Which Needles and Threads to Use?

I’ve never taken the time to learn about different needle and thread types, and which work best for different types of stitching. I asked several designers as well as my sisters Jeni and Gretchen for advice. Then, being the analyst I've always been, I created a handy chart that helps me see what’s what.  I hope it helps you, too.

Needle and Thread Chart

Purpose Needle Thread
Big-stitch quilting #7 Embroidery or wool appliqué needle

Size 11 quilting needles

12 Wt. perle cotton

Hand-quilting thread

Cotton appliqué

Needleturn appliqué

Size 11 appliqué needle

Size 11 milliner

100 Wt. silk

60 Wt. cotton

Embroidery #7, #9, or #10 Embroidery needle

Wool appliqué needle

#24 Chenille needle

12 Wt. perle cotton

50 Wt. cotton


Embroidery floss, with 2 strands

Piecing by hand Embroidery needle long enough to hold a lot of stitches

#9 is good length

50 Wt. cotton
Piecing by machine #80 Sewing machine needle 50 Wt. cotton
Shirring, standing wool Shirring needle 5-6” Heavy-duty thread
Whipstitch edge of rug Jumbo tapestry needle Yarn
Wool, wool appliqué

(on cotton and on wool)

#22, #24 Chenille needle

#7 - #9 Embroidery or wool appliqué needle

Large-eye embroidery needle

8 or 12 Wt. perle cotton

6-Strand floss, using 2 strands

2-Strand floss or wool thread

Any thickness

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