What Size Sewing Machine Needle for Denim

You’ve been sewing for a while and you have a good idea of what the different needle types are. But do you know which is best for denim?

Needles are the most important part of any sewing project. They can make or break your final product. Whether you’re working with heavy-duty materials like denim, leather or delicate fabrics like silk, it’s important to use the right one

what size sewing machine needle for denim

This blog post will provide you with the information you need to know about selecting the right sewing machine needle size for sewing denim.

The first thing that you need to do before starting any project is read through all of the instructions on how to properly thread and use your sewing machine, including what type of stitch pattern to use, which type of fabric it should be used, and the best heavy duty sewing machine.

You can’t just pick out a needle without considering these factors because they all play an important role in determining which one will work best.

what size sewing machine needle for denim
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What Size Sewing Machine Needle for Denim

A size 100/16 needles should do the trick for most thick denim fabrics. But the perfect sewing machine needle size for denim will depend on the thickness and weight of your fabric. You should look for a sewing machine needle that is the appropriate size for your fabric.

A universal 100/16, or 110/18 sewing machine needle will be suitable for most denim types. But if you’re sewing a thicker denim fabric, the best needle size for denim is a jeans/denim needle-sized 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18, which has an even larger eye and a sharper point.

You want to use a sharp needle with an extra-large eye so that the thread can easily pass through.

Because these needles are sharp, they will pass through the fabric more easily. Since the needle holes are larger, your thread will handle better.

A denim needle is designed for heavyweight fabrics, while a standard needle is better suited for lighter materials. If you are unsure which needle to use, start with a universal needle and switch to a jeans needle if you find it too difficult to pass the needle through the fabric which means fewer skipped stitches and needle breaks.

A general guideline for choosing a needle size is as follows:

  • Thin fabrics: Use a size 70/10 needle.
  • Medium fabrics: Use a size 80/12 needle.
  • Medium Heavy-weight fabrics: Use size 90/14 needle.
  • Heavy-weight fabrics: Use size 100/16 needle.
  • Extra-heavy fabrics: Use size 110/18 needle

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sewing Machine Needle Size for Denim

There are some things that you should keep in mind when choosing a sewing machine needle size for denim:

  • The type of needle you choose should be sharp and have an extra-large eye in order to easily pass the thread through.
  • A universal or ballpoint needle is perfect for this type of fabric, as they’re designed specifically for woven materials.
  • You should always read through all of the instructions on how to properly thread and use your sewing machine before starting any project.
  • Consider the fabric type, stitch pattern, and other factors before selecting a needle size.
  • Your machine should be able to stitch through 5 layers of fabric at 2 mm, otherwise, you will just get puckers on the inside.
  • Depending on how heavy your denim is, you may need a thicker or longer needle. The greatest risk for breaking needles while sewing jeans comes from the thickness of the fabric and how thin the needle is.
  • If your denim is heavy, then you may need a thicker needle size such as jeans/denim or heavy-duty.
  • When selecting a sewing machine needle, always choose the sharpest one available. A dull needle can cause your fabric to pucker and can also lead to skipped stitches.
  • In this case, you will have to use a longer needle as well because the point of a short needle won’t be able to go through all those layers.

Can I Sew Denim on a Regular Sewing Machine?

It is possible to sew lightweight denim with a regular sewing machine. If you know the techniques and you have the right needle and thread for use with denim then you can sew some on a standard sewing machine.

With that said, if you’re sewing heavy-duty denim a heavy-duty sewing machine with a powerful motor and a strong interior frame will do the best work.

Most denim won’t even sit properly on a sewing machine, and when it does there’s not enough room to sew the seams. Even if the denim could fit on a machine, you have to worry about thread tension, stitches per inch, and needle size.

It would take a lot of adjustments for an average sewing machine to do any kind of durable work with denim. That’s why you see professional seamstresses who specialize in denim have machines that are set up appropriately for tough fabrics like jeans such as the Singer 4423

The Singer 4423 is one of the perfect sewing machines for sewing heavy and thick fabrics such as denim/jeans.

You can easily sew through multiple layers of denim with this powerful yet lightweight model. With its extra-high presser foot lifter, you won’t have to worry about your fabric slipping under the presser foot while stitching – even if there are several layers of material underneath.

If you want to experiment with more advanced techniques like monograms or decorative stitches, this versatile model lets you do just that. (Best Heavy Sewing Machines for thick fabrics)

Other sewing machines to consider include:

Top Tips for Sewing Denim Easily With Your Sewing Machine

If you’re looking to make a pair of jeans with a minimal amount of fuss, follow these tips:


Pre-wash the denim fabric before you start sewing. This will help remove any shrinking or distortion that may occur in the future. Sewing denim can be a bit tricky, but following these tips should help make the process a lot easier.

Use the right thread

Use a heavyweight denim thread when you sew. It’s less likely to break and will be more durable.

Room for seam allowances

Leave ample room for seam allowances when you’re cutting out your pieces. This will help prevent any fraying or stretching later on.

Use a right stitch

Use a straight stitch when sewing seams, and use a zigzag stitch along the edges to reinforce them.

Use a seam ripper

Use a seam ripper to carefully open up seams if you need to make any adjustments.

Sharp scissors

Cut with sharp scissors. It’s always best to cut as close to the seam line as possible, so you don’t have to do any excessive trimming later on.

Take time

Take your time when sewing, and be patient. It’s better to go slowly and make sure everything is done correctly than to have to go back and fix mistakes later on.

Can You Use Regular Thread for Denim?

When choosing a needle size, it is important to consider the type of thread that will be used. You can use a regular all-purpose thread when sewing denim.

If you’re not overly picky about quality and you don’t mind sewing a little more loosely, then this is absolutely an option.

Keep in mind that there are a variety of threads used in making denim, and using a regular thread may not be strong enough to do this job and will break.

The best kind of thread for sewing denim is a heavy-duty thread. Even though there are lots of thread options available it is important to use a heavyweight denim thread or heavyweight all-purpose thread as it will be more durable and less likely to break.

Do all needles fit all sewing machines?

Most sewing machine needles will work in any type of sewing machine.

But it depends on the make and model of the sewing machine. Some needles are specifically designed for a certain type of sewing machine, while others are more versatile and can be used with a variety of machines.

Needles for sergers or overlock machines, embroidery machines may vary in shape and size.

So it’s importable to always be careful when choosing the right needle for your sewing machine

How do you sew thick layers? – Video Tutorial


What do needle size numbers mean?

The numbers on the side of a sewing machine needle are the size of the needle in millimeters. The bigger the number, the bigger the needle. Most needles range in size from 60 to 120.

When sewing thick layers, you’ll want to use a needle that is bigger in size so it can pierce through the fabric easier. Needle size of 90 or 100 is generally best for sewing thicker fabrics.

Should you wash denim before sewing?

Yes, it is recommended to pre-washing denim fabric before sewing in order to soften it, prevent it from shrinking, and also remove chemical sizing.

Can you sew denim by hand?

Yes, it is possible to sew denim with a handle sewing method.

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