

Standard  (or universal)

The standard needle is the most commonly used needle. It is used for sewing most kinds of fabric, from natural fabrics like cotton, silk and linen to artificial fabrics like polyester, rayon, acetate and acrylic. The tip is slightly rounded to sew all kinds of materials. These are the ones supplied when you purchased your sewing machine. Their size varies from 60 to 100.

Special needles:


Microtex needles are disposable needles with a sharp point. They work well for sewing very fine fabrics (60–80), and some of the thicker fabrics as well, up to 1.3mm (80).

A microtex needle has a blunt point with a small opening; whereas, a sharps needle has a sharp point with a fine opening. The microtex needles have tiny openings to prevent the thread from slipping around. Microtex needles have the finest needles available in the industry. Microtex needles are used when sewing with microfiber fabric, silk, sequined fabric, nylon, polyester, poplin, organza, and taffeta.


Jeans are used to sew jeans or other heavier fabrics such as oilcloth, sailcloth, work clothes, corduroy, and imitation leather. Jeans needles have a small point that allows for sewing through thicker material. The needle’s upper part is reinforced to prevent the needle from bending or deflecting when passing through thick, heavy fabric. They come in sizes from 90 to 110 (a larger number equals a smaller needle).

For sewing jeans or other heavy fabrics, a needle with a particularly fine point is needed. In order to be able to penetrate thick and tight fabrics, it must also have a large eye to accommodate the thread. The material from which the needle is made must be hard enough to resist breaking under the stress of thick fabrics and heavy seams. The needle should not have too much flexibility so as not to bend and break at the point when penetrating the fabric.


The leather needle is a more specialized tool for sewing leather and other thick fabrics. Its sharp, small point allows it to pierce the material more easily than other needles. It can be used on leather, imitation leather, and suede, but only with light- to medium-weight materials. Be careful, this needle is fragile. It comes in a variety of sizes between 80 and 100.

Stretch and jersey:

The stretch jersey needle has a rounded point (called “ballpoint”) which is designed to spread the stitches of the fabric without breaking the fibers. This makes it ideal for sewing all elastic or stretch knit fabrics. Stretch jersey needles should be used with all types of thread including polyester and cotton threads. It also prevents the hems from curling too much which makes it an ideal sewing machine needle for all elastic or stretch knit fabrics. Their size varies from 70 (for lycra and fine jersey) to 90.

Double  (or twin needles):

It can be used on most sewing machines. There are several types depending on the fabric to be sewn. It is used in particular to make hems with double topstitching for perfectly parallel seams. They are also ideal for sewing stretch materials such as jerseys because they keep a certain elasticity of the stitch made while consolidating it due to their double stitching. But for a jersey, the ideal is still the serger and the cover machine, on the other hand, this equipment is at a cost (and takes up space!)

Needle for Sewing PUL 

For PUL, you will need to use a needle with a normal point, of the Universal type (also called Standard).

In terms of needle size number, you would need to use a 70 or 80 diameter. 

This kind of fabric simply requires this needle, because the PUL fears holes, so you have to gently pierce the fabric.

Which Needle to Sew Quilted?

Quilting is more of a stitching method for doubling or adding volume to a cloth.
The best needle to use is one with a fine point of the Jeans variety.
Try using an ordinary needle with a normal point if you don’t have this kind of needle on hand.

Sewing Polyester

Polyester is an extremely dense fabric, making piercing it challenging.
As a result, you will need to use a needle with an extremely thin point or even a special kind made just for this kind of cloth, like the Microtex.

Its diameter may vary from 60 to 80 depending on the composition of the Polyester and its thickness.

Equip Your Machine to Sew Coated Fabric.

We suggest using a needle made specifically for leather or jeans in this situation.
The tip of the Jeans one is finely treated.
The triangular tip of the leather needle will puncture the material and create a hole.

For both needles, we recommend a needle diameter between 80 and 100. 

How to stitch Softshell?

A rather sensitive material where it will be necessary to avoid unnecessary bites as much as possible.

A special Microtex needle is highly recommended, with a diameter between 60 and 80.

Needle for Sewing Terry Cloth

For terry cloth, we recommend a Standard (Universal) size 90 needle.

Be careful though, it must be in good condition or even new.

Which Needle to Sew Lycra?

To sew the Lycra, a special Stretch needle will be of great help.

We advise you to stay in reasonable sizes, a diameter of 70 will be perfect!

Sewing Elastic Fabric by Machine

In this case, you will need to choose a needle specially designed for Stretch. Its tip is rounded to avoid snagging the fabric.

A diameter of 75 is recommended, regardless of the thickness of the fabric.

Equip Your Machine to Sew Plastic.

To sew plastic, you will need a needle with a fine point, at best a needle for Jeans.

We advise you to stay between 90 and 110 with regard to the diameter of this one.

Which Needle to Use for Satin?

Satin is a very sensitive material, a small diameter (70/80 maximum) is recommended to avoid deforming the fabric too much.

Universal needle will be perfect with its so-called normal tip, the fabric will be pierced “tenderly”.

Sewing Crepe, Which Needle to Choose?

To sew crepe without any worries, a size 60 Microtex will be perfect.

Jacquard with the Right Needle

A Standard needle will do just fine. Needle size of 90 to 100 will be perfect.

How to Sew the Minkee or Minky?

Stretch needle will be suitable for sewing these materials which should be avoided as much as possible.

It is for this reason that the tip must be balled.

Diameter 90 and voila!

Voile Is Its Typical Needle

For anything that is sheer, cotton, silk, or even synthetic, it is advisable to stay on a Standard (Universal) needle. The normal tip is perfectly suited for this type of fabric.

However, a very small size is recommended, a diameter of 60 is a must.

Sewing Suede?

As for leather and faux leather, you guessed it, for suede you will need to use a special leather needle.

Its triangular sharp point will have the effect of effectively piercing the material and thus letting the wire pass as it should with a diameter of 90 or 100.

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