Needle Systems

Not only is it necessary to use a clean needle, the needle needs to be the correct size and shape for the best embroidery results.

A typical embroidery needle would be 'DBXK5 SES 70' or 'WK 287 80'. So what do the codes mean?

Needle manufacturers refer to needle 'systems' and the most common needle system for embroidery are WKH, WK and XK5 with prefixes and suffixes dependent on the supplier. The XK5 needle systems have an elogated eye which means they can accomodate a thicker thread in a smaller size needle.

The size of the needle refers to the thinkness of the needle itself. For a standard 40 weight thread, a size 65 (XK5) up to 80 (XK5 or WKH/WK) is recommended. For heavier threads, you would need a size 90-100 needle.

The style of needle point is designated by information before the actual size, eg SUK (= Medium Ball point), SES (= Light Ball point), SD1 (= triangular point) (used on some leathers)

'DBXK5 SES 70' and 'WK 287 80' now make more sense!

It is normally best to use the smallest size needle possible, to prevent needle damage on the fabric. A stable, close woven fabric is more forgiving than lycra of fine jersey. However, the correct system, size and point of the needle make a huge difference to the avoidance of needle damage, the best stitches and overall improved performance.