How To Choose The Best Embroidery Needle?


Choosing the best embroidery needle is essential for achieving beautiful and professional-looking results. When it comes to choosing the best embroidery needle, there are a few things you should consider. Your first consideration should be the needle size. It is important to note that embroidery needles are available in a variety of sizes, with smaller numbers referring to finer needles.

Size will be determined by the fabric and thread you use. A needle with a larger head is necessary if you are working with thicker thread, such as wool or metallic thread. On the other hand, if you are using a finer thread like cotton or rayon, a needle with a smaller head will work best.

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As a next step, consider the type of needle that you will be using since there are various types of embroidery needles to choose from, including crewel needles, tapestry needles, and chenille needles. Each type has its unique features and is suited for different embroidery techniques.

Another important factor you should consider is the material of the needle. Most embroidery needles are made from stainless steel or nickel-plated steel, which provide durability and resistance to rust. There are also speciality needles available that are made from gold-plated or titanium-coated steel for added smoothness and strength.

Keep reading because after discussing all these points briefly, I will also share tips and techniques with you which will make your life a lot easier.

What needles to use for an embroidery machine?

If you want to choose the best needles for an embroidery machine, I want you to consider these factors. It all depends on the thickness of the fabric when it comes to choosing the needle. It would be best to use a smaller needle size for lighter fabrics, such as 75/11 or 80/12. If you are working with thicker fabrics, such as denim or canvas, you may have to use a larger needle size, such as 90/14 or even 100/16.

Embroidery Needle

It is also important to pay attention to the thread length. Embroidery projects generally require shorter thread lengths. That helps minimize twisting and gives you better control over your stitches. I prefer to keep my thread length around 18-24 inches but feel free to experiment and find what works best for you.

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Embroidery Needle Parts

You need to understand the parts of the embroidery needle before you can choose the one that is right for your project. Before you buy, make sure it will work with your machine. Here are the parts of an embroidery needle:


The shank is the most essential part of an embroidery needle. It is the thick, cylindrical portion of the needle that attaches to the sewing machine. During stitching, the shank allows the needle to be securely held in place and makes sure that it moves up and down smoothly during stitching.

Embroidery Needle

In terms of usage, every single embroidery machine relies on a shank to hold the needle in place. If you are using a home sewing machine or industrial embroidery machine, the shank is one of the most important components.


Another important part of an embroidery needle is the shaft, which is the long, thin part that connects the eye to the point. It is like the backbone of the needle, providing stability and strength. You guide an embroidery needle through the fabric by holding onto its shaft.

The shaft determines how smoothly the needle glides through the fabric. If the thread is too thick or thin, it can snag and break. It is, therefore, important to consider the shaft thickness and quality when choosing an embroidery needle.


In embroidery needles, the eye is a small opening at the top. It is where you thread your embroidery fabric or thread through before starting your stitching. Think of it as the path for your thread to pass through and create beautiful designs on fabric.

Embroidery Needle

Embroidery would be impossible without the eye since the thread cannot be threaded onto the needle without it. As you can see, the eye on the needle is quite important. Pick a needle with an eye large enough to handle your thread.


The point of an embroidery needle is the sharp end that cuts through the fabric. It is like the tip of a pencil or a pen but much smaller and sharper. When you are doing embroidery, you use the point to create your stitches by pushing it through the fabric and then pulling your thread through.

Some needles have a sharp point, which is great for tightly woven fabrics like cotton or linen. Others have a ballpoint or rounded point, which is better for knits or loosely woven fabrics.

Rounded Point Needles or Ballpoint Tips

The rounded point on embroidery needles, also known as ballpoint tips, is designed to prevent the needle from piercing or splitting the fabric fibres. That is particularly useful when working with delicate or stretchy fabrics, such as knits or silk.

When you use an embroidery needle with a rounded point, you can be confident that your stitches will be neat and clean.

Sharp Tip

Sharp tips are an important part of embroidery needles. There are several reasons why you should choose a needle with a sharp point. The sharp tip of the needle gives you precise and accurate stitching. It easily cuts through the fabric without causing any damage or distortion. That means that you can achieve clean and professional-looking stitches every time.


Grooves on embroidery needles are small indentations or channels that run along the needle’s length. It is typically found on the side of the needle and is used to guide the thread as it passes through the fabric. The purpose of the groove is to prevent the thread from getting tangled or caught on any rough edges of the needle, which ensures smooth and even stitching.

With an embroidery needle, you will notice that the groove helps keep your thread from slipping off or becoming loose as you stitch. It acts as a little track for your thread to follow, helping you to easily guide it through the fabric without any difficulties or interruptions.


Scarfs are small grooves on embroidery needle shafts. In the stitching process, it plays an important role. The purpose of the scarf is to create enough space for the thread to pass through smoothly without causing any friction or damage to the fabric.

In embroidery, a thread passes through the eye of the needle and then into the scarf. From there, it moves down towards the point of the needle.

I hope you now have a better understanding of embroidery needle parts. Now, let’s move to the next paragraph, in which I will tell you about the embroidery needle size.

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Embroidery Machine Needle Sizes

When it comes to embroidery machine needle sizes, it is very important to choose the right needle for your fabric to avoid skipped stitches. Make sure you read your machine’s manual so you know which needle size to use for different fabrics. In embroidery machines, the size of the needle refers to its thickness.

There are two systems for measuring embroidery needles: the American system and the European system. It is important to familiarize yourself with both systems so that you can easily find the right needle size for your project. In the American system, needle sizes range from 8 to 12, with a higher number referring to a thicker needle. On the other hand, in the European system, needle sizes range from 60 to 120, again the higher the number, the thicker the needle.

In-home embroidery machines, you commonly use 75/11, 80/12, and 90/14 needle sizes. A needle shaft diameter and an eye diameter correspond to these sizes. The smaller size, such as 75/11, is typically used for lightweight fabrics like silk or chiffon. That helps prevent any damage to the fabric while embroidering.

The size of the needle is important because it determines how well it can pass through different types of fabric. Thicker needles are better suited for heavier fabrics such as denim or leather, while thinner needles work well on lighter fabrics like silk or cotton. Using the wrong size needle can result in skipped stitches, damaged fabric, or even broken needles.

So, understanding embroidery machine needle sizes is necessary if you want to achieve the best results. You should always consult your machine’s manual or seek advice from experienced embroiderers when choosing the needle size for your project.

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Embroidery Needle Types

Universal Needles

Most home embroidery machines use universal needles since they are versatile and can be used for many different purposes. They are designed to be compatible with a wide range of fabrics, which makes them suitable for various embroidery projects. These needles have a slightly rounded point, which helps prevent snagging or damaging delicate fabrics.

Universal needles have the capability of handling a variety of thread types. You can use these needles with cotton, polyester, or metallic threads without any problems. That makes them ideal for beginners or those who prefer to avoid switching needles frequently.

In terms of usage, universal needles are commonly used for general embroidery work on fabrics like cotton, linen, and synthetic blends. They can also be used for appliqué work and quilting projects. You may find it more beneficial to use specialized needles if you are working with very fine or very thick fabrics.

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Sharp Needles

Sharp needles are commonly used for free-hand embroidery. They have a fine, sharp point that allows quick and precise stitching and easy movement through the fabric. These needles are perfect for creating detailed designs and delicate details in embroidery projects.

If you compare sharp needles with universal needles, they are more versatile and can be used for a variety of sewing tasks, including embroidery. They have a slightly rounded point, which makes them suitable for both woven and knit fabrics. While they may not offer the same level of precision as sharp needles, universal needles are great for home embroidery work and can handle a wide range of fabrics.

Ballpoint Needles

Ballpoint needles are specifically designed for embroidery purposes. They have a rounded tip rather than a sharp one, which allows them to pass through thick fabrics without causing damage. The longer scarf on these needles also helps protect against skipped stitches and thread breakage, which makes them ideal for fine embroidery work.

Ballpoint needles are known for their ability to glide smoothly through knits and stretchy fabrics. That makes them commonly used in projects like appliqué, machine embroidery, and quilting. They are especially useful when working with delicate or loosely woven fabrics that may be prone to snagging or tearing with a regular sharp needle.

If you are involved in embroidery work, ballpoint needles are a must-have tool. Their unique design allows the needles to effortlessly pass through thick fabrics while minimizing the risk of damage or skipped stitches.

Crewel needles

Crewel needles are commonly used in embroidery and vary in size from 1 to 12. These needles have a long, sharp point, which makes them ideal for working with various types of fabrics. They also have a larger eye compared to other needle types, allowing for easier threading.

One of the main features of crewel needles is their versatility. They can be used for different embroidery techniques such as crewelwork, surface embroidery, and even cross-stitch. Due to their long length and sharp point, they are especially useful when working on thicker fabrics or when creating sophisticated designs.

Tapestry Needles

If you are looking for an embroidery needle for basic stitches, then consider these needles. Tapestry needles are commonly used in machine embroidery. They have a blunt tip and a large eye, which makes them perfect for working with thick threads or yarns. These needles are typically used for tapestry, cross-stitching, and other needlepoint projects.

They come in various sizes, allowing you to choose the right needle for your project. The larger sizes are ideal for working on canvas or fabric with larger holes, while the smaller sizes are perfect for finer details. Tapestry needles also have a smooth surface, which reduces the chance of fraying or splitting threads.

Chenille Needles

Chenille needles are specifically designed for chenille embroidery, and they come in a range of sizes from 13 to 28. Using these needles, you can make split stitches and detached chain stitches.

The split stitch is a versatile stitch that can be used to create outlines or fillings, while the detached chain stitch, also known as the lazy daisy stitch, is great for creating flower petals or leaf shapes. With chenille needles, you can achieve beautiful texture and dimension in your embroidery projects.

Using these needles, you can create a variety of designs, such as floral motifs, delicate borders, or even monograms. Depending on the needle size, you can achieve varying levels of detail.

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Milliner needles

Milliner needles, also known as straw needles, are a type of embroidery needle that is specifically designed for special stitching techniques. These needles have a long, thin shaft and a small eye, which makes them perfect for creating delicate stitches.

With milliner needles, you can create beautiful decorative stitches such as French knots, bullion knots, and detached chain stitches. Hand embroidery often uses these stitches to add dimension and texture to designs. Milliner needles allow you to manipulate the thread and create specialized details with precision easily.

A milliner needle is a great tool for achieving fine and elegant stitches, whether you are designing flowers or decorating clothing.

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Materials of Embroidery Needles

Embroidery needles can be made out of many different materials, including gold, steel, and titanium. While gold needles have been used for a long time, it is important to keep in mind that the choice of material ultimately depends on personal preference and project requirements.

Most people choose steel needles because they are affordable and common. They are durable, easy to work with, and suitable for a wide range of fabrics. Gold needles, on the other hand, are known for their luxurious appearance and smooth glide through the fabric. You may gain less quality or outcome from them since they are more expensive.

Titanium needles are a relatively newer addition to the market. They offer several advantages, such as being lightweight, strong, and resistant to rust. These qualities make them ideal for embroidering on delicate or synthetic fabrics that may be prone to damage.

Chrome Plate Needles

It is popular among sewers and quilters to use chrome-plated needles because they are durable and provide smooth stitching. These needles have a thin layer of chrome plating, which reduces friction and allows the needle to glide effortlessly through the fabric. How did it turn out? Clean, even stitches without any snagging or breaking.

These needles are particularly well-suited for use on dense or tough fabrics like denim, canvas, leather, and upholstery materials. The chrome plating helps the needle penetrate these fabrics with ease, preventing skipped stitches or damage to the fabric. A chrome-plated needle will help you get the job done smoothly and efficiently when you are working with heavy-duty materials.

Titanium Plated Needles

These needles have a thin layer of titanium coating, which provides enhanced strength and resistance to wear and tear. They are especially beneficial when working with heavy or tough fabrics like denim, leather, or canvas.

Titanium-plated needles are expensive compared to gold or silver ones. That is because titanium is a high-quality material that offers exceptional performance and longevity. If your goal is to deliver superior results on challenging fabrics, then titanium-plated needles might be worth investing in.

How to Choose the Best Needle for a Project?

If you want to pick the right needle for a project, consider a few key factors. The first thing you need to consider is the material you will be working with. Different materials require different types of needles. For example, if you are working with lightweight fabrics like silk or chiffon, a fine needle is recommended to prevent snagging or stretching. For heavy fabrics such as denim or leather, you will need a stronger and thicker needle to penetrate.

As a second consideration, consider the type of thread you are going to use. The weight and type of thread can affect the choice of needle size. Generally, a heavier thread requires a larger needle size to accommodate it properly.

When it comes to choosing the best embroidery thread for your project, I recommend that you read the following article – What Is The Best Embroidery Thread To Use?

As a final consideration, think about the needle size itself. Needle sizes typically range from 60/8 (the smallest) to 110/18 (the largest). The general rule of thumb is to use smaller needles for delicate fabrics and larger needles for thicker materials.

Material, thread, and needle size are all very important factors to consider when choosing the right needle for your project.

Brands of Embroidery Machine Needle

The following are the top best embroidery needle brands with details, so if you are looking for the best embroidery needles, be sure to check them out:

Organ Embroidery Needles

These needles are known for their high quality and precision, which has made them a favourite among professional embroiderers. In order to meet the specific embroidery requirements of your project, Organ brand offers needles in a variety of sizes and types.

Durability is one of the key factors of Organ Embroidery Needles. They are made from high-quality materials that ensure they will not break or bend easily, even after continuous use. Because of this, Organ needles will produce consistent and reliable results for a long time to come.

It is also worth mentioning that Organ Embroidery Needles provide you with excellent stitch quality in addition to their durability. With sharp tips and smooth shafts, these needles produce beautifully detailed embroidery designs. It does not matter if you are working with delicate fabrics or heavy materials. Organ needles will give you professional-looking results every time.

Tacony Corporation Klasse Embroidery Machine Needles

A second very popular brand of embroidery machine needles that I highly recommend is Tacony Corporation’s. They are definitely worth considering if you are in the market for high-quality embroidery machine needles. These needles are specifically designed to meet the demands of modern machine embroidery with their durability and ease of use. The larger eye of these needles makes threading much easier.

The high-quality stainless steel used to manufacture these needles is one of the reasons why these needles are highly trusted. That ensures that they can withstand the stresses of embroidery work without breaking or bending easily. The durability factor is particularly important when you consider how frequently embroidery machines stitch and how much strain they can put on needles.

Euro Notions Embroidery Machine Needles

The third most liked brand of embroidery machine needles is Euro Notions. It is the most reliable brand that many embroiderers use with confidence. The XL shoulder design of their needles allows for smooth and effortless stitching, which makes them easy to use for both beginners and experienced users. With these needles, your embroidery projects will turn out beautifully every time due to their durability and precision.

Euro Notions Embroidery Machine Needles offer compatibility with different embroidery machines, making them a versatile choice for users with different brands of embroidery machines. These needles should work smoothly with any popular machine, whether it is from Brother, Janome, or any other popular brand.

Schmetz assorted embroidery sewing machine needles

Schmetz is a well-known and trusted brand when it comes to embroidery machine needles. Their needles are made from high-quality materials, which ensure durability and longevity. That means you can rely on Schmetz needles to provide consistent and reliable performance for your embroidery projects.

A key advantage of Schmetz assorted embroidery sewing machine needles is their versatility. They offer a wide range of needle sizes and types, allowing you to choose the perfect needle for different types of fabrics and embroidery techniques. No matter what kind of fabric you are working with, Schmetz has you covered.

Aside from their durability and quality, Schmetz needles also deliver smooth stitching. The sharpness of these needles ensures clean and precise stitches, while the smooth surface reduces friction between the needle and fabric. It not only improves stitch quality during embroidery, but it also prevents thread breakage.

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StabilStitch Embroidery Needles

For heavy-duty embroidery projects, these needles are designed specifically for stabilizer fabrics made of chrome. The longer shafts of these needles allow them to penetrate multiple layers of fabric and stabilizers more effectively.

StabilStitch Embroidery Needles are known for their durability and reliability. They are built to withstand the demands of high-speed embroidery machines without breaking or bending easily. In other words, you will have less waiting time and frustration during your embroidery projects.

You should consider StabilStitch Embroidery Needles if you want a needle brand that can handle heavy-duty embroidery on chrome stabilizer fabrics.

The Beadsmith Bead Embroidery Needles

They have a thin and sharp tip that is designed especially for bead embroidery, so small holes in beads can be easily passed through without damage. In addition, they come in various sizes so that you can pick the right needle for the job.

The high-quality materials used in these needles ensure durability and long-term effectiveness. You can also trust the needles of the Beadsmith brand because they have a good reputation among crafters.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Embroidery Needle

The quality of your stitching can be significantly improved by choosing the right embroidery needle. Here are five tips to help you find the perfect needle for your project:

  • Consider the Fabric: Different fabrics require different needle sizes and types. For delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon, look for a fine needle with a sharp point. Thicker fabrics like denim or canvas may require a larger needle with a rounded point to pass through the layers.
  • Match the Thread Weight: The weight of your thread should also be considered when choosing a needle. A heavier thread may require a larger eye and groove to handle it, while finer threads work best with smaller needles.
  • Look at the Needle Type: There are various types of embroidery needles available, each designed for specific techniques or effects. Be sure to choose the right type for your desired stitch or embroidery style.
  • Check the Needle’s Condition: Check the needle before use to ensure it is free from any defects or damage that could affect its performance. A bent or dull needle will not produce clean and precise stitches.
  • Experiment and Test: Try different needles and see which works best for you. Each embroiderer has their preferences, so take some time to experiment and find what feels most comfortable and produces the desired results.

FAQ about Embroidery Needles

What kind of needle to use for embroidery?

The most common type of needle used for embroidery is the crewel needle. These needles have a sharp point and a long eye, which makes them perfect for working with different types of threads and fabrics.

If you are working with fine or delicate fabrics, like silk or organza, consider using a milliner needle. They have a round eye and are slightly longer than crewel needles, so they let you easily pass through the fabric without causing any damage.

This decision will ultimately depend on the specifics of your project and your personal preference. It is always a good idea to experiment with different types of needles until you find the one that works best for you.

Can I use regular sewing needles for embroidery?

You can use regular sewing needles for embroidery. We need to understand that embroidery needles are specifically designed for this craft and offer many advantages. Embroidery needles have a larger eye, which makes it easier to thread thicker threads and yarns. They also have a sharper point, allowing for more precise and detailed stitching.

If you don’t have embroidery needles on hand, using regular sewing needles can work in the meantime. Just keep in mind that they may need to be more efficient and comfortable to use for embroidery purposes. If you are serious about embroidery and plan on doing it frequently, investing in a set of embroidery needles is a worthwhile investment.

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What do you do when your embroidery machine needle breaks?

You should stop your embroidery machine immediately when your needle breaks. Continuing to run the machine with a broken needle can cause further damage and potentially ruin your project. Once the machine is stopped, carefully remove any remaining pieces of the broken needle from the fabric and surrounding area.

Replace the broken needle with a new one. Make sure to choose a needle that is compatible with your specific embroidery machine model and the type of fabric you are working with. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly inserting and securing the new needle.

The last thing to do before resuming embroidery is to ensure everything is aligned and threaded correctly. You should also check other areas of the machine, such as the bobbin area, for any potential issues. If you follow these steps, you can quickly fix a broken needle and get back to creating beautiful embroidery designs.

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What is the difference between sharp and ballpoint embroidery needles?

The main difference between sharp and ballpoint embroidery needles lies in their design and purpose. Sharp needles have a pointed tip, which allows them to pierce through fabrics easily. They are ideal for working with tightly woven materials like cotton or linen. On the other hand, ballpoint needles have a rounded tip that glides between the threads of the fabric instead of piercing through them. That makes them suitable for knitted or stretchy fabrics like jersey or spandex.

When it comes to choosing between sharp and ballpoint needles, consider the type of fabric you will be working with. If you are embroidering on a woven fabric, go for sharp needles to ensure clean and precise stitches. For knit or stretchy fabrics, go for ballpoint needles to avoid damaging the material and creating runs or holes. By selecting the appropriate needle, you can achieve better results in your embroidery projects without compromising the quality of your fabric.

Can I reuse my old embroidery needles?

Yes, you can reuse your old embroidery needles. Before you make such a decision, you should consider a few factors. Take a close look at the needle to see if there are any signs of damage or wear. If the needle is bent or has a dull point, it is best to replace it with a new one. If you use a damaged needle, it can result in uneven stitches and may cause frustration during your embroidery project.

The second thing you should do is make sure that you clean your old needles thoroughly before using them again. Embroidery needles can collect dirt, oils, and thread fibres over time, which can affect their performance. To clean them, soak the needles in warm, soapy water for a few minutes and then gently wipe them dry with a soft cloth.

Last but not least, remember to always use new needles for each project to ensure the best results. That will also reduce the risk of damaging your fabric.

Can Embroidery Be Removed And Redone?

How often should I change my embroidery needle?

You should change your embroidery needle every 8-10 hours of stitching or whenever you notice the needle becoming dull or damaged. For clean and precise stitches, you need to keep your needle sharp. You should change the needle more frequently if you are working on a detailed project.

Remember that using a dull or damaged needle can cause discomfort and lead to inconsistent stitch quality. Make sure you pay attention to how your needle is performing and don’t hesitate to replace it if it needs replacing. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in your embroidery experience.

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Now that you have read this article, you are well prepared to make a confident decision about the best embroidery needle for your needs. We have explored various aspects such as needle type, size, material, and brand reputation to ensure that you have all the necessary information at your fingertips.

You should consider your embroidery project requirements and personal preferences when selecting a needle. So go ahead and start your next embroidery project confidently, and choose the needle that is right for you.

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