Knowing what sewing machine needle size to use can be difficult, but using needle and thread size chart makes it super easy! Check out the post below for our explanation of sewing machine needle sizes, plus a Tex to Machine Needle Size Chart that shows compatible needle sizes for thread weights ranging from ultra-lightweight to very heavy-duty. Whether you're looking for home sewing machine needles or industrial machine needles, find needles in the size you want at WAWAK.
SEWING MACHINE NEEDLE SIZES EXPLAINED
Sewing machine needle sizes can be confusing, especially if you don't know what to look for! In the United States, machine needle sizes are written as a number ranging from 0-40. (For home sewing machines, you'll most likely only use needle sizes 8-20.) You might also see needle sizes written as a fraction: this is because sometimes manufacturers include the European size along with the US size. For example, the fraction 80/12 represents a needle that's a European size 80 and a US size 12.
This size is determined by the needle's thickness, also known as the needle gauge. The most important thing to know about sewing machine needle sizing is this: the higher the number, the thicker the needle. (And vice versa—the lower the number, the thinner the needle.)
A needle's thickness can impact how your sewing machine performs. Using too heavy of a needle on lightweight fabrics can cause skipped stitches or fabric damage, and a needle that's too light for a heavy fabric is much more likely to deflect or break.
What Sewing Machine Needle Size Do I Need?
So how do you find the right sewing machine needle size? The easiest way to choose a needle size is to match it to your thread. Choose your fabric first, then a thread appropriate for your fabric weight. From there, choosing a sewing machine needle is a bit of a Goldilocks scenario—you want the size that's just right for your thread. The goal is for the needle's eye to be just wide enough to accommodate your chosen thread, without being too large (which will leave behind visible holes in the fabric) or too narrow (which can cause excessive thread fraying and breakage). We know this can be challenging to estimate without seeing it for yourself, so using a chart like the one below is a helpful way to get the correct needle size. On our site, you can also check the product description or details under a specific thread, where compatible needle sizes are usually listed.
Size isn't the only thing to consider when choosing a sewing machine needle! To learn about sewing machine needle styles, check out our previous post on Choosing The Right Home Machine Needle For Your Project.
SHOP FOR SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES AT WAWAK SEWING SUPPLIES
Use this handy chart to find the machine needle sizes compatible with your thread's weight.