Sewing Machine Needle Sizes

We usually don’t think about how sewing machine needle sizes will affect a project when we sit down to sew. But the truth is that your sewing machine needle plays a vital role in the performance of your sewing machine. And using the wrong size needle for the job can potentially cause you some frustration down the road.

Icon for sewing machine needles

A handy reference chart about Needle Sizes

FabricProject TypeAppropriate 
Needle Size
Quilting CottonPatchwork50 wt. Cotton75/11 (H-J)
Quilting CottonQuilting50 wt. Cotton or Poly80/12 (H-Q)*
Quilting CottonEmbroidery40 wt. Cotton, silk or rayon90/14 (H-Q)
Heavier Cottons: Denim
Canvas, Upholstery
Bag Making
Polywrapped cottonsDenim 80/12 (H-j)
All Cotton FlannelAny50 wt. Cotton90/14 (H-Q)
SilkPatchwork100% SilkMicrotex 60/8 (H-M)
SilkQuiltingSilk or or HiSheen Polywrapped cotton80/12 (H-Q)

* When quilting heavily layered projects (such as art quilts) a denim needle may be necessary.