Sewing machines – the essential guide

Advice on everything from choosing the right model, to understanding the jargon

Using the right needle

Always use the right needle for the fabric you are using. Most needles are now universal, except those for very old machines.

Use size 8 or 10 for lightweight chiffon, voile and cotton lawn; size 12 or 14 for medium- weight fabrics including taffeta, cottons and furnishing linens; 16 to 18 for heavy tweeds, denim, upholstery fabrics and chenilles.

You will also need non-snag ball point needles for sewing stretch fabrics such as jersey, and topstitch needles with a larger eye to take thick topstitch thread.

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