Schmetz Sewing Machine Needles

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How Well Do You Know Your Needles?


Your sewing machine needle is the most crucial element in the stitch forming process and only Schmetz provides the uncompromising, consistent quality that produces the perfect stitch every time.

While others attach boutique names to discounted needle products, Schmetz pursues an active research and development program to continually improve the performance of its product and ensure that Schmetz sewing machine needles consistently exceed the demands of the most challenging sewing applications.

No other needle manufacturer can match the amount of detail and quality of material that goes into each needle before it leaves the Schmetz factory.

SCHMETZ is internationally known as the finest sewing machine needle manufacturer in the world. Sewers everywhere count on the quality of their products. Your choice of high quality sewing machine needles can result in the same high quality of maintaining smooth, even stitches in your work.

SCHMETZ makes a variety of needles created especially to do particular sewing jobs very well. What many sewers don’t know is how to choose the correct type and size of needle for the work that they are doing. It is crucial to choose the correct needle to complement your thread choice and the kind of sewing work that you are doing.


Most sewers don’t have any idea how to choose the correct sewing machine needle for their specific thread and project.

Most just continue to use the needle that came in their machine until it breaks.


Sewing machine needles are not indestructible . . . they will not last forever.


The points get dull from repeated use and the shaft may get bent from hitting pins in the fabric.


A general rule of thumb is to replace the needle after eight (8) hours of use and at the beginning of each project.


Each time you buy thread or fabric you should be asking yourself what kind of needle will work best with the project you have in mind.


Here’s what you need to know!


Choose your needle size based on the type and weight of thread that is being used as well as the fabric that is being sewn. The goal is to have the needle slide easily through the fabric without damaging the fibers or creating too large of a hole, and to carry the thread smoothly without damaging it when sewing.


Each package of SCHMETZ needles has European and U.S. size equivalents written at the very bottom of the front of the plastic case.


Typically they range from 8/60 (the finest) to 20/120 (the largest). This number, indicating the size, will help determine the suitability of the needles to the fabric, thread size and the kind of sewing being done.


In general, the finer the thread and the finer the fabric that is being sewn, the finer the needle should be.


Each package has the name of the needle it contains.


These names can help you choose the right type of needle for the work you are about to do (i.e., "Universal," "Quilting," "Sharp," "Metallic," "Topstitch," "Embroidery," etc.). Each type of needle is made for a particular job and should be chosen according to the type of fabric and thread used.


Cheaper carded needles do exist in the market and many of them would like you to believe that they are just as good as SCHMETZ Needles. No other needle manufacturer can match the amount of detail and quality of material that goes into each needle before it leaves the SCHMETZ factory.


Remember . . . not all needles are created equal. Insist on high quality 'SCHMETZ' Needles for all of your sewing projects.
'Click Here' to purchase them now!


 Different Needle Types!

Schmetz Universal Needle


A general purpose needle that can be used on knit or woven fabrics. A casual sewer who might repair a pair of jeans today, a child’s t-shirt tomorrow, and some lingerie next month will probably use this needle most often. It will do a number of tasks sufficiently. It has a long scarf that is great for zigzag stitching and it does not damage knits. It is sharp enough to go through a lot of fabrics but it does have a slight ball point which does not make it ideal for going through many layers or high thread count fabrics. This needle comes in a wide range of sizes from size 60 to size 110.

Schmetz Quilting Needle


Made especially for piecing and machine quilting. The thin tapered design of these needles allows them to pass through many layers smoothly to help eliminate skipped stitches and keep stitches even. These needles come in size 75 which is fine for piecing with 50 weight threads or size 90 which works well with heavier plain or variegated 40 weight threads for quilting. This needle is also sold in an assortment pack containing both sizes 75 and 90.

Metallic Needle

A must for sewing with metallic threads. It comes in sizes 80 and 90 and helps prevent shredding and breaking with metallic threads. It has a double sized, polished, and Teflon coated eye to assure smooth flow of thread. If you have struggled with metallics before and blamed the thread, try again with this specialty needle for trouble free embellishment with these beautiful but sometime fragile threads.

Topstitching Needle

Has an extra large eye and large grooves to accommodate topstitch thread. This needle helps stitch perfectly straight lines and even stitches. It comes in sizes 10/70, 12/80 and 14/90 and 16/100. It is helpful to use a straight stitch plate if you are expecting perfectly straight top stitching results. Choose the size based on the type and size of thread being used

Embroidery Needle

For use with rayon and other specialty machine embroidery threads including polyesters. The special scarf, long smooth groove, and large eye, of this needle protect these more fragile threads and guard against excess friction. These needles come in size 75 and 90. The beautiful sheen of these threads results in outstanding embroidery work. Check the size of the thread and use the appropriate size needle for each thread — remember the finer the thread, the smaller size needle that should be used.

Denim/Jeans Needle

Made especially for sewing through densely woven materials such as denim or imitation leather. It is both strong and sharp. Some quilters use it when sewing through many layers of fabrics, especially high thread count batiks. This needle comes in sizes 10/70 through 18/110. Choose the size based on the type of thread being used. The heavier jeans threads work best with the larger needle.

Hemstitch Needle

Sometimes called a Wing Needle. It is used to create decorative openwork or cut-work on tightly woven fabrics. This needle comes in sizes 100 and 120 and should be used with caution as it is very sharp and is made to actually cut the fabric. The user may want to use a stabilizer and experiment with decorative stitches when using this needle. Carefully hand turn the needle through the stitch movements before actually trying it on the project to assure that the throat plate opening will accommodate the design! Using a straight stitch plate will probably result in a broken needle.

Leather Needle

Has a slightly sharp cutting point for leather and other heavy non-woven synthetics including imitation leather. It comes in size 8/60 through 18/110 and in an assortment package. Choose the size based on the type and size of thread being used.

Stretch Needle

Made especially for synthetic suede or highly elastic synthetic knit wear. This needle is constructed with a medium ball point to help prevent skipped stitches. It comes in sizes 11/75 and 14/90. Choose the size based on the type and size of thread being used.

Microtex Sharp

A very slim needle with a thin shaft that helps make very straight stitches. It was developed for the modern micro- fibers and polyesters and high thread count, high quality fabrics used today. The point is very sharp — thus the name — but because of this it is a bit more fragile and needs to be changed more regularly. This is a great needle for piecing high thread count fabrics like Batiks, silks, and microfibers. It is also used for beautiful topstitching or edge stitching. It comes in sizes 60, 70, 80, and 90.

Double Needle (Twin Needle)

 Double needles are actually two needles mounted on one shaft and are used to create two rows of stitches at the same time. When using a double needle two spools of thread will be used in the top of the machine. Pass the thread from each one on a different side of the tension discs and thread one into each needle. Only one bobbin thread will be used and the stitches will create a double "web" of stitches on the back of the work. Check to see how you like this under stitching prior to using these needles.


The package of needles will show two numbers. One is the needle size; the other is the distance between the two needles. This distance varies from 1.6 mm to 6.0 mm.
Important Please Note: Remember that the needles must fit through the hole in the stitch plate, so if you have been using a straight stitch plate you must change it to a zig-zag stitch plate to avoid hitting the plate with the needles! This could be a disappointing and expensive mistake!

Ball Point Needle


Made especially for sewing on knits. Its unique point does not damage or break knitted fibers. It comes in size 10/70 through 16/100 and in an assortment pack. Choose the size that will handle the thread being used when sewing on knits.

Double Eye Needle


Used for embroidery and topstitching with decorative threads to produce decorative seams. They have two (2) eyes, one right above the other. Two different threads can be used for shading and texturing effects. These needles work in machines that use the 130/705H system needles.


Needle Troubleshooting Guide





Upper Thread Breaks

● Incorrect threading

● Knots or twists in thread

● Tension too tight

● Damaged/old needle

● Needle too small

● Rethread machine properly

● Replace thread

● Reset bobbin and top thread tension

● Replace needle

● Use correct needle for thread and application

Bobbin Thread Breaks

● Bobbin case incorrectly threaded


● Bobbin case incorrectly inserted

● Bobbin does not turn smoothly in bobbin case

● Lint in bobbin case


● Bobbin tension too tight

● Remove bobbin and re-thread with bobbin turning clockwise

● Remove and re-insert bobbin case

● Check that bobbin case and bobbin are in "round"; replace if necessary

● Clean bobbin case and surrounding machine area

● Check and reset bobbin tension

Skipped Stitches

● Thread tension too tight

● Needle damaged

● Needle wrong size

● Sewing machine out of adjustment

● Reset top and bobbin tension

● Replace needle

● Use correct needle size

● Have sewing machine adjusted for timing; hook to needle clearance; needle bar height

Frayed Stitches

● Needle too small

● Tension too tight

● Damaged thread

● Increase needle size

● Reset tension

● Replace thread

Thread Loops on Bottom

● Thread not in top tension

● Machine incorrectly threaded


● Top tension too loose

● Burr on hook mechanism

● Rethread machine with presser foot "up"

● Rethread machine incorporating take up lever

● Reset top tension

● Remove burr

Irregular Stitches or Malformed Stitches

● Wrong needle size

● Incorrect threading

● Upper tension too loose

● Operator pulling fabric

● Bobbin wound unevenly

● Ensure correct needle for fabric & thread

● Un-thread machine and carefully rethread

● Reset lower and upper thread tension

● Check presser foot pressure

● Rewind bobbin

Fabric Puckers

● Excessive stitch length

● Needle point is blunt

● Excessive thread tension

● Fabric is too soft

● Thread displacement — too much thread in a small area

● Fabric not feeding

● Decrease stitch length

● Change needle often

● Check bobbin and upper tension

● Use stabilizer

● Decrease field density; scale embroidery designs; increase stitch length

● Check presser foot, needle plate, feed dogs


Important Points to Remember:

● Needles DO NOT last forever, they should be replaced approximately every 8 hours

● The eye of the needle should be 40% larger than the diameter of the thread

● When going to a larger size of thread, a larger needle should be used

● Use the appropriate needle for the type of fabric being sewn



Helpful Links Available On-Line Downloadable PDF Files ......

SCHMETZ ABC Pocket Guide — A 28-page updated version of the very popular original Schmetz 13-panel ABC Needle Brochure.
SCHMETZ Double Eye Needle Brochure — What is it and how to use it?
Domestic Sewing Machine Needle — A historical reference and guide in helping the user pick the proper household needle.
Needle Eyes — The eyes have it . . . . A brief diagram comparing the eyes of Universal, Embroidery, and Metallic Needles.
Needles for Household Overlock Machines - Part 1 — What needle does my overlock use?
Needles for Household Overlock Machines - Part 2 — A simplified look at household overlock sewing machine needle systems.
Needle Life - How long will my needle last?
Needle Size Designations — A comparison table showing the different needle sizes. The needle size as "Number metric" gives the diameter of
the needle blade in hundredths of a millimeter measured above the scarf or the short groove, but not at any reinforced part of the blade. A sewing
machine needle with a blade diameter of 0.80 mm therefore corresponds to NM 80 and a needle with a blade diameter of 1.30 mm to NM 130.
Specialty Needle Guide — A brief description of some of the specialty needles available along with a Singer MR Needle Conversion chart.
SCHMETZ Needle Guide — A nifty two-page reference detailing the types and uses of the the different needles.

Thread Sizing Guide — What do all those numbers mean?

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