Using the right machine needle can make a great difference not only for the sewing process itself, but also for the end result of your project. It is advisable to change the needle regularly as constant use will damage the tip. Needles come in different sizes (diameter), for most domestic projects I use a “universal” needle, but delicate thin fabrics will need a small one, which means, that for thicker materials a bigger size will work best. Although there are different brands that correspond to specific sewing machines, the packages clearly indicate the size and use recommended. Also, titanium coating brands helps keep sharp for longer.
Here I describe some of the differences:
Ball Point : Best for knitted and stretch fabrics, such as jersey, as its round tip separates the fibers in order to go through without breaking them.
Universal : For general use, particularly woven or knit fabric.
Quilting Needle : It has a tapered shape and sharp point which makes it easier to sew through layers of fabric.
Wedge Point/ leather : For use on leather and vinyl materials. As mentioned above, the thicker the material, the bigger the needle to be used.
Jeans/ Denim : Strong needle for sewing denim and other thick fabrics such as canvas.
Top Stitch: It has a larger eye which means you can use thicker thread. Very good if you want the stitch to add a decorative detail to your project.
Embroidery Needle: It also has a large eye and it is specially designed to work with polyester threads reducing the stress caused by the many amount of stitches involved in embroidery.