The REGULAR SHARP POINT NEEDLE is ideal for all woven fabrics because it helps to produce an even stitch and causes a minimum of fabric puckering. This needle is not recommended for knits, as it has a tendency to "cut" yarns and cause skipped stitches. This needle comes in a wide range of sizes from the finest size 9 to a heavy size 18.The BALL POINT NEEDLE is specifically designed for knit and elastic fabrics and has a "rounded" point rather than a sharp point. This needle pushes between the fabric yarns rather than "cutting through" the yarns. This needle comes in sizes 9 to 16 and the larger the needle size, the more "rounded" the needle point is.
The WEDGE POINT NEEDLE, which is designed for leather and vinyl, easily pierces these fabrics to make a hole that will close back upon itself. This eliminates unattractive holes in the garment, and also reduces the risk of the stitches tearing the fabric. The wedge point needle comes in sizes 11 to 18. The size 11 needle is designed for soft pliable leathers,while size 18 is designed for heavy or multiple layers of leather or vinyl.
In addition to choosing the right TYPE of needle, it is also important to know the proper needle SIZE for the type of fabric being used. As a general rule you can utilize the following fabric category/needle size information when choosing the needle for your next project.
DELICATE fabrics such as silk, chiffon, voile, fine lace and organdy would need a fine "size 9" needle.
LIGHTWEIGHT fabrics such as synthetic sheers, batiste, taffeta, velvet, stretch fabric, tricot and plastic film would need a "size 11" needle.
MEDIUM WEIGHT fabrics such as gingham, poplin, linen, muslin, chambray, wool crepe, flannel, knits, jersey, wool, chintz, satin, raw silk, wool suiting, stretch fabric and drapery fabrics would need a "size 14" needle.
MEDIUM-HEAVY fabrics such as sail cloth, gabardine, heavy suiting, tweed and heavy drapery fabrics would need a "size 16" needle.
HEAVY fabrics such as denim, overcoatings, ticking, upholstery and canvas fabrics would need a "size 18" needle.
One final needle pointer is always replace dull, bent or nicked needles. If you hit a pin, you should immediately change the needle. A bent needle, even if only "slightly" bent or nicked can cause skipped stitches and can easily cause damage to your fabric by tearing the fabric yarns.