Types of Needles

Needles come with three basic types of points: ballpoint, sharp, and wedge. Each type has a different affect on fabric, so it’s important to think about the material your are using when choosing a needle.

Tip of a ballpoint needle

Tip of a ballpoint needle

Tip of a sharp needle

Tip of a sharp needle

Tip of a wedge needle

Tip of a wedge needle

Ballpoint needles have a rounded tip that makes it easy for them to pierce knits without destroying the fibers. Sharp needles pierce woven fabrics easily and cleanly. Wedge needles (used for leather/vinyl) can cut through materials without leaving a large hole behind.

From these three basic types of needle ponts, there are many variations that you might wnat to consider when choosing the right needle for your fabric.

ballpointex Ballpoint needles have a rounded tip that makes it easy for them to pierce knits, jerseys, lingerie, net, and similar fabrics without destroying the knitted or elasticized fibers.
denimjeans Denim/jeans needles have sharp points and stiff shanks that give them the strength to sew through thick and densely woven fabrics.
leathervinyl Leather/vinyl needles have a wedge-shaped point to cut through materials without leaving a large hole behind.
embroidery Machine embroidery needles have a large eye and deeper groove above the eye to keep decorative thread from shredding and breaking.
metallic Metallic needles have a longer eye to keep metallic thread from fraying or breaking. They work well with monofilament threads (threads that are made from a single strand of material, rather than multiple fibers wound together).
quilting Quilting needles have a sharp, tapered point that can easily pierce multiple layers of cloth.
sharpmicortex Sharp/Microtex needles are ideal for woven fabrics, heirloom quality sewing, quilt piercing, and fine fabrics that require delicate stitching.
stretch Stretch needles can be used when ballpoint needles still cause skipped stitches. They are especially good for elastic, lycra, and other very stretchy fabrics.
topstitch Topstitch needles have very a sharp point, a large eye, and a deep groove to enable them to accommodate the thicker topstitch thread and sew through thick materials.
universal Universal needles are rounded enough to be compatible with knits, but sharp enough to pierce woven synthetic and natural fibers. They may not be sharp enough for some heavy woven fabrics like denim.
winghemstitch Wing/hemstitch needles create holes in fabric to give it an “eyelet” effect. They are often used for heirloom sewing, or in sewing decorative hems and borders.