How to Choose the Right Embroidery Needle for Your Next Project

Actions

Fabrics and yarns get all the love, but you can't complete that gorgeous embroidery project without a solid needle. Keep these tips in mind to help make sure you have the right one in hand.

Think Small

A general rule of thumb is to use the smallest needle possible for the job. In sizing, the higher the number (90/14, 80/12), the bigger the needle — and the larger the hole it makes in your fabric. Universal needles have a much smaller eye than either embroidery or metallic needles, both of which have elongated eyes that help prevent your thread from shredding.

Focus on Your Craft

Needles come in a variety of types for a reason. Universal needles are fine for general, all-purpose sewing, whereas embroidery needles are meant for mastering embroidery work. Sharps are great on woven fabrics, and work beautifully when you want crisp appliqué. Ballpoint needles gently push knit fibers apart (instead of cutting through them), and hemstitch or wing needles help create beautiful decorative stitching on light- or medium-weight woven fabrics.

The point is: If you want professional-looking results, use the needle that's made for the specific type of project you're creating.

Swap 'Em Out

It's tempting to use the same needle over and over (and over) again, but it's important to change it out after eight hours of use to ensure you've got a sharp point poking through your material. The good news: embroidery needles are relatively cheap — especially when you compare it to the cost of potentially ruining your project! — so it's worth the the investment.

Start a free trial for unlimited access to every project, pattern, recipe and tutorial on Bluprint.
Next for You
Everything you need to start embroidering with confidence.
Kat McTee
Kat McTee
As with most crafts, getting started on hand embroidery can seem daunting when you consider the huge array of available hoops, frames, needles, thread cutters ... whew, you get the picture. But don't be fooled! The list of actual hand embroidery essentials is refreshingly short. We recommend these tools to get started.
Mary Corbet
If you're ready to stitch your way onto the hand embroidery bandwagon, these projects are calling your name.
Bluprint
Now Reading
How to Choose the Right Embroidery Needle for Your Next Project