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How can embroidery threads of different materials and specifications be paired with different types of needles?

How can embroidery threads of different materials and specifications be paired with different types of needles?

Embroidery thread selection for any specific application is based on many parameters, thread size is the primary consideration in achieving the functional and aesthetics requirements of the finished product.

If inappropriate needles are selected, it will cause thread breakage or needle breakage. This not only wastes resources, but also requires extra manpower to prepare again.

This article will provide you with a quick reference on how to match different types of needles with different materials and specifications of embroidery threads.

Fixed Weight and Fixed Length Numbering Systems

Firstly, it is necessary to understand the meanings of various specifications of threads. Overall, they follow two major standards,  'fixed weight' or 'fixed length' systems.

Fixed Weight Systems

In this system, unit weight is taken as fixed and its length is measured.

Systems under fixed weight:

  • English Count (Ne) = Number of hanks of 840 yards/lb
  • Metric Count (Nm) = Number of hanks of 1000 metres/kg


  • Ne 1 – In one pound of yarn weight, there are 840 yards of yarn length
  • Ne 5 – In one pound of yarn weight, there are 4200 (840x5) yards of yarn length

In fixed weight systems, the yarn becomes finer as the count number increases

Fixed Length Systems

In this system, unit length is taken as fixed and its weight is measured.

Systems under fixed length:

  • Denier = Weight in grams of 9,000 metres
  • Tex = Weight in grams of 1,000 metres
  • Decitex = Weight in grams of 10,000 metres


  • Tex 40 – A length of 1,000 metres gives 40 Grams of weight
  • Tex 100 – A length of 1,000 metres gives 100 Grams of weight

In fixed length systems, the yarn becomes coarser / heavier as the count number increases

The specifications of the threads discussed in this article are expressed by Daniel.

So, how do you choose the right embroidery threads needle when preparing to embroider?

Computer embroidery machines generally use embroidery needles from No. 6 to No. 14. The smaller the number of needles, the smaller the needle holes. The most commonly used needles are No. 9 and No. 11. Commonly used brands are Japanese ORGAN needle and German GROZ embroidery needles.


1. No. 8 needle (60) is generally used for small patterns, such as embroidery of famous brand trademarks. If the pattern is small, the stitches produced will be concentrated in one place. At this time, if you use an embroidery needle with a larger needle size, When doing embroidery, large needles will cause obvious holes in the fabric, causing small stitches to sink into the needle holes created by the needle's up and down movement. In that case, the embroidered pattern will not look beautiful, so it is recommended to use a No. 8 needle for embroidery. When using a No. 8 needle for embroidery, we usually use a 75D embroidery thread, because the 75D embroidery thread will be thinner than the thread we usually use, which increases the density of the pattern and makes the smaller pattern look clearer.

2. No. 9 needle (65) is generally used in knitted fabrics and fabrics that are prone to holes during embroidery, usually thin fabrics. When we are embroidering flat patterns with smaller stitches, matched with 75D-100D embroidery thread, the effect will be very good if we use No. 9 needles.

3. No. 10 needle(70), like No. 9 needle, is generally used on thinner fabrics such as silk and lightweight fabrics. The appropriate embroidery thread is also 75D-100D.

4. No. 11 needle (75), this needle has the highest usage rate. Generally speaking, No. 11 needle is suitable for most fabrics. It is easier to embroider with it and regular 100D-130D embroidery thread, perfect pattern effects will be produced.

5. No. 12 needle (80), this needle is generally not suitable for embroidery with ordinary threads. It is most commonly used to embroider metallic threads, although needle No. 13 and above are also used to embroider metallic threads, considering the diversity of fabrics, it is generally recommended to use a No.12 needle for embroidery on metallic threads to avoid causing holes in the fabric. The embroidery threads suitable for NO.12 needle should be 100D-130D.

6. No. 13 needle (85), this size needle is more suitable for embroidering elastic fabrics and 130D-150D embroidery thread. People who embroider swimsuit may find that most swimsuit are mainly made of highly elastic fabrics. Furthermore, when the threads embroider on a relatively hard area, thread skipping often occurs at the seams, which makes the embroidery more difficult. At this point, we have two methods to choose from: using the NO.13 needle, which has a relatively greater force to extend to the rotary hooks and ensure normal operation of the bobbin, without causing skipping stitches, broken threads, etc. Another method is to use a more powerful needle rod with a stronger spring for embroidery, and the skipping problem will also be relatively solved.

7. No. 14 needle (90), this needle is less commonly used and is generally used with wool thread or other 130D-150D embroidery threads. Because these threads are thicker and the needle hole of the No. 14 needle is large, it just matches. At the same time, the NO.14 needle is also suitable for medium or thick fabrics, such as denim fabrics.

Hope the instructions above can bring you effective reference.

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