Monday | February 20, 2017
New England Sewing
Manchester, CT • 860-647-8119 • 800-44-SEWIN
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New England Sewing

Inspira Machine Needles
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Inspira Sewing Machine Needles for sewing and embroidery machinessewing machine needles at New England Sewing

Inspira needles are made of German steel and specialty crafted to help reduce fraying and breakage while sewing.  When beginning to sew a new project it is highly recommend that you change your needle.  If you use the right needle for the type of fabric that you are sewing on along with a good quality thread, you will be happy with your end result.  At New England Sewing, we recommend:

Microtex Needle - Microtex needles have a sharp point like Denim needles but are available in smaller sizes.  Use these needles when you are sewing on microfiber fabrics or tightly woven fabrics like batiks.  These needles pierce the fabric easier thus allowing your machine to stitch easier.  These needles are usually color coded in purple.

Leather Needle - The wedge shaped point of the Leather Needle is specifically designed to "cut through" leather and leather like fabrics.  Once leather has been stitched the holes will not disappear.  These needles are not suited for fabrics.

Stretch Needle - Stretch needles have a special scarf to help eliminate skipped stitches when sewing on fabrics that give.  These needles are perfect for knits, swimwear, fleece, synthetic suede and even leather.  This needle is great to sew on any fabric that contains Lycra or Spandex.  These needles are usually color coded in yellow/gold.

Ballpoint Needle - Ballpoint needles have a more rounded point that will not run or snag delicate knit fabrics.  This needle finds its way between the knit fibers thus helping in eliminating skipped stitches.

Denim Needle - These needles have a very sharp point so it can penetrate tightly woven fabrics.  This needle is designed to be used on denim, canvas and some microfibers.  These needles are usually color coded in blue.

Quilting Needle - This needle have a special tapered point with a slight ballpoint end to help stitch through the layers of fabric and batting with ease.  These needles are usually color coded in green.

Top-stitch Needle - A very large eye on this needle makes it a great choice for top-stitching with heavier threads.  Both the eye and groove are larger for heavier thread like 30 weight and other decorative threads.

Embroidery Needle - Embroidery needles have a special scarf, a slightly rounded point and slightly larger eye to avoid damage to the thread and fabrics.  These needles can be used with metallic and other specialty threads for embroidery or decorative sewing.  These needles are usually color coded in red.

Universal Needle - These needles have a slightly rounded point and come in a variety of sizes.  They are mainly used for general sewing on a variety of fabrics and weights.

Sharp vs. Ball Point

Needles fall into three primary categories - ball point, sharp and rounded-sharp.  It its very important to use the correct needle for the type of fabric that you are sewing on.  Ball point needles are designed to alleviate making holes in knit or loosely woven materials.  The cross fibers which constitute the knit or loosely woven fabrics are relatively far apart as compared to those in tightly woven fabrics.  If a knit strand is cut with a sharp needle, it will produce a hole that will gradually get larger as the fibers pull apart.  To prevent this from happening, the ball point is designed to push aside the individual strands of the knit, assuming that the ball point needle is in good condition.   Sharp needles are designed for woven fabrics. Because of the tightness of the weave, individual cut fibers will not pull apart and make holes.  For this reason, do not use ball point needles on woven fabrics.  The blunt force of the needle penetrating the fabric will tear the fibers and actually pull them in the process resulting in uneven, irregular embroidery and damage to the fabric.  Shape needles can be used on all woven fabrics as leather, vinyl, canvas, etc.


Needle Sizes

Needles range in size from very fine 60/8 to heavy duty 120/20.  The most common sewing machine needle recommended is the 90/14 for all purpose sewing.  Most needles use the two-number measuring system.  The higher number relates to the metric system and defines the needle shaft diameter in hundredths of a millimeter.  The lower number relates to the system in the U.S. and is a arbitrary number also used to indicate the needle shaft diameter.

The type of fabric you are stitching on will determine what type of needle to use.  Listed below is a guideline of what needle to use.

Light-weight Fabrics - 60/8, 65/9, 70/10

Medium-weight Fabrics - 70/10, 75/11, 80/12, 90/14

Heavy-weight Fabrics - 90/14, 100/16, 110/18, 120/20


Most important of all, change your needle! You should change the needle on your sewing machine usually after 6 - 8 hours of sewing.  There are exceptions:

  • When you start a new project
  • If you have been sewing for a long time
  • If you have nicked a pin  (This would not happen if you pulled the pins out instead of sewing over them.)
  • Skipped stitches

These all qualify as a direct reason to put a new needle onto your sewing machine.