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Why is needle size important?

Posted: 23 June 2016 at 6 a.m.

Why is needle size important

It’s tempting when you buy a new machine to use whatever needles are provided.  You put one in and stitch with the first thread you grab out of the stash.  It sews wonderfully!  You are happy with your new machine and the marvelous things you are stitching.

Then, you switch threads and suddenly everything is going wrong!  Shredding, loads of lint, and thread breakage.  Boo!   This isn’t supposed to happen!

Part of owning a new machine is simply playing with the tension, feet, and fun stitches.  Making adjustments and experimenting will help you learn your machine and take advantage of all its offerings.  One very small feature that will keep your stitches lovely and your sewing fun is your needle. 

The needle is meant to protect the thread as it moves through the fabric and creates a stitch.  If the thread is forced through the eye of a needle that is a little too snug, it is like Garfield trying to get through the kitty door.  Not good.  The solution?  Get a bigger door, or in the case of your sewing woes—use a larger needle.


Most of Superior’s threads have the needle size recommendation on the label so you won’t need to remember what size to change to.  You may also choose to print and refer to our Home Machine Thread Reference Guide which includes needle size recommendations based on the thread you’re using. 

Next follow up question:  When is it time to change the needle?

We recommend changing the needle when you hear a light “thud” when stitching or if you see stitch quality decrease.

Do you have further questions about needles?  Let us know in the comments.  We are happy to share what we know.

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  • 3. Peg Looby (03 July 2017 at 12:15 a.m.)

    Hi & thanks for all I've learned here over the years. Recently, I came upon thread I had not seen, "blindstitch thread'! Ah ha, but then the only benefit I could tell without consulting an expert was that it looked like clear nylon or the thread itself would be invisible...maybe? I still felt matching thread would be a better choice for hems. Is there a good use for this thread & what needle would you use here? Thanks for helping!
  • 2. Linda (02 February 2017 at 5:30 a.m.)

    Sooo glad I stumbled across this. Much needed. Thank you!
  • 1. Ann (23 June 2016 at 8:17 a.m.)

    Thanks for this! Very interesting.

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