Hi guys, today’s is going to be all about best machine embroidery needles . So stay tuned to learn the different needle sizes, finishes, and types, and their best uses. Before we get started I just wanted to remind you guys if you have any questions at all just leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you with the answer.

Schmetz Embroidery DBXK5 – Best needles for single and multihead embroidery

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So the typical machine embroidery needle is labeled DBXK5 and these needles are actually designed for machine embroidery with an elongated needle eye which helps the thread pass through the needle without any friction thus reducing thread breaks.

So this is your standard 75/11 embroidery needle. Now this is a sharp point and it’s what you’re gonna be using for most products.

I use standard chromium plated Schmetz needles,

however before you get started I do urge you to ask your manufacturer or distributor which type of needles are compatible with your machine just to double check.

Now I wanna talk to you guys about the different needle points and the main differences between the three. The three needle points are sharp point, ball point, and universal. Typically you’re gonna be using sharp point in most of your embroidery projects.

However you do need to have a variety of points especially ball point ’cause you’re gonna need them for stretchy fabrics. So the main difference between the sharp point and the ball point needle is that the sharp point needle actually penetrates and pierces through the fabric so it creates tiny little punctures in the fabric. Meanwhile the ball point needle will actually slip in through the threads, so it won’t actually be creating a puncture, or a hole, in the fabric.

You’re gonna wanna use your ball point needle when you’re working with any type of fabric that has some stretch to it, but you’re gonna especially need it when you’re working with very stretchy fabrics such as 100% polyester material. Now you usually see that in knits or sports gear, anything that has moisture-wicking qualities that’s usually 100% polyester material which means it’s very stretchy so you’re gonna need that ball point to make sure that you’re not shredding your fabric or that you’re thread isn’t fraying.

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And then we have the universal tip and that sits somewhere between the sharp point and the ball point needle in terms of shape. This is universal as its name suggests so you can use it for most embroidery projects, however, I do not recommend using a universal tip for your water-soluble stabilizer projects. And when I say that I’m talking about projects like free standing lace, or projects like any type of see-through fabric that you would use water-soluble stabilizer instead of a regular cut away or tear away. When you’re gonna use that, use your sharp point instead.

Does Needle Size Matter?

Now I’m gonna tell you guys about the different needle sizes and what their best uses are. Needles vary in size anywhere as small as 60 to 110. Now for machine embroidery you’re most likely gonna stick between the 65 and the 90 range.

So the smallest needle size you’re gonna probably use in commercial machine embroidery is your 65/9 needle. But here I actually have one size down and this is your 68 needle. I’m actually gonna take it out so I can tell you. So if you see here, I don’t even know if you guys can see on your needle  but I can even barely see the eye. So this indicates that this is going to be for very very thin thread and very small and minute details.

So you’re gonna wanna use your 65/9 or your 68, let’s say you’re doing a very one off project where you have very intricate details. Try your 68 but usually stick to a 65/9 if you’re going for the small lettering and details.

So just for fun, I’m gonna hold up the 68 needle and the 75/11 needle so you can see the physical difference between the two. My hands are shaking a lot but you could probably see the difference. This one is a lot finer and this one is thicker and has a larger eye.

Now the next size up after your 68 and your 65/9 needle will be your 70/10 needle and this one is a little more of a safe zone when it comes to embroidering a bit smaller details and small lettering.

Next we have our size 75/11 needle, which like I said before is our standard embroidery needle size. It’s what will work for most of your projects. As you can see it’s not as fine as the smaller needles but it’s not as thick as the ones you’re about to see.

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The next size up is the 80/12 needle and this is also a very common needle in machine embroidery. A lot of machine embroiderers use these needles for tougher fabrics such as caps, such as canvas, anything that’s a little bit thicker than your normal embroidered project you’re probably gonna wanna use a 80/12 needle instead.

And this will also help if you’re embroidering a very dense design and you’re having issues with it because the thread will be able to pass through a little bit easier because it has a larger eye.

The next size up is a 90/14 and that will probably be the largest size needle that you’ll use in your standard machine embroidery projects and that also is used for tougher fabrics, and also if you’re embroidering with a very thick heavy threads or thick metallic threads you’re gonna wanna use your 90/14 needle ’cause it has a larger needle eye.

Anything higher than 90/14 will be a specialty needle that you’re gonna wanna use for very thick garments or very heavy threads and that will be your 116 and your 110/18.

So now we went through all the needle sizes I wanna remind you guys that if you are gonna change your needle size to also consider the size of the thread.

So the main idea is to make sure that the thread is passing through the eye of the needle smoothly and without any friction because that is what’s gonna help reduce thread breaks.

So typically what you wanna do is that when the larger the thread you’re using the larger the needle’s eye should be. However you also need to keep in mind the fabric that you’re embroidering on because you don’t wanna puncture too heavy of a hole in a lightweight fabric. For those of you who don’t know the standard embroidery weight thread is a 40 weight thread anything higher than 40, 50, 60, 70, that is actually a lighter thread, okay?

And anything lower than 40 is actually a heavier thread. So if you go lower than 40 and you’re having issues let’s say you’re using a 30 weight thread and you’re having issues with your 75/11 then try an 80/12 needle and see if that works. Something else I want you guys to keep in mind is that when you are changing your thread size you also are changing your tension so you might need to make a few tension adjustments to make sure that the thread on that needle is going through smoothly and not causing any friction.

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So let’s say you went up a thread size and you’re still using your standard 75/11 needle ’cause you don’t have any other needle, then what you’re gonna wanna do is to loosen your thread tension because of course since you have a thicker thread passing through a smaller needle, you’re gonna have more friction. So to reduce that friction you loosen the tension on the top tension knob of that same needle that you’re working with.

Superior Titanium Needles

Titanium needles as their name suggests are more durable. They’re actually said to last three to five times longer depending on what type of fabrics you’re embroidering on. And these are really good if you’re embroidering large designs ’cause you’re not gonna need to stop for any needle breaks so you’re definitely gonna want something durable so that you can keep the efficiency going. Also they’re really good for thick materials such as 3D puff embroidery on structured caps or even thick bags. Titanium needles are your go-to.

Why are Needles Coated in Teflon?

Then we have our Teflon coated needles which will do you well if you’re gonna be working with adhesive sprays and adhesive backings. The coating will actually help to protect the needle. There are also a bunch of other specialty needles such as needles that are designed specifically for leather, specifically for metallic threads that you can find on basically any embroidery supply store.

So there you have it. That is a solid overview on what you need to know about needles. Now if you have any other questions about needles make sure to leave them in the comments below.

Schmetz Embroidery DBXK5 Sz 11/75 10 Pk
  • Embroidery Machine Needles
  • 10 per package

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Schmetz Embroidery DBXK5