Are Sewing Machine Needles Universal?

Posted by Kim O'Rourke on

So, are sewing machine needles universal?

Here's a video I recorded on the subject, but if your prefer to read, see the full article below.

The short answer is yes - sewing machine needles are universal and will pretty much fit any machine from the older models to new.

Good Brands of Sewing Machine Needles

Good brands to look for are:

My favourite brand is Schmetz - a German brand.

Schmetz sewing machine needles size 80/12

For a slightly more budget friendly brand, I like Klasse, also a German brand, or you could try Hemline which are an own brand belonging to the largest haberdashery supplier in the UK.

Klasse sewing machine needles size 70/10

You will also find Singer machine needles, which are universal and you don’t just have to use them in your Singer machine.

Singer sewing machine needles size 90/14

Both Singer and Schmetz have handy colour coding on their needles to indicate the type and size of the needle, and Singer goes one stage further and has the colour coding on the packet too.

Are sewing machine needles brand specific?

No, they're not.  You can use different quality brands of sewing machine needles in whatever make of sewing machine you have.

What I would say is to not buy cheap unbranded needles.  As with anything in sewing, particularly when it comes to your sewing machine, which is likely to be the most expensive piece of equipment you own, a quality brand product will pay you the most dividends and is unlikely to cause any damage to your machine.

Relatively speaking, packets of needles are so cheap, that my advice would be that it’s false economy to save one or two pounds for a cheaper unbranded packet of needles given the comparative cost of your machine.

Change your sewing machine needles often

And finally, whichever brand of sewing machine needles you buy, don’t forget to change them often: the rule is at the start of every new project or after every eight hours of sewing.  Even though you can’t see it happening, your needles will become blunt or slightly bent and can start causing damage to your fabric, your machine or cause you no end of frustration.  Skipped stitches and clunky noises from your machine can be a sure sign that your needle needs changing!

Hope that has helped!

Kim
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