Sewing Machine Needles Types Used In Garment Creation

There are some basic things that you need before starting your sewing project, and the needle is an essential part of all the basic things. When we talk about typical sewing machine needles, we find that there’s a lot of confusion about which needle to use for which job. The types of needles vary according to their name, number size, and type of point, length of the needle and shape of the eye, so the confusion regarding the needle is obvious. Here are a few types of sewing machine needles that are used in the process of garment creation. Take a look!

Categories of Needles

A needle can be broadly categorized into two types, namely:

  1. Cutting or leather point needles
  2. Round point needles- set or cloth points

Cutting Point Needles

Sewing Machine Needles

These sewing machine needles are used for sewing the leather/sheet materials that are too hard to penetrate and work through. The five universal kinds of non cutting point sewing needles include narrow cross point, cross point, reverse twist point, triangular point, and narrow edge point. 

Cloth point needles

Sewing Machine Needles

These are used for sewing textile materials instead of leather/sheet materials that are less dense and are easy to work on. The different types of cloth point needles include a slim set point, acute set point, medium set point, heavy set point, light ballpoint, medium ballpoint and the special ballpoint. The points generally have a round cross-section that contrasts various cutting profiles.

What is the purpose of sewing machine needles?

Of course sewing! But precisely a sewing machine needles serve the following purpose:

  • To make a hole in the fabric so the thread can pass through to form a stitch without damaging the fabric.
  • To carry the needle through the fabric to form a loop and so seal the stitch securely.

Pass the needle thread through the loop that is created on a chain stitch machine by the loop mechanism.

Similar Read : 4 Types of Marking and Tracing In Garment Making

The sewing machine needles may look like one thin shaft, but the entire process consists of different parts namely the shank, shoulder, blade, groove, and eye. For different fabrics and sheets, there are essentially different types of needles that can help to make the entire stitching process more convenient and fast. The needles also vary for the hand sewing and machine sewing process. You can refer to the Western garment creation process online, and you will find a bewildering range of needles for different stitches and materials.

Choosing The Right Sewing Needle

sewing needle

The most common technical issue with sewing machines is the wrong choice of a sewing needle. The poor choice of a sewing needle could lead to a number of problems such as:

  • poor quality of stitch
  • unwanted breakage of the needle
  • difficulties in working with the selected fabric.

Hence, it is essential to have discrete knowledge of sewing machine needles, their structure and the different types of sewing needles before buying one. The type of needle required also depends upon the type of fabric for which you need the needle. If you take online fashion designing courses, you will understand the importance of choosing the right kind of needle for your fabric.

sewing needle

Apart from that, understanding a sewing machine needle’s structure could help in understanding the different types of needles and their use. Students could be able to learn in detail about the different parts and uses of a needle in part-time fashion classes. The five parts of a needle are:

  • the point
  • eye
  • scarf
  • shaft 
  • shank 

The shank is the part of the needle which is fit in the machine. It has a flat side that helps in knowing if the shank is inserted incorrectly in the machine. The eye in the needle is the hole used for sliding in the thread. You would find a smoothly tailored eye in good quality needles that prevent any unwanted shredding of the thread. The size of the eye varies according to the thread type that can be used with the needle.

The scarf in the needle is used for avoiding skipped stitches by taking the hook close to the eye of the needle. The thickness of the staff could vary based on the fabric. The point of a needle could also vary according to the fabric and thus imply different needle types such as chisel-shaped or ball-point needles. 

Different types of sewing needles for sewing machine

sewing needle


Now, it would be reasonable to take a look at the different types of sewing machine needles to ensure the right choice of purchase. 

  • Universal needles are the most commonly used needles with different fabrics such as synthetic as well as some knit and woven fabrics. Polyester, silk or cotton threads are aptly suited for universal needles. 
  • Ballpoint needles have a rounded tip as compared to universal needles and are specifically intended for pushing the fibers in the fabric apart rather than cutting them. These needles are aptly suited for cotton knots, double knit, rib knits and other types of knit fabrics as they prevent running or laddering in the fabric after stitching. 
  • Stretch needles are noted for an extended scarf and are suitable for polyester and cotton wrapped polyester threads. These needles are suited for spandex, Lycra, silk jersey and highly elastic fabrics. 
  • Sharps needle is considered the ideal choice for layered fabric. They are noted by a stronger shaft that prevents bending or breakage alongside the sharp point which is helpful in smooth penetration of the fabric layers. The sharps needle is also known for a short and round eye that provides additional strength during the sewing process.

Similar Read : Garment Creation – The Process of Garment Creation

You can also find that many online fashion design programs have the opportunities for learning about a wide range of other sewing machine needle types such as leather needles, jeans needles, embroidery needles, wing needles, twin needles, and meta file needles. 

Take note of the above information and do some research on your own to land up with the right sewing needle. A helpful tip for the artists out there- Don’t be a miser in changing needles for every new project! They don’t cost a fortune, and you can be assured of better performance every time with a new needle as your tool.