Navigate the minefield of industrial sewing machine needles

Finding the right needles for your industrial sewing machine can be difficult. It becomes especially difficult when you realize that there are different needles for different applications. It’s easy to waste hours of your day looking for needles, only to end up missing. At AE Sewing, we want to make things a little easier for you. We’ll help you navigate the minefield to find the right needles for your machine.

Needle systems

The first thing you see on a pack of needles is the seemingly random assortment of numbers and letters. For those unfamiliar with these, frustration can set in pretty quickly. Never fear, though, because one particular line of characters is all you need to get started. The needle system tends to be on the fourth line from the brand name and this tells you exactly what kind of needles you have. Finding the right needle system for your machine can be a little tricky though. If you have your manual/parts book handy, the information normally tends to be there. If you are really stuck, do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you.

needle points

Now this is where it gets a little trickier – there are different needle points in each needle system. Say, for example, your walking foot sewing machine uses 135×17 needles. These needles are normally fine, but when it comes to sewing leather, you find that the needle makes large, messy holes in the fabric. This is because you are sewing with a normal tipped needle while you need a leather tipped needle. Lucky for you, we provide many different needlepoints to help you get the job done. Here is a list of some of the different needle tips we supply and their applications:

Regular Point (Round) – Standard lockstitch needles, used for sewing a variety of light to medium weight fabrics.

Lightweight Ball Point – Used for sewing woven/knitted fabrics into products such as t-shirts.

Medium Ball Point – Used for sewing loose/elastic woven products such as sweatshirts and underwear.

Heavy Ball Point – Used for sewing coarse fabrics with an open structure (thick sweatshirts, cardigans, etc.)

Sharp Point – Sews thin and woven fabrics for products such as blouses, trousers and thin curtains.

Leather Point – Used for sewing a wide variety of leather products.


Here we have annotated all relevant information you will need in your needle packs.

Needle sizes

The size of a needle determines its thickness but has no bearing on its length. The length is governed by the needle system. Thicker needles are better for thicker fabrics, while thinner needles are better for thinner fabrics. When an industrial sewing machine is purchased from us, it will be configured for a certain needle size. Generally, we say you can go up or down a needle size without compromising the timing on the machine. If someone were to go straight from a size 80 to a size 130 without resetting the timing, the timing would most likely be knocked out. This would cause the stitch quality to drop dramatically and the needle to break, requiring the user to hire a technician to repair the machine.

We hope this article has given you additional knowledge about industrial sewing machine needles and how they work. If there is anything else you would like to know, contact us at [email protected] and we will answer all your questions. Alternatively, if you need industrial sewing machine needles, visit our website where you can order them to be delivered straight to your door!

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