Tutorials -

Which Needles Do I Buy?!

Choosing the Correct Needles

This is a question for the ages and one which we are almost asked daily! Needles have been designed to specifically fit one kind of machine. They optimize the shape for the specific function that your sewing machine is doing. So how do we know which needles to buy? Let's have a look at few information which you need to obtain.

1. Find out the needle system number for your machine model.

The first and foremost step in choosing the correct needle is to know your machine model number. This information can usually be found on the plaque on the face of the machine shown in the red box on the diagram below.

Juki LU-1560N

In this instance, the model number of the machine is a Juki LU-1560N.

The next step is to consult the needle reference book by clicking here. Once you have the reference open, scroll down to the corresponding machine to get the System Number from the list. On our example, the System Number for our Juki LU-1560N is found on page 45.


needle reference book

Our reference tells us that the needles System Number for the Juki LU-1560N is as follows:

135x17, also known as SY3355, also known as DPx17
Now that we know the needle System Number, we can look for the correct needles by matching the given information with the System Number written on the packets. This information is usually found on the packet of needles. Example below, system number is shown in the red box
System Number packets

2. Determine the size that you require

Size on needles determines the diameter of the needles which in turn determines the resulting hole size in the material which you are sewing. In general, the needle size which you should get is determined by the size of the threads which you use. Too small, and the threads won’t feed. Too large and the threads will look out of place.

Determine the size of the thread that you are using. This information can usually be found on the cone of the threads. Use a thread to needle reference chart such as the one below to determine the needle size you need.

Coats terko satin
needle size graph

We can thus determine that the ideal needle size for the threads that we are using (Ticket 036 or Tex 080) is between 110-130.


Ballpoint needles (SES) variants are usually used on knit fabric or stretch materials as they reduce the frequency of puncture which can lead to the materials unraveling.

To recap:
1. Determine the system number which you require.
- Find your machine model number.
- Consult the needle reference book by clicking here.
- Find the corresponding System Number for your machine.
- Look for the correct system number on the needle packets.
2. Determine the size which you require.
- Determine what thread you are using, and note the size (such as Ticket or Tex)
- Consult a thread size to needle size reference and determine the needle size you require.
- Look for the correct size on the packet of the correct system number.


Happy hunting!