How To Use A Double Needle On A Sewing Machine

Last Updated on 1 year by Susan Mayrich

You can learn how to use a double needle on a sewing machine in two steps. First, this article will discuss the setup for this needle type and the proper way to sew with it. We’ll also talk about double needles, including the best ways to take advantage of them. 

how to backstitch on a brother sewing machine

Speaking of needles, do you already know where to buy sewing machine needles? It would help you to discover where to get them, so you’ll always have needles ready once your machine needs a replacement. 


How To Use A Double Needle On A Sewing Machine Correctly


Step 1. Set the machine

  • Study the manual of the specific sewing machine you have regarding needle changing
  • Remove the current needle or read about how to change a sewing machine needle if you’re still unfamiliar
  • Insert the twin needle shank at the top of the sewing machine, the same way you’ll push up a regular needle 
  • Check if the flat part of the needle shank faces the back of the sewing machine
  • Replace the standard foot with a zigzag foot, suitable for a double needle because of its wider slot
  • Thread the bobbin of your sewing machine as you usually would
  • Thread the sewing machine with the first thread reel and pass it through the needle on the left
  • Do the same for the second needle reel but to the right side of the needle
  • You can also wind a spare bobbin for the second reel if you don’t have two thread reels

Step 2. Start sewing

  • Since you’re sewing with a double needle, remember to hem the right side of the material and not the usual wrong side when sewing a hem with a single needle
  • Pin under the hem and position the foot of the sewing machine
  • Sew near the edge, and remember to double-check if the needles aren’t hitting the foot 


Can You Use A Double Needle On Any Sewing Machine?

You can use a double needle on any sewing machine as long as the machine can also sew a zigzag stitch. Therefore, any sewing machine that can only sew a straight stitch is incompatible with a double needle. Additionally, remember that double needles come in two numbers where the first one is the distance between the needles, and the second refers to the size of both needles. 

The distance between the two needles ranges from 1.8 mm, 2.0 mm, 2.5 mm, to even as far as 8.0 mm. The needle sizes, on the other hand, come in 80 or 90. Therefore, you must select the appropriate needle for your machine as meticulously as choosing a single needle for the project. 


What Is A Double Sewing Machine Needle For?


Hemming and finishing

A twin needle can be helpful for hemming sewing projects. One of the best ways to hem with a double needle is when you want to make a coverstitch hem, where there are two parallel lines on the top of the fabric, but underneath it is a zigzag stitch connecting the two. The result looks more professional, similar to what you expect from store-bought shirts, for example.

You can maintain their stretch when sewing the hem with a double needle if you are finishing fabrics such as knit materials. Just remember to use an elastic thread as well. And finally, finish your sheer fabrics with a double needle to prevent bulky seams. 



If you want to attach a ribbon trim on fabric, a double needle can make it easier. Just remember to use the correct needle type, where the distance between the needles is slightly shorter than the width of the trim. 


Decorative borders

Another method to make the most of a twin needle is when making decorative borders. Decorative stitches that are not as dense will also be easy on thin fabrics with a double needle. However, always experiment on a piece of scrap fabric beforehand. 


How to choose a double needle

Since there are many ways to sew with a double needle, you must know how to select the right one. Here are three factors to consider when choosing a twin needle:

  • Width of the throat plate hole
  • Distance between the two needles
  • The material you’re sewing since twin needles can either be universal or stretch


Can You Use A Twin Needle With A Walking Foot?

It’s possible to use a walking foot when sewing with a double needle. This combination is in fact, advantageous for quilting. You can also use any sewing machine foot with a twin needle as long as its opening is wide enough for the needles. 


What foot do you use with a twin needle?

The best sewing machine foot for a twin needle is the zigzag foot


Requirements when using a double needle on a sewing machine

  • The sewing machine is capable of zigzag stitch setting
  • A zigzag needle plate to accommodate the twin needle
  • Two thread pins and two thread spools



And that’s it! We just discussed how to use a double needle on a sewing machine, and it’s not that different when setting up a machine with a single needle. However, you can only use a twin needle if your machine can zigzag stitch and you have a foot like a zigzag foot that can accommodate two needles. 

We hope this was helpful. Leave us a comment if you have any. 

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