Sewing machines are wonderful tools for creating fashion, making items for the home such as curtains, mending clothing, and producing fiber art. High-quality sewing machine needles ensure that your machine will work at its best. The right needle works evenly without snagging or creating runs in the fabric, gliding easily and quickly through textile layers for precise, fabulous results. Sewing machine needles come in different thicknesses. Those designated 70/10 are thinnest and best for sewing light fabrics like silk; 80/11 needles work best with medium-weight fabrics like cotton; and 90/14 needles do best with medium to heavy fabrics. Needles marked 100/16 are ideal for heavy fabrics like denim, and those marked 110/18 are very thick and best sew the heaviest fabrics, such as upholstery. Browse our reviews of the best needles to choose the ones that best suit your needs.
1. Euro-Notions Universal Machine Needles
Quilters, fashion designers, and crafters reach for Schmetz sewing machine needles for their general sewing needs. This set contains Schmetz’s basic needles: 70/10, 80/11, and 90/14. The tips of the needles are slightly rounded, allowing use on woven fabric and knits. They easily glide through all types of textiles for precise, crisp stitching. They won’t bend or break easily: it’s not unusual for one to last for years. They are compatible with most sewing machines.
2. Singer Heavy Duty Machine Needles
Singer’s heavy-duty needles, size 110/18, are great for sewing heavyweight materials such as denim, drapery, wool, corduroy, canvas, and vinyl. Their tips are super sharp, efficiently punching through thick layers of fabric without jamming, breaking, or bunching. Heavy-duty needles are ideal for sewing thick canvas bags, adding zippers to coats, and sewing tents, but they are not for normal use and may leave holes in thin or medium-weight fabric. These needles are compatible with most sewing machines. The ends of the needles are gray, for easy recognition.
3. Organ Needles
Educators rely on durable, high-performance needles when teaching the basics of machine sewing to beginners. Durable and affordable—especially in this bundle of 10 packs of 10 needles each—Organ needles are ideal for classrooms and art centers on a budget. These 80/12 needles have a slightly rounded point and are perfect for medium-weight fabrics such as cotton and polyester. They also perform well on delicate and thicker fabrics, too: no bunching, no snagging, no skipped stitches. Organ needles are made by Brother and work best with Brother machines, but they work well with most other machines too.
4. Superior Threads Topstitch Needles
If you are a keen sewing machine quilter, Superior Threads’ 100/16 needles are for you. They are designed for thick layers of fabric, and the outside of each needle is coated with titanium nitride for frictionless sewing, which makes them last six to eight times longer than normal. The needles have an elongated eye to accommodate heavier threads, such as quilting and upholstery threads, and a sharp point to glide through layers of fabric. These needles are also excellent for embroidery and appliqué and for medium to heavy fabric sewing.
5. Janome Blue Tip Needles
Janome’s needles are designed for Janome sewing machines, but they can work with most other brands of machine. These needles are perfect for machine embroidery: they have a slightly larger eye for the thicker thread and their size is 75/11. They are sharp and glide through layers of fabric without skipping stitches, snagging or bunching fabric, or breaking. Janome Blue Tip needles—blue for easy identification—perform well with preprogrammed fancy stitching, and straight stitches are beautiful and crisp.