Needles

Schmetz Needles

High quality sewing machine needles for all of your sewing projects is one of the most important ingredients to your sewing, embroidery and quilting success. Learning the differences between needle types and sizes is key to making items that last a lifetime.

Read below to learn the needles listed below and order knowing you're making the right choice for your project.

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Q: Do I really need so many different needles?
A: Explaining how needles work is the best way to answer this question. 

What Makes Needles Different from one-another?


Needle Sizes
The needle size determines how large the needle is; how large the eye-is and how deep the groove-is on the front of the needle. (a)

The front view of a sewing machine needle anatomy taught by Clare Rowley Sewing machine educator
   

Needle Types
The needle type refers to the needle's point in addition to the depth-length and shape of the scarf on the back of the needle. (b)

Side view of a sewing machine needle drawn by sewing educator Clare Rowley

What will happen if I don't use the correct needle size and type?
IIf you do not use the correct needle the hook of your sewing machine cannot form the stitch properly which causes skipped or looped stitches and one of the most annoying problems; when the thread frays-up above the needle eye.

Illustration showing how the needle and thread form a stitch drawn by Clare Rowley sewing educatorIllustration showing poorly formed stitches from a sewing machine needle and thread combination teaching how to select the correct needle for your sewing project taught by Clare Rowley sewing educator

Using the right needle for your thread and fabric, will almost stop the thread from shredding above the needle eye! 

WHY?

Because the damage to your thread actually happens when the needle enters the fabric. 

  • The silver lever that goes up and down on the front of your sewing machine (Take-Up Lever)-pulls slack on the thread allowing the sewing machine hook to pick up the needle thread after it goes underneath the bobbin case. 

  • The hook picks up the thread where the scarf is on the back of the needle.

  • If the thread pulls against the needle the hook nicks the thread instead of picking it up, damaging it.

  • That lever then pulls the needle thread back up as it moves up it goes above the needle's eye.

  • As the machine continues to sew the next stitch, the damaged area of the thread then tries to slide through the needle eye but because of the damage the hook caused-the thread is shredded instead.

Will using the correct needle stop all of my thread problems?

NO. There are other reasons why the thread pulls against the back of the needle. Metallic thread will continue to be a problem. 

Why? And is there something I can do to keep it from splitting and breaking?

Metallic thread has a nylon inner-core that stretches.

  •  Placing the thread on a separate thread stand will help keep the thread from stretching. 
  • Another reason the metallic threads split is because the outer surface of the thread is rough. As the needle goes through the fabric it rubs against the fabric which causes it to come too close to the back of the needle.
  • Using the Lube-A-Thread will keep the thread from rubbing against the fabric. 
  • Another use for the Lube-A-Thread kit is to rub a small amount of the non-staining silicone on the needle when using adhesive products. This will prevent the adhesive from making the needle sticky which causes skipped and looped stitches.

What are the different types of needles?

  • H-Style Needles are known as Universal needles and are light ball-point needles. They push fibers aside as the needle enters the fabric.
  • HS-Style needles are Stretch needles and are also light ball-point needles. This needle has a deeper scarf in the back of the needle and a thinner shank making it easier for the machine to form a stitch. Because the needle comes closer to the hook with this needle, not all brands and makes of machines should use it. Singer (SLANT NEEDLE) sewing machines shouldn't use these needles, use Singer yellow band needles instead. Bernina's from 830 model and older should not use this needle, use Bernina brand stretch needles.
  • SUK-Style needles are designed for large knit fabrics and are a large ball-point needle. The point of this needle is larger which helps the machine form a stitch.
  • HJ-Style needles are sharp-point needles designed for sewing through denim or tightly woven-layered fabrics. This needle will cut-through fibers rather than pushing them aside. if you use a universal needle on denim the needle will bend as it attempts to push the fibers aside. We will use the 70/10 HJ needle for sewing straighter stitches on non-stress areas. You never want to use this type of needle on lightly woven fabrics when sewing seams. The fabric will eventually break-apart which is why many of the antique quilts are falling apart.
  • NTW-Style needles are designed to sew through fabrics that are treated with heavy stiffeners like upholstery fabric and leather. However there are other fabrics that should be sewn with this needle. This needle does not puncture a hole it cuts a wedge shape slit in the fabric so that when the needle exits the fabric the wedge cut in the fabric comes back and closes up the exit wound in the fabric. If you poke a hole in a piece of fabric and hold it up to the light and can see that the hole remains open then you may want to use this needle. It will prevent skipped stitches but definitely weakens the fabric.
  • ZWI-Style needles are twin needles or double needles.

Double or Twin Needles have so many numbers on the package, what do they stand for?

  • The 130/705 number represents the length of the needle. All domestic sewing machines use the same length, so this number is not important to remember. Some Sergers/Overlocks use different length needles and using the incorrect length will cause severe damage to your Serger's/Overlock's  loopers.
  • The numbers at the the bottom of the package stand for the distance between the needles and the size of the point.
  • Example: 2,5/80 stands for 2.5mm distance between the eyes of the needles. And the 80=80/12 size points.
  • The H following the 130/705 numbers represents the type of point the needle has.

 

Universal Schmetz sewing machine needles are designed with a light ball point to protect fibers and are designed for lightweight cotton or like fabrics up to 8 layers.
Universal Schmetz sewing machine needles are designed with a light ball point to protect fibers and are designed for lightweight cotton or like fabrics up to 8 layers.
Schmetz Universal Double = Twin needles
Universal Schmetz sewing machine double or twin needles are designed with a light ball point to protect fibers and are designed for lightweight cotton or like fabrics up to 8 layers. They come in a variety of needle tips and spacing between needles.
Schmetz Stretch sewing machine needles have a light ball point to protect fibers, the shaft is flatter than other needles and scarf is longer and deeper allowing for a 40 weight thread or smaller on stretchy fabrics.
Schmetz Stretch sewing machine needles have a light ball point to protect fibers, the shaft is flatter than other needles and scarf is longer and deeper allowing for a 40 weight thread or smaller on stretchy fabrics.
Schmetz Double = Twin sewing machine needles
 Ball Point sewing machine needles for sewing medium to heavy knits  Jeans or Denim sewing machine needles with a sharp point for domestic sewing machines  Leather Wedge tip sewing machine needle cuts through leather and fabrics that are coated with paste for upholstery fabrics  Embroidery Twin sewing machine needle helps the machine form a stitch using 2 threads at the same time. The embroidery machine uses a straight stitch - therefore the needle will not strike the throat plate of domestic embroidery machines that have a zigzag opening
 Quilting Sewing machine needles have a larger eye and groove to allow for thicker thread to pass through and have a light ball point to protect fabric from tearing once stretched.  Sewing machine needle for overlock or serger machines that use the old BLx1 style needle, Most domestic overlock machines now use the 130/705 length needles - refer to sewing machine manual  Metallica sewing machine needles for use with metallic thread helps machine to form the stitch without the fabric holding onto the rough thread  Metallica Twin sewing machine needle helps feed 2 threads to the machine while embroidering with metallic thread
 Hemstitch needle creates a large hole by spreading the fabric fibers apart while maintaining a ball point to protect fibers from cutting  The top stitch needle has a deep scarf and deeper front slot and ball point making it fantastic for sewing with larger threads and is great if you have thread shredding problems  Triple Needle for stitching using 3 threads at once. Be mindful of the zigzag opening in the throat plate on your sewing machine  100 pack of Schmetz Universal needles