Embroidery needles

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Embroidery Machine Needle

There are several different types and sizes of Embroidery Needles. Most any Embroidery Needle will work for any Industrial/Commercial Embroidery Machine. There are several different needle sizes and needle tips. There are also needles made of different materials for strength and machine speeds.

A 75/11 Sharp is recommended for general use.

A different needle might need to be used depending on the fabric or the material being embroidered on.

Generally its not necessary to go to the extremes of changing the needles out unless the operator experiences excessive thread breaks, needle breaks, or just poor quality embroidery.


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Embroidery Machine Needle

An embroidery machine needle is different from a regular hand or sewing embroidery needle that most are familiar with. An embroidery machine needle has a scarf on it. The scarf is the very small embedded curve on the back side of the needle, above the eye. The back side of the needle always needs to point towards the needle hook. The eye of the needle on and embroidery machine should so straight through and not be crooked. The scarf is cut into back of the needle so that the embroidery machine hook can pass as close as possible to the eye hole and grab the thread. If the scarf is not on the hook side and if the needle is not perfectly straight or the needle is not pressed all the way into the needle bar then, the hook might hit the needle or, might not be able to grab the thread.


If the needle is not perfectly straight with the scarf at the back and the needle as far up into the needle bar, then the operator might experience many problems such as:

  • Needle Breaks
  • Thread Breaks
  • Skipped or Inconsistent Stitches

Sometimes the needle bar gets dirty, not allowing the needle to enter all the way up. With this happens, the same problems as above might also exist. Many embroidery machines have holes drilled perpendicular into the needle bar so that the operator can easily clean them out when they become dirty. Clean these holes out before calling your tech.

There is debate on when to change the needles out assuming they are not broken. Most embroidery machine technicians say that if the machine is experiencing problems, a dull needle might be the issue (especially on caps). Other technicians claim even a dull needle should run on basic garments like polo shirts without problems. However, all techs will generally agree that a needle with scuffed sides does cause problems and should be replaced.

Sometimes very strong thread such as polyesters can also eat away at the needle eventually causing thread breaks.

Needle Sizes and Points

Needle Sizes and Points

Sharp Point
Sharp point
Ball Point
Ball Point, Light, Medium

Suggested Needles

Below is a list of suggested needle sizes and needle tips to use when embroidering on different materials.

A 75/11 Sharp is recommended for general use.

Material Needle Size Needle Tip
Canvas 80/12 Sharp point
Coated or Waterproof Fabrics 80/12 Sharp or light ball point
Corduroy 75/11 Sharp or ball point
Cotton Sheeting 70/10 - 80/12 Sharp point
Denim 75/11 Sharp point
Dress Shirt (woven) 70/10 - 80/12 Ball point
Golf Shirt (Knit) 70/10 - 80/12 Ball point
Lace 75/11 Sharp point
Leather 80/12 Sharp or wedge point
Lingerie and Silk 60/8 - 75/11 Sharp or light ball point
Lycra or Spandex 70/10 - 80/12 Medium ball point
Nylon Windbreaker 70/10 - 80/12 Light ball point
Organza 65/9 Ball point
Rayon 75/11 Ball point
Satin Jacket 75/11 Sharp point
Sweater 75/11 Sharp point
Sweatshirt 70/10 - 80/12 Light ball point
Taffeta 65/9 Ball point
Terry Cloth Towels 75/11 Sharp or ball point
Velvet 65/9 Ball point
Vinyl 75/11 Sharp point

See also


External links