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About Embroidery Machine Needles

Embroidery machine needles are of course one of the most important components of machine embroidery.
Part of every embroiderer’s training should be to learn what type of embroidery machine needle fits with what type of embroidery design and fabric. And of equal importance, why, how to, and how often you would need to change it.
Regardless of many opinions with regards to this topic, there are some basic, yet important information every embroiderer should know about embroidery machine needles.

Types of Embroidery Machine Needles
Essentially, there are three types of needles regularly used in machine embroidery:
1. Sharp Needles
With a few exceptions (as a general rule), sharp point needles are primarily used on woven fabrics. Although the sharp needle has a round point, it’s sharper and more pointed than the ballpoint needle. It’s made to penetrate the fabric. However, if you’re not careful, it will at times even cut the fabric.
If you’re using a sharp needle on a knit, and it cuts the fibers, it may cause a run in the knit! Or it will cut the center part of small letters out, such as the center of o’s, a’s b,’s and etc. Sometimes this doesn’t occur until after it has been washed a few times.
2. Ballpoint Needles
Ballpoint needles are used on knits and fine fabrics, such as sheers. These have a small round ball and is designed to penetrate between the fibers of the knit eliminating the chance of the cuts (unless it is a blunt needle). If it is blunt, it will most definitely cut the fabric and cause runs and holes.

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