Types of Machine Sewing Needles

sewing machine needle

There are not as many types of machine sewing needles as there are types of hand sewing needles. This does not mean it is not important to use the correct needle for your specific project or fabric though.

Machine sewing needles have both the point and the eye on the same end with a thin, flat end on the other side.

Each needle has its own purpose and performs different than the others. You will notice the difference if you use the incorrect needle for a project so it is important to know the differences between each machine sewing needle and which one to use for various fabrics.

These are the different types of machine sewing needles:


You will use this needle for sewing denim fabric for jeans or pants or canvas and heavier materials. This needle features a very sharp point and it is much larger than the three other types of machine sewing needles we will discuss.


This type of machine needle is used for top stitching and decorative effects as well as some types of pintucks for fabric. This needle has one of the more unique constructions of both machine and hand needles as it has two needles mounted on one bar. A twin needle is not compatible with all models of sewing machines so you should check your model to ensure it will be compatible.


The wing needle is used in heirloom sewing and featuring tapering wings on the bar from point to clasp. You use this needle on cotton and linen fabrics.


Similar to the hand sewing version, the leather needle for sewing machines features a triangular point to pierce through leather and suede materials.

You can often ensure a sewing needle will work for your sewing machine if you purchase the same brand of needle as the brand of sewing machine you own. You can also look on the packaging for other brands of needles to see which types of sewing machines the needles are compatible with.

You want to be sure a needle is compatible with your machine and the needle is the right one for your fabric. Now that you know the types of machine sewing needles you should have no problem choosing the right one for your project!

Learn to Sew a Throw Pillow

throw pillows

Interior designers will tell you you can never have enough throw pillows in your home. Throw pillows provide bold colors and patterns to complement traditional furniture and décor in a home.

There is no better way to decorate your home with throw pillows than to sew your own. This will add a homemade touch to your décor and save you a little money too!



Here are the steps:


The first thing you need to do to sew a throw pillow is measure the amount of fabric you need and then cut those measurements from the swath of fabric you purchased.

You need to first measure and cut a panel for the front and back of the pillow. You want the pillow to look full so we recommend you measure one full inch short of the necessary size for a tight fit over the pillow core.

Use the fabric marker to line your measurements and then cut out the panels from the swath of fabric.


Align the two sides of fabric with the right sides facing eachother and then pin them together with your pins.

Use a half-inch seam allowance and a backstitch and start sewing along the borders of the two panels of fabric. Don’t sew the corners. When the needle reaches a half inch before the corner pivot the fabric and start along the next end.

After you have sewn along all four lines, remove the fabric from the sewing machine and cut the excess fabric from the four corners at a small angle.

Then turn the pillow cover inside out and use your finger or a pointed tool to push the corners of the cover all the way out.


Lay the cover flat and layer the edges of the fabric half an inch under at the opening.

Then lay the cover flat and insert the pillow core into the bottom opening of the pillow cover.

Now hand stitch the opening closed. You will need a hand needle and invisible thread for this step in the project. Continue along the entire bottom of the pillow until you reach the other corner.

Then sew the thread into a knot and pull the thread through the knot and the fabric and cut off the excess.

This completes the project. You now know how to sew a throw pillow.

You can repeat the project again and choose different colors and patterns to complement the original pillow or sew multiples of the same one for use throughout your home.

You can display the throw pillow in your home on a bed or piece of furniture for many years.

You can maintain the color and style of the throw pillow with routine cleaning from an upholstery cleaning service such as Nature’s Care Chem-Dry. This will ensure the throw pillow lasts several years and you won’t need to buy or sew a new one for a long time.

Types of Hand Sewing Needles

hand sewing needle

Those who are not familiar with how to sew think that all hand needles are the same. This is not true.

It is true that most hand sewing needles have a sharp point on one end and a eye on the other end but this is one of the only common similarities between different types of hand sewing needles.

Learn more about the different types of hand sewing needles:


This is a long, thin hand sewing needle with a larger eye on the end. The purpose of this needle is to attach sequins and beads and other accents to fabric.


This is a long, thick needle for ribbon or pulling several strands of yarn or embroidery floss through the eye end of the needle.


This type of hand sewing needle is often used to repair holes in knit fabrics such as socks or scarves. This is a long needle with a large eye at the end.


This is one of the most common types of hand sewing needles used for general purposes such as sewing on a button onto clothing. The eye end of the needle features a tiny slit to allow the thread to go into the eye without having to thread it.


This is an average-sized needle with average thickness that is used to sew embroidery onto the surface of pillows and upholstery and other fabrics. This type of needle is perfect for decorative purposes.


This hand sewing needle is used for sewing accents onto leather and suede materials. The needle has a triangular point at the end and an average thickness.


This is the general and traditional sewing needle. The needle features a sharp point and average length and is used for hemming and several other forms of sewing.


This is a large needle with a blunt tip used for sewing accents and stitching onto loose weave fabrics.


This needle has a curved construction for tufting upholstery fabrics.

You can see there are several forms of hand sewing needles and each one has its own unique construction and purpose. You need to be sure you are using the right needle for your project and we hope this brief description of each type helps!

Learn to Sew a DIY Rod-Pocket Curtain

sewing curtains

We love to provide readers with easy DIY sewing projects to “beautify” their home. We’re biased, of course, but nothing sets a home or a room apart like hand-sewn, colorful textiles and fabrics.

Today we are going to share a “how-to” for sewing a DIY rod-pocket curtain for the windows in your living room, dining room or bedroom. This is a project suitable for all levels of experience when it comes to sewing.

Window treatments and curtains are an easy way to add color or a vibrant pattern to a room. A colorful curtain is the perfect complement to a traditional paint color or solid upholstered furniture colors.

Here are the materials you will need for this project:

  • Drapery fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Sewing gage
  • Iron

Step 1: Measure & Cut Fabric

To determine the correct size fabric, measure your window panel and then add an additional 4 inches to the width and an additional 12 inches to the height before you cut the fabric with your scissors.

Step 2: Sew Sides

Fold the edge over 1 inch and press with a hot iron. Then fold it over another inch and iron it again. Be careful when using the hot iron so as to avoid burning your hand or the fabric.

Sew down the length of the panel about ¾ of an inch from the edge of the fabric. Back stitch at the beginning and the end in order to secure the stitches. You should repeat this process on both sides of the fabric panel.

Step 3: Sew Top & Bottom

Now you need to create the loop for the curtain rod. The loop diameter should be two times the size of the rod diameter.

Fold the fabric over 3 inches and iron and then fold it over another 3 inches and iron the fabric again. Sew along the bottom piece of the hem about ¼ inch to form the bottom seam of the rod pocket.

You should hang the curtain before you hem the bottom. This will help you determine the length you want for the bottom of the curtain.

After you determine the length you want for the bottom of the curtain, fold over the bottom of the fabric panel, iron the fabric and then sew the hem across the folded fabric.

Now you can hang the curtain on your window and marvel at your wonderful craftsmanship! You can repeat this project for all of the windows in a room using the same fabric or purchase different patterns and fabrics for different rooms in your home.

This is a great way to save money decorating rooms in your home and a perfect introductory sewing project for anyone new to using a sewing machine. If you’re new to sewing, be sure to watch the video from GoodHouseKeepingTV on our introductory post or visit goodhousekeeping.com:

Ready. Set. Sew!

Factory Apparel Direct is your online source for how to sew, create and maintain textiles – including apparel, rugs and wovens for your home decor. The more you know, the more you sew!

GoodHousekeepingTV offers an excellent video for beginning sewers. Check it out: