If you are working on a knitted fabric, then you will have much better luck sewing using a ball-point needle. The idea is that the needle can't pierce the fabric since it isn't all that sharp. Instead, it glides through between the woven fibers.
I don't sew that much knits, so I'll just keep one of these on-hand.
Universal Size 90 and 100
Denim jean material and other similar weights
Universal Value packs 70, 80, 90
I highly recommend these packs. You can sew any fabric I've mentioned on my website with these.
Sharp needles, on contrast to ball-point, are going to actually pierce the fabric fibers. These are more delicate than universal needles, but they have a slightly better stitch quality. They are also better than universals for really lightweight fabrics.
There are many uses for twin needles, but I personally like them to make pin tucks and other decorative embellishments. The sizes that I like to keep on-hand are listed below, and if I had to pick just one to buy, it would be the 2.0/80. The length between the needles is listed first and then the needle shank diameter. So a 2.0/80 has 2 millimeters between the needles and a shank diameter of 0.80 millimeters.
"Universal" needles are your all-purpose wannabes, and I say that kindly. I am a fan of universal needles. Universal needles try to merge the bridge between woven and knitted fabric. Now this bridge can only be merged so well, hence my all-purpose wannabes title.
They are going to do well on most cotton and polyester weights as well as blends of cotton/polyester with something stretchy such as lycra.
The size of needles refers to the diameter of the shank in one-hundredth of a millimeter (ie size 80 has a shank diameter of .80 mm). Thicker fabric requires a fatter needle.
Universal Size 80
Ball-point Size 70, 80, 90
Sharps Size 60, 70, 80
A wing needle can send your classic and heirloom pieces up several notches with your ability to embellish with hemstitch, pin stitch, and so forth. Depending the size hole desired, sizes 80-120 are good options. Note that the wing needle shape only comes in size 100 and 120. The wing needle size 100 is a good starting point if you only want to buy one.
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sharing my passion for classic and heirloom sewing