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How's Your Needle Knowledge?

How's Your Needle Knowledge?

Embroidery machine needles may be small, but they can be the turning point in your embroidery quality. The more you know about your needle and how to use it, the better your results will be.


Embroidery needles have two types of shanks. For home embroidery machines, the shank is round on one side and flat on the other. For commercial embroidery machines, the shank is completely round.


Needles come in a wide variety of sizes, and are sized according to two systems: American and European. The European number tells you the diameter size of the needle shaft in hundredths of a millimeter.


The needle eye is where the thread passes through. The size of the needle eye corresponds with the size of the needle. It's important to choose the right size of needle with a big enough eye, and also choose a good quality thread.


There are basically two types of needle points: the sharp point and the ball point. These points are specifically designed to work on different types of fabric. Sharp needles are designed for use with tightly woven fabric such as cotton, denim, or terry cloth. Ball point needles are designed for use on loosely woven fabrics such as knits, piques, and fleece.


Sharp needles pierce and cut through the fibers of the fabric. Ball point needles have a slightly rounded point, which slips between the fabric threads, pushing them aside instead of cutting them.


For an in-depth look at needle knowledge, check out our video: "How's Your Needle Knowledge". Just click on Project Presentation above.

Sue B.

I use Dime needles and am happy with results. There has been good education on these. Refresher info is always welcome

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Heather B.

Thanks for the feedback, Sue.

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