Embroidery needles for perfect results

Do you occasionally have to struggle with thread breakage, "thread balls", skipped stitches, material damage, puckering or an irregular embroidery appearance? An incorrectly chosen embroidery needle could be the reason for this. We help you find the right needle for your job and give you useful tips and information so that you always achieve the best embroidery result possible.

How do I find the right needle for my fabric?

Selecting the appropriate needle depends on the garment to be embroidered, the thickness of the material, the thread and the size of the motif.

 

Needles for single and multi-head embroidery machines differ in terms of

  1. the needle tip
  2. the needle size
  3. the needle system (flat versus round piston geometry).

The use of a suitable embroidery needle not only reduces the amount of work and increases productivity, but can also save money. Discover high-quality, state-of-the-art embroidery needles to achieve the embroidery results you desire.

Material science - woven or knit fabrics?

The material to be embroidered plays a decisive role in the selection of the suitable needle. With the different types of fabric, a basic distinction is made roughly between woven and knitted fabrics:

Woven fabrics

Woven fabrics consist of vertical and horizontal threads that cross each other. They are often dimensionally stable and form a closed surface.

Knit fabrics

Knit fabrics consist of threads that are formed into loops (stitches) and hang together. It is often very flexible and stretchy and has a loose, open surface.

What does the fabric have to do with the embroidery needle?

In order to protect the fabric and the embroidery design from damage, fabric threads and stitches should be displaced as far as possible when the needle is inserted.

Accordingly, so-called “cloth points” are used for embroidery applications, also known as ball or round tip. They differ in their size and shape. For the sake of simplicity, we use the term "round tip" here. Round tips with a small ball displace less fabric than round tips with a large ball.

For example, if the fabric is tightly woven, the wrong needle can quickly cause waves or holes in the material. In this case, use a needle that is as “pointed” as possible, such as a round tip with a small ball (RG), which can easily penetrate the fabric.

Loose, elastic woven fabrics, on the other hand, require a needle with a slightly round tip, i.e. a light / medium ball (FFG), which displaces the individual threads but does not pierce them.

A light / medium ball (FFG) should also be used for close-knit fabrics.

Coarse mesh fabric, often referred to as “knitwear” and used for cardigans or beanies, is mainly refined with patches. If you still want to apply direct embroidery, a "large round" needle or medium / large ball (FG) is recommended.

A rule of thumb:

The more stable and closed the surface, the smaller the round tip. The more flexible and open the surface, the larger the round tip.

1. All needle tips at a glance

Summary - from the fabric to the needle point

2. The right needle size for your desired embroidery results

In addition to the needle tip, the needle size is decisive for the quality of the embroidery results. The size of the design, the thread and the material density determine the choice of needle size. The finer the fabric and the smaller and more detailed the motif to be embroidered, the finer the needle should be.

The information about the size is metric and is shown in a 1/100 scale. A needle with a needle size of 65 therefore measures 0.65 mm in diameter at its thickest point. 65 to 75 needles can be used as standard all-rounders or solutions for the majority of applications.

 

Download our needle selection guide now to get an overview and our recommendations on needle systems and sizes for all available Madeira threads.

Download the needle selector

3. Two needle systems to choose from

The choice of needle system depends on your embroidery machine. A distinction is made between flat and round piston systems. If you are unsure which system is suitable for your embroidery machine, please contact your machine manufacturer.

Needle system DBxK5

The stable, round-piston DBxK5 needles were specially developed for industrial single and multi-head embroidery machines.

Needle system 130/705 H

The easy-to-handle flat piston needles have proven their worth when used on semi-professional single-head embroidery machines from Brother PR.

Find the right needle, suitable threads and other accessories in our shop

Tips & tricks for best embroidery results

How to set embroidery needles

It is very important to always set the needle correctly. Using a magnet positioned on the tip of the needle can help. You'll find a groove on the needle for orientation. This groove should face the front with 5 degrees to the right so the looper can easily grab the thread.

Replace damaged needles

An embroidery needle should be changed after about 8 hours of work. Excessive abrasion can cause material damage and thread breakage. Special application needles can be used longer thanks to their special coating.

Special application needles (SAN®)

SAN® needles (special application needles) are particularly stable and need to be replaced less frequently than standard needles. For embroidery machines, we offer the SAN1® from Groz-Beckert (a needle with a particularly stable needle shaft geometry for foam materials and cap embroidery) and the SAN8® (needle with an enlarged eye). The special titanium nitride coating (GEBEDUR®) offers increased wear and tip protection.

Tips for cap embroidery

The choice of needle size for various threads and thicknesses may differ in cap embroidery - if necessary, do not use the finest needle proposed in each case, but select the next size up, or even the next biggest one. Where necessary, speak to your machine supplier for more detailed information. Here, we also recommend SAN 1.

Do you still have any questions?

We have summarised more tips and tricks as well as many answers to your questions about embroidery in our FAQ.

 

Frequently asked questions