What Size Sewing Machine Needle to Use for Quilting?

Sewing machine needles come in different sizes for different projects. The size of the needle will depend on the type and thickness of the fabric you are using. Generally, a smaller-sized needle is more suited for finer fabrics, while larger needles work better with heavier fabrics.

Quilters typically need to change their sewing machine needles frequently because they are working with thicker materials that can dull them quickly. If you’re not sure what size sewing machine needle to use for quilting, don’t worry. We are here to help you.

There are many sizes to choose from and it’s worth taking the time to get this right for better stitching results. It can be hard figuring out which size you need without assistance, so below we have compiled some helpful information on how to select the right size for your needs!

What Size Sewing Machine Needle Should I Use for Quilting?

What is a sewing machine needle?

Sewing needles are often sharp steel objects inserted into fabrics to feed them through the sewing machine. They come in various shapes and sizes, but all of which have two important functions: piercing fabric with their pointed end so that it can be sewn together on one side while catching thread from both sides as they pass over the needle’s eyelet point.

A sewing needle is typically made of metal such as steel or titanium alloy. It is a small, thin piece of metal with sharp points at one end. The other end can be either round or flat and it attaches to the thread spool on your sewing machine for you so that you don’t have to do all the work yourself!

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Types of sewing machine needles

Sewing machine needles are vital for the process of sewing. The type will depend on what you’re trying to sew, and your preference in how it sews through the fabric.

These include nylon sharp needle, universal round point needle, stretch flat-pointed needle (for knits), ballpoint polyester/cotton threader’s needle threaded with a rayon or cotton tailoring thread – these tend not to knot up as much while stitching tight seams such as buttonholes; twin fine stitch pins which have two tiny points at one end so that they can penetrate both layers of material more easily without stretching out either layer too tightly when making small stitches around buttons or snaps, etc.

What is the difference between a sewing needle and a quilting needle?

Sewing needles are used to sew fabric together, whereas quilting needles have an extra-long eye that helps with pushing through multiple layers of fabric.

Sewing needles are dull, while quilting needles have sharper ends and points.

A sewing needle is a much thinner instrument than the thicker Quilt Needle that has been made to be stronger for strength in heavy fabrics such as denim or cotton canvas.

A Sewing needle can also not provide you with any resistance when pushing it through fabric because of its thinness; whereas if you push on an area too hard using your fingernail, where there’s some thickness to hold onto they won’t feel anything at all! 

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Needle for Different Types of Fabric

For cotton fabrics, the sharp needles work best. For knits, you’ll need to use a ballpoint needle due to its precision ability in more complex fabrications and smaller holes for tight weaves that can’t be cut or ripped apart without leaving residue behind.

The most common sizes of needles for quilting:

Quilting needles come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate various types of sewing projects. You’ll need to take into consideration the type of fabric you’re sewing together as well as your personal preference when choosing which needle is best for you!

The most popular size for quilt-making is a 3/8″ needle, which will pierce through multiple layers of fabric with ease while still maintaining excellent stitch quality. Other common sizes include 5/16″, 1/4″, 9mm, 6 mm; the largest is 25 or even 36 gauge!

Makers use different types of sizes depending on what they’re making so it’s worth checking which type is best suited to the project at hand before buying them!

What Do the Size Numbers Mean on Sewing Machine Needles?

The size of a needle is determined by the numbers, which are placed on it. The European sizes range from 60 to 110, whereas the American sizes range from 8 to 20. These measurements will determine just how thick or thin your sewing job might be!

The size numbers on sewing machine needles are telling you the thickness of your needle. The lower number means a thinner and finer needle, while a higher one for thicker fabric.

Quilting needle selection guide

Selection of Needle for Quilting Project

One of the most important parts of sewing is choosing a needle. Generally, you should choose a size 75 needle for heavier threads and 40 wt thread requires just an 80 or 90 depending on your fabric type. The wrong choice of needles can lead to damaging results!

Choosing the right kind of needle comes down to what types of fabrics it’s being used with as well as any weight requirements set by that particular project; generally though, if using cotton thread (40wt), then one would need either an 85/90 metal shank machine-needle or 80/9O sharps self-threading handwork-needles–check first before committing!

A popular name in the needle industry Schmetz; their needles come in European and U.S size equivalents to accommodate just about any fabric, thread type, or sewing project you can think of! These numbers are located at the bottom left-hand corner of each package; from 60/8 (the finest) up to 120/19 (the largest). The number will help determine which needle is best for your job’s needs- whether it be a finer stitch with thinner threads, like silk ribbon used to sew delicate lace onto an evening gown, or thick cushions made out of linen that need strong stitches.

Why do you need a special needle for quilting rather than a regular needle?

Quilters have even higher standards; they require an extremely sharp point because their project has dozens upon dozens of stitches layered deep within its thickness!

There are a variety of reasons why you need to have the right needle for your quilting project. Regular needles would be too blunt and damage delicate fabrics like cotton or silk while using other types of needles can often lead to sewing problems because they may not work well with certain materials such as threads that easily break.

What to look for when choosing a needle for your sewing machine?

When choosing a needle for your sewing machine, it is best to look at the size and type of fabric you’ll be using. For quilting, consider purchasing needles that are large because they will get through thick material better than smaller ones can. It’s also important not to forget about all those other items such as bobbins or thread spools too!

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Now you have the knowledge of which sewing machine needle to use for quilting and don’t need to worry about picking up a big box of needles that might not work. You can feel confident in your ability to make an informed decision with this information at hand!



I’m Jane and I’m the editor of janesknittingkits.com! I am a long-time craft and clothing design fan who has been writing about these interests for years.

I have spent many hours studying knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery, and quilting as well as learning about various brands and models of sewing gear and machines. In addition to this research, my work involves publishing information related to these topics in ways that will be informative for both amateur crafters like me and more experienced sewers!