Q. I have been told by my friends that I should select the needle I'm using based off of the fabric I'm sewing. But when I look at your Home Machine Reference Guide, it displays recommended needles based on thread thickness. I don't know which one is right? Can you help me?
A. Not to confuse you, but both scenarios are correct.
The most true scenario is to base the needle size off the diameter (thickness, weight) of the thread you're going to be sewing, quilting, embroidering, serging, etc. with. Our Home Machine & Longarm Machine reference guides lay out our recommendations so there's no guess work. If you're not using one of our threads (there is still time!), a basic rule thumb is as follows:
Selecting your needle based on the material you're sewing on also has merit. For example, knit and loosely-woven fabrics perform well with ballpoint needles. Sharp needles aren't recommended because they can cut the fibers in the fabric instead of pushing them aside. For dense fabrics such as denim or canvas, a sharp or jeans needle is recommended because of the extra-sharp point and slightly different shape of the blade.
Most of the time, we are sewing on high-quality cotton fabrics, so we use Superior's Titanium-coated Topstitch needles. They're fantastic for embroidery, sewing, and quilting.