Updated at: 14-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Choose the needle size 100/16 if you want to know how to make pants with that size. Denim needles, which are essential for sewing jeans, will also be covered.

Sewing jeans on a regular basis? Check out our guide to the best heavy-duty sewing machines.

What Size Needle Is Good For Jeans?

The best needle for stitching jeans is a 100/16, because it won’t bend or break during the process. However, this does not negate the necessity of changing the needle every six hours or so.

Ensure that your needle machine is properly attached to avoid any skipped or uneven stitches. If you have a heavy-duty sewing machine, you can also sew denim that is thicker.

When it comes to making denim jeans, keep in mind that there are numerous denim fabric possibilities. Some denim can be sewn on a home machine, but heavier denim or multiple layers may necessitate the use of an industrial-grade machine.

It’s critical that you know how to properly dispose of sewing needles because you’ll need to do it every six hours.

How Do I Know What Sewing Machine Needle To Use For Jeans?

The denim needle is the best needle to use while stitching denim. Due to its incredibly sharp point and thicker, more durable shaft, this needle is designed to withstand the harshness of denim.

The cloth will not get stuck and break stitches, needles will not flex, or the needle will not break while sewing on jeans. However, make sure you choose the correct size and weight of cloth for your project.

Jeans Tips: Stitching Details - WeAllSew

The best thread size for denim is 100/16, however be careful of the varying denim kinds. Consider the type of thread you’re using, as it will affect whether or not the needle you’re using works with it.

What Is A Denim Sewing Needle?

Denim sewing needles are an exclusive needle that is required when sewing denim and jeans projects. It’s sharp and has a long, strong shaft, making it ideal for sewing through thick and bulky fabrics.

For denim threads, a denim needle has eyes that are large enough to accommodate the threads. The needle is available in two sizes: 70/10 and 110/18.

You can use a jeans sewing needle for stitching other things, such as clothing, if you’ve got the skills to do so. To stitch heavier fabrics like canvas or tightly woven fabrics, this needle’s robust and sharp characteristics and size options make it a good choice.

What is a twin-denim needle?

Denim needles come in a twin needle variety, which should be taken into consideration. A denim needle that has two needles on the same shaft is just as powerful and precise as a conventional denim needle, but it has two needles. The further apart they are, the better, especially when working with thicker textiles.

Using twin needles, you can sew two rows in one go. This will come in handy when it comes time to put the finishing touches on your jeans. The first number on the size label refers to the distance between the two needles, whereas the third number identifies the needle’s actual size.

What Kind Of Stitch Is Used For Jeans?

To sew denim, the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension recommends straight and zigzag stitch, especially for stitching the seams of your jeans together. Stitch the edges to keep the fabric from ripping using a straight stitch and pinked edges.

Flat felling is the most common method of sewing denim. This is the perfect stitch for jackets and pants because it is both stylish and long-lasting.

How do I top-stitch my denim?

  • Stitch many rows of topstitching with high contrast thread or two normal weight threads on the needle to finish off the project
  • To weigh the bobbin, use a regular thread.
  • Let go of the tension in your upper body.
  • It is recommended that the stitch length be increased as necessary.

Do I Need A Special Needle To Sew Denim?

Beginner home sewers have long been warned against using denim materials because of their reputation as sewing nightmares. It’s almost impossible to stitch denims with the same tools you use to make other types of fabric. Then, how exactly are you going to fix this problem? Sewing machines can usually manage these kind of projects, but if not, do you require a particular needle for the fabric? These are the questions I’ll address in the next paragraphs.

Do I Need A Special Needle To Sew Denim?

A denim project necessitates the use of a specialized jeans/denim needle. If you need a needle that can handle denim sewing thread that is thicker than regular thread, this is it. Stretch denim necessitates the use of a stretch needle as well. As a result of denim’s sturdiness, standard knitting needles would be inadequate to complete the project.

When stitching denims on a conventional sewing machine, you’ll need a needle. Because of the unique properties of their substance, they cannot be sewn using the same techniques or materials as other types of fabrics, such as polyester.

What Type Of Needle Should I Use To Sew Denims

The needles used to stitch various types of textiles and sewing techniques come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Using the same needle to stitch polyester and denim is a no-no. There are many layers of denim, and only a specific needle can manage them. A denim needle with a robust shaft and a sharp point is ideal for sewing. They’re strong enough to thread through multiple layers without tearing.

They can also be used on other tough, tightly woven fabrics like duck and canvass, as well as jeans. Size is another key consideration when purchasing a needle to sew your denim. The ‘/’ character distinguishes between two sizes. Larger numbers are for European sizes, whereas smaller numbers are for American sizes. Your needle size should be determined by the weight of the fabric you’re working with.

100/16 is the ideal needle size for sewing denim. Your needle would bend or shatter if you used anything less. Once every 5 or 6 hours, no matter what sort of needles you purchase, you must replace them out. It is necessary to replace your needle after several hours of use because it will eventually wear out. Snagging, bunching, and missing stitches are all signs that you need a new needle.

Because of its weight, denim should be handled with caution. Sewing denims quickly, no matter how strong your needle is, will quickly damage them. As a result, when sewing denim, it is imperative that you slow down your stitching speed.

Tips to Make Sewing Denim Hassle-Free

To ensure that the stitching process goes as smoothly as possible, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Prewashing your denim before sewing will soften them and make them easier to deal with. If you wash and dry your denim more than once before sewing, you’ll get the best results. Because denim is made of cotton fibers, washing it more than once minimizes color transfer and keeps it from shrinking. When purchasing denim fabric, be careful to ask the retailer if the fabric is Sanforized before purchasing it.

Pre-washed and treated to decrease shrinkage to 1%, sanforized denims are ready to wear. Prewashing isn’t necessary if your denim has been Sanforized. You should go with raw denims if you have to. They have richer hues, making them more visually appealing. Denim that has been sanforized is dyed using chemicals that alter the color of the fabric.

  • New blade and scissors on the Rotary Cutter will help you cut out pattern pieces more quickly and accurately. It is necessary to cut through each layer of a multi-layered denim fabric one at a time. In addition, if your pins are prone to breaking, you may want to consider investing in a more durable set.
  • Purchasing a Presser Foot: Sewing denim does not preclude the use of a normal presser foot. However, if you want to make your task easier, you could invest in a specialized presser foot. Sewing using a walking foot reduces the amount of cloth shifting. Although not all sewing machines can use a denim presser foot, it may be worth a try for those who do. Finding one that works with your machine is easy if you’re lucky enough to discover one. An edge stitching foot is essential if you plan on adding topstitching.
  • For sewing denims, the topstitching thread is the best type of thread. Instead of buying one, you can use an extra spool of thread to achieve the ideal thickness for sewing denims. It’s best to use the two threads from the spool to thread your machine and needle if you have an additional spool pin available on your sewing machine.
  • When we talk about thread tension, we’re talking about how tightly the bobbin and spool threads are pulled. Setting the thread tension is a manual process on the vast majority of sewing machines. A wide range of options are available on these machines, from loose to tight. Thread tension suggestions for various textiles should be included in your manual. Thread tension is critical for denims and other thick materials.

Can I Sew Denim With Regular Sewing Machine?

If you have a conventional sewing machine, it is possible to stitch denims. It’s possible to sew them at home if your sewing machine is not an exceedingly inexpensive type that isn’t very robust. Needles and thread designed for stitching heavy fabrics like denim are required for this project.

Try not to stitch multiple layers of denim at once with your standard sewing machine. It’s important to sew slowly. Sewers who are used to stitching without a handbrake may find this a bit difficult, but you have to recognize that denims are a special kind of fabric.

Use a scrap piece of denim to test your sewing pace. Sew at a variety of speeds to find the one that works best for you. Stitching at a speed between 700 and 1200 stitches per minute is the norm. If your preferred pace is too fast, you can simply alter your speed slider.

To sew denim fabric with multiple layers, an industrial sewing machine is necessary. If you don’t have the time or patience to stitch denim with a conventional machine, an industrial sewing machine is your best bet.

How Hard Is It To Sew Jeans?

Making jeans from denim, which is more difficult to work with because of its density and durability compared to other materials, is an additional challenge. However, if you have the right sewing machine, needle, and setting, you can sew jeans with ease.

For those who have never sewn a pair of jeans before, here are some tips:

  • Before stitching, make sure to check if the type of denim needs to be cleaned so that it shrinks.
  • Large needles can be used to weave heavier denim, whereas smaller needles can be used to weave lighter denim.
  • Heavy denim should have a stitch length of around 10 or 12 and light denim should have a stitch length of around 10 or 12.
  • Adjust the foot presser’s pressure based on the results of the pressure test.
  • Try the stitches on a denim piece that is twice as hefty as normal.
  • The pockets and hems of your jeans can be jazzed up by utilizing contrasting fabrics.
  • Make your zippers and buttons stand out by using vibrant colors.
  • You can personalize your jeans by adding studs, piping, embroidery, or even appliques stitches.

How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine Needle

When it comes to sewing machine mistakes, one of the most prevalent ones we see here at Sew Essential is using the wrong kind of needle. Because of the risks involved, poor stitch quality and needle breakage are possible outcomes. With our sewing machine needle guide, you’ll never have to deal with any of these issues again! What kind of thread and fabric you’re sewing with will determine what sort of needle you require. A brief glance at this guide is worthwhile even if you’re a seasoned stitcher with a working knowledge of needles. You may uncover a needle that will change your life that you never knew existed!

how to sew with stretch denim & a sewing giveaway - It's Always Autumn

Sewing Machine Needle Types

Sewing machine needles are all the same, therefore this is the first thing to keep in mind. All major brands, including Janome, Brother, Elna, and Pfaff, are supported. Any sewing machine needle ordered from us is guaranteed to work with any domestic sewing machine that is at least a few years old.

Machine needles come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes, which can be perplexing to the novice. It’s not that difficult, though, to distinguish between the many kinds. Needles and the procedures and materials they are used for are all listed here.


When it comes to needles, universal ones are the most popular. Woven, synthetic, and some knit fabrics can all be used with these needles, but check the needle types below for particular knit fabrics. Lightweight materials are typically sewn using finer needles, which have a tendency to break. Medium to heavyweight fabrics call for larger sizing. With polyester/cotton/silk threads, a universal needle should be used.


When using a ball point needle, the cloth fibers are pushed apart than than sliced, resulting in a cleaner finish. In order to keep knit materials from running or lashing during sewing with ball point needles, they are suitable for dealing with rib knits, interlocking, cotton, fleece, double-knit and most other types of knits. There are two types of thread that work well with ball point needles: polyester or polyester/cotton blend and polyester/cotton mix.


When working with textiles like Lycra, power net, two-way stretch knits, silk jersey, spandex, or even elastic itself, a stretch needle features a “scarf” that allows the hook to pass near by and prevents skipped stitches. Threads made of polyester or cotton wrapped polyester should be used instead of the other way around. It’s important to use the correct needle when working with stretch fabrics because they are notoriously tough to deal with.


A sharps needle should be used if you are a quilter dealing with multiple layers of cotton and wadding or densely woven fabrics like silk and micro fiber. To avoid broken or bent needles, these needles have a stronger shaft and a sharper point, allowing them to go through multiple layers of cloth with ease and produce smooth buttonholes. Additionally, the use of a short round threading eye increases sewing strength.


The strengthened shaft of a quilting needle allows it to be used with multiple layers of fabric and wadding, yet it is much shorter in length than a sharps needle, enabling quilters to sew quickly and evenly. Larger needles such as a size 9 or 10 are preferred by more experienced quilters because they are easier to thread.


It should come as no surprise that these needles are intended for a specific type of fabric. These needles are great for denim, but they’re also great for heavier fabrics like canvas, twill, and linens that are commonly used in workwear. Instead of being designed to avoid cutting the cloth like stretch and ball point needles are, jeans needles are made with a much sharper tip to avoid needle bending or breaking while pushing through the hefty fabric. When dealing with these needles and textiles, it’s best to use threads like synthetic or mixes, 100 percent polyester, or stronger top stitching threads and cotton wrapped polyester.


Chisel-point leather needles get their name from the fact that their point appears and acts like one while in use. Even if you didn’t know, these needles are best suited for sewing on genuine leather or suede or hard to sew tasks. However, they should not be used on PU imitation leather or ultra suede due to the various properties of these textiles.


There is no better needle for stitching on woven and knitted textiles than the metafil needle, which may be used with metallic or rayon threads. As a result of the extra-large eye on metallic needles, these elegant threads can be sewn through more easily and won’t rip or split. This type of needle is ideal for basic sewing because of its wider eye and the fact that it’s easier to thread because of this.


Threads like rayon, polyester, and cotton machine embroidery threads can be readily passed through the needle’s wide eye when embroidering. The cloth flexes up and down swiftly as a result of the fast moving embroidery stitch, resulting in missed stitches. By minimizing the fabric movement, embroidery needles feature a pontoon scarf with an enormous hump that lowers the likelihood of this happening.


In addition to having an exceptionally sharp point, top stitch needles have a large eye that can accommodate thick top stitching thread.


Pin tucking and ornamental stitches necessitate a slower needle speed with these needles. Because they may not work with all machines, be sure to consult your handbook before attempting to use one.


Your machine’s wing needles can be used to recreate drawn thread work when used with certain stitch choices. These needles can only be used with natural fibers like cotton.

What Do the Size Numbers Mean on Sewing Machine Needles?

Inquiring minds may be curious about the needle size numbers on sewing machine needles, such as 80/12 or 110/18. Then there’s no need to ponder any longer! European sizes and American sizes are both represented by these two numbers. The European sizes run from 60 to 110, while the American sizes range from 8 to 18. Isn’t that the truth?

As a general rule of thumb, you should use an 80/12 needle in dressmaking, but please refer to the quick reference chart above for details on which needle sizes to use with various threads, fabric kinds, and fabric weights.

How Often Should I Change My Needle?

Changing your needle after each project is something we always suggest. The cost of a needle isn’t prohibitive, and you can rest assured that it will always operate as planned.

If your machine is jammed, we also recommend inspecting the needle. The needle may bend as a result of jamming, resulting in poor stitch quality. Changing the needle if your machine is creating a strange pounding sound as it goes through the cloth is a surefire way to fix it.

Fitting a New Needle

Put a piece of paper under the foot of the sewing machine before inserting a fresh needle. The old needle will not fall into the machine if the needle screw is loosened. We don’t want to have to pay for any costly repairs! New needles can only be used in the correct orientation once the old needle is removed because of the shank design. The shank’s flat side should face the sewing machine’s back.

Before tightening the needle screw, be sure to push the new needle up as far as it will go. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting a sloppy stitch, having the needle strike the bobbin case, or even damaging the needle threader (if your machine has one).

Anatomy of a Sewing Machine Needle

To wrap things up, we’ll take a closer look at the sewing machine needle’s components.

The hole through which the thread passes is known as the “eye.” Needles with a well-machined eye help prevent thread tearing. Depending on the intended thread type, the eye size can vary.

A stiffer shaft is needed for thicker materials, which necessitates the use of a thicker shaft.

The portion that goes into the machine is called a Shank. Flat side prevents erroneous insertion.

The shape of the needle’s point changes greatly depending on the type of fabric being knitted and the type of leather being worked.

Scarf – Allows the hook to come as close to the needle’s eye as possible, reducing the likelihood of missed stitches.

A look at the needle world’s big players, their uses, recommended sizes, fabrics and threads, and so on. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a specific sewing guide or instructional requirement. Sew Essential will be contributing more in-depth articles in the future, so keep checking back.

The Best Sewing Machine Needles for Reliable Stitches

Sewing machines are great for creating fashion, making curtains, repairing garments, and making fiber art, among other things. Using high-quality sewing machine needles ensures that your machine performs at its best. The appropriate needle glides through the fabric layers without snagging or producing runs, resulting in precise, flawless results. Different needle thicknesses are available for sewing machines. To sew delicate fabrics like silk, use 70/10 needles, which are the thinnest; for sewing medium-weight cottons, use 80/11 needles; for stitching heavy fabrics, use 90/14 needles. Heavy fabrics like denim are best sewn using needles marked 100/16, while those marked 110/18 are best suited for upholstery. To find the needles that best fit your needs, peruse our reviews of the top needles.

1. Euro-Notions Universal Machine Needles

When it comes to sewing machine needles, Schmetz is the go-to brand for everyone from quilters to fashion designers to hobbyists. Schmetz’s basic needles, 70/10, 80/11, and 90/14, are included in this set. The needles have slightly rounded tips, making them suitable for both woven and knit fabrics. In order to provide crisp, accurate stitching, they readily glide through a variety of materials. It’s not uncommon for one of them to last for many years. Almost all sewing machines can use them.

2. Singer Heavy Duty Machine Needles

In order to stitch heavier materials like denim and draperies, Singer’s 110/18 needles are the best option. Their tips are extremely pointed, allowing them to easily pierce through thick layers of cloth without jamming, splitting, or bunching up in the process. To sew thick canvas bags, add zippers to coats and stitch tents, you need heavy-duty needles. However, these needles should not be used on thin or medium-weight fabrics since they may create holes. These sewing machine needles are universally compatible. For easy identification, the needles’ ends are colored gray.

3. Organ Needles

When teaching the fundamentals of machine sewing to beginners, educators rely on long-lasting, high-performance needles. Organ needles are an excellent choice for art centers and classes on a budget because they are long-lasting and cost-effective, especially when purchased in bulk like these. For medium-weight fabrics like cotton and polyester, these 80/12 needles with a slightly rounded point are ideal for sewing. There is no bunching, no snagging, and no skipped stitches on delicate and heavier fabrics. Even if you don’t have an organ, you can use organ needles made by Brother because they’re compatible with Brother machines.

4. Superior Threads Topstitch Needles

Superior Threads’ 100/16 needles are ideal for those who enjoy stitching machine quilting. As a result, the needles can last six to eight times longer than typical because they are coated with titanium nitride for smooth sewing. In order to work with heavier threads, such as quilting and upholstery threads, the needles have an enlarged eye and a sharp point. Also great for embroidery and appliqué, as well as medium- to heavy-weight fabric sewing, these needles are ideal.

5. Janome Blue Tip Needles

Needles manufactured by Janome can be used on most other brands of machine despite being designed for Janome machines. A slightly bigger eye for thicker thread and a size of 75/11 make these needles ideal for machine embroidery. They are razor-sharp and effortlessly cut through multiple layers of fabric without catching, snagging, or breaking. Using Janome Blue Tip needles, which are blue for easy identification, produces gorgeous, crisp straight stitches as well as the preprogrammed decorative stitches.

10 Tips for Sewing Jeans - The Last Stitch

How Do You Sew Seams When Sewing A Denim Fabric?

Regular seams require trimming in order to eliminate a lot of bulk. If you’re dealing with a curved seam, clip your seam allowance every inch. Sewing allowances should be graded as well.

Can You Sew Denims By Hand?

Even though sewing denims by hand is challenging, it is achievable. Thread that won’t easily break is needed for this. In addition, use a long, pointed needle with a large eye.

What Is The Ideal Machine Setting While Sewing Denims?

Set your machine stitch length between 3.5 and 4 while sewing denim. Thick seams may necessitate the use of your hand wheel.

What size sewing machine needle should I use?

You’ll need a Universal Needle in a size 80/12 or 90/14 for most everyday medium-weight projects.

medium-weight materials like cotton, polyester and linen can be used with the 80/12 thread count.

Light Weight Fabrics

Silk (chiffon, organza, crepe-de-chine) and other light-weight textiles demand a smaller needle. The smaller the needle, the lighter the fabric. It’s possible to do a 75/11 and 70/10.

Do I need a smaller needle?

You’ll get more adept at determining the proper needle size for a given project as you gain more expertise and knowledge. However, puckering, gathering, and snagging of the fabric are telltale signs that you are using a needle that is too large for the cloth. The puckering might occur at the point where the needle enters the fabric, or it can run parallel to the stitching line and appear on the fabric as a whole. Always use a fresh needle or a smaller-sized needle if the needle you’re using isn’t the right size (as puckering can illustrate a blunt needle).

Heavy Weight Fabrics

A larger needle, such as a 100/16, 110/18, or 120/20, is required for heavy-duty textiles like denim, canvas, and upholstery. The larger the needle, the heavier the fabric.

Do I need a larger needle?

It is necessary to use a larger needle when working with thicker, heavier-weight material. The needle will shatter if you use a needle that is too small for the job. Replace the needle with a larger one for an easy fix.

How do you know that you need to change the needle size?

One of two things will go wrong for you. If the needle breaks, you should use a larger needle. Snagging or puckering of the fabric can also be caused by the needle. This necessitates the use of a smaller needle (or a fresh needle if the needle is blunt).

Needle Size Guide:

To make sure you’re using the correct needle for the job, try it out on a little piece of cloth after you’ve decided on the type and size of needle you want to use. Test the thread and stitch length for your project while doing this.

As a sewing machine user, you should be aware of the many needle kinds and sizes available, as well as when they are needed.

How often should I change my sewing machine needle?

It’s one of the most often asked questions here. Every new project or every six to eight hours of stitching necessitates the use of a new needle, according to needle dealers. However, I personally find it difficult to track how much sewing I’ve done with the needle, especially when switching between different sizes and types.

So… If I’m starting a new project, I’ll use a new needle. This is especially crucial when dealing with lightweight fabrics, which tend to be more delicate (to avoid puckering the fabric). To see how the needle functions, I test it out on a piece of fabric. If you’re concerned, remove the needle from the machine and examine the tip to make sure it isn’t bent.

The needle should lay flat when placed on a flat surface.


That concludes our discussion. If you’re making jeans, you’ll need a size 100/16 needle, according to our research.

Depending on the sort of denim fabric you’re working with, you’ll need a needle ranging in size from 70/10 to 110/18. So long as you practice, you shouldn’t have any trouble stitching jeans.

Make certain that your sewing machine is capable of sewing through denim as well.