Monday, October 8, 2012

Sewing Machine Needle: How To Read The Needle Package

Baffled by the needle package?  What do all those all those numbers mean on the needle package?Well, let's first review the essential needle information printed on that tiny 5 pack of SCHMETZ needles.  Information that will make your needle purchase so much easier. 

Let's start from the bottom of the package and work our way up:
  • Size:  Needle size is always found at the bottom of the package.  Both the metric and the Singer or international size designation will always be shown.  This package has assorted sizes - 70/10, 80/12, 90/14.
  • Needle System:  130/705 H is the needle system used by nearly all home sewing machines.  130/705 refers to a needle with a flat shank.  The H refers to a German word, Hohlkehle,  that translates to scarf.  So 130/705 H is a flat shank needle with a scarf.  All brands of home sewing machines use system 130/705 H - Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Husqvarna Viking, Janome, Juki, Pfaff, White and more.
  • Needle System:  15x1 H is a cross-reference to needle system 130/705 H.  The two needle systems - 130/705 H and 15x1 H are equivalent, same needle anatomy- a flat shank with a scarf.  Same needle, different manufacturer. 
  • Needle Type:  There are 16 needle types for your home sewing machine.  The above needle pack contains Universal needles.
  • SCHMETZ:  The preferred needle used by sewists around the world.  SCHMETZ is high quality.
Next week we will review the different needle types for our home sewing machine.


  1. Great info for a beginner. I will share your link on our new online sewing site.

  2. Could you go into more detail on the Size part, please? I'm returning to sewing after a long absence and trying to learn the things I didn't know or understand the first time -- things which may have been why I found it so frustrating! :)

    You said there's a metric size and a Singer or international size? Which one is which? What do they mean? How do I know which size to use for a project?