What Size Needle For Sewing Fleece: Complete Guide

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Last Updated on 1 year by Susan Mayrich

The answer to what size needle for sewing fleece is 80/12. However, please read this article on selecting a size for every type of needle when working with its fleece. We’ll also discuss how you can find the correct needle size for your project. 

what size needle for sewing fleece

Did you know that our blog has various articles regarding selecting the best needle for your project? Please browse our articles and learn things like what size sewing machine needles are for quilting and more. 


What Sewing Machine Needle to Use for Fleece

According to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension, the best needle size for sewing fleece is 80/12. A size 12 universal sewing machine needle should work with most fleece fabrics, with the sewing machine set to a straight or narrow zigzag stitch. And for the other settings, use a long stitch with low presser foot pressure, and the presser foot itself is ¼ in the seam allowance when you start stitching to accommodate the thick fleece material. 

You can always test your stitches and needle with a piece of scrap fleece fabric to know if you need to use another needle size. For example, some recommend a 75/11 needle for low-loft fleece, while medium to high-loft fleece will be better sewn with a 90/14 needle. You must also consider the weight of the fleece fabric, where a 70/10 needle can sew a lightweight fleece, 80/12 or 90/14 for midweight fleece, and 100/16 if you’re working with a heavyweight fleece.


Do You Need A Special Needle For Fleece?

You don’t need a special needle for fleece because you can use a universal needle for sewing it. However, you might find that some fleece materials are better sewn with a ballpoint needle or a stretch needle. These needles have rounded tips that help prevent piercing the fleece threads and instead separate them then stitch to keep the material intact. 


Universal needle

A universal needle size 80/11, 80/12, or even 90/14 can be used for sewing fleece fabric. After all, it is slightly rounded, which won’t damage your material. But, of course, the size will then depend on how heavy the fleece you have. 


Ballpoint sewing needle

The more rounded tip of a ballpoint needle than a universal needle makes it helpful when sewing fleece. Since it won’t pierce the fabric, you can prevent skipped stitches or runs on the material. In addition, the ballpoint needle is handy with microfleece and fleece blended with spandex that can get holes if you use a needle that pierces and snags the material. 


Stretch sewing needle

The stretch sewing needle is not only applicable when sewing stretchy materials. Its rounded tip is ideal for making clean stitches on fleece. Depending on the type of fleece fabric you’re sewing, you can use a size 80/12 needle or 90/14 needle. 

Still can’t decide which needle type and size to get for sewing fleece? Why not prepare all of them to be ready regardless of the fleece type you’ll sew? Here is where to buy sewing machine needles to stock all the needles for every sewing project. 


What Is A 80 12 Needle?

A size 80/12 needle works well for fleece, but what do these numbers mean? The first number, 80, is the needle shaft’s diameter in millimeters multiplied by 100. Then, the 12 is the measuring system for needles in the US. 

You can also think of the first number in the needle packaging as the metric number, while the second is the imperial number. The 80/12 needle size is seen in different needle types that you can use for sewing fleece. For example, they are universal and stretch needles that can work with most fleece types and everyday medium-weight fabrics. 


What is a 90 14 needle?

You can select a size 90/14 needle for sewing fleece as well, whether with a universal or a stretch needle. It is handy if your fleece is midweight or slightly heavy. If you’re sewing with fleece and noticing skipped stitches, a 90/14 ballpoint needle will also be a suitable replacement for your current one. 


How Do You Know What Size Needle To Use When Sewing?

It should be easy to know what size needle to use when sewing by remembering that the heavier or thicker the fabric, the larger the needle you’ll need to get. Alternatively, opt for a smaller-sized needle when working with lightweight materials. You can also inspect how your fabric and stitches turn out while sewing with the sewing machine.


Needle sizes for lightweight fabric

Light and delicate fabrics like silk will require small-sized needles from 60/8 to 75/11. You can also get a larger needle if it breaks. 


Needle sizes for heavyweight fabrics

Heavy and thick materials like canvas will need large-sized needles like 100/16 to 120/20. However, if it snags the fabric, opt for a smaller-sized needle. Medium and slightly heavy materials can also work well with 80/12 or 90/14 needles. 



And that’s it! We just found out what size needle for sewing fleece and revealed that you could use an 80/12 or 90/14 needle. The best types are universal, ballpoint, and stretch needles, depending on the fleece type you have. 

We hope this helps you sew fleece without needle breaking, fabric puckering, or machine skipping stitches. Leave us a question if you still have any. 

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