What is a 100/16 Needle Used For?

Discovering the Perfect Needle for Thick Fabrics

Unlock Sewing Secrets: Mastering the 100/16 Needle for Crafting Excellence

Hey there! It’s Luna, your friendly fashion designer and sewing enthusiast. Remember when I first tried hemming my denim jeans using the 75/11 needle? What a disaster! The needle almost snapped, and my trusty machine seemed to be protesting with each stitch.

Fast forward to today, I’ve learned the significance of picking the right needle size. Hint: It’s not the 75/11 for thick fabrics like denim. Instead, fabrics like denim love a sturdy 100/16 needle. If you’re yet to have one in your toolkit, let me tell you more about it!

Deciphering Needle Sizes

Did you know sewing needles have both European and American sizes? For our favorite 100/16 needle, it’s termed as 100 in Europe and 16 in the U.S. The larger the needle size, the thicker its shaft. The European “100” in 100/16 actually indicates a thickness of 1mm!

Curious about what you can do with a 100/16 needle? These mighty needles are perfect for sewing medium to heavyweight fabrics, breezing through multiple fabric layers, or adding that stunning topstitch using robust upholstery or topstitching threads.

Fabrics Best Suited for 100/16 Needle

  • Hefty canvas
  • Thick denim
  • Velour
  • Tweed
  • Bag-making materials
  • Leather (though it has its special needle)
  • Gabardine
  • Vinyl
  • Corduroy
  • Upholstery fabrics
  • Wool
  • Oilcloth
  • Sailcloth

Advantages of Using the Right Needle

  1. Strength in Thickness: With the correct needle, say goodbye to breakages or bends, especially with thick fabrics. You’ll also sew faster and with higher precision, eliminating concerns of fabric damage or needle mishaps.
  2. Larger Holes for Thicker Threads: A wider needle ensures a bigger fabric hole, allowing threads to slide through effortlessly. This is especially crucial for thick threads which don’t fit smaller needle eyes, preventing unwanted friction and shedding.

Different Flavors of 100/16 Needles

Not all 100/16 needles serve the same purpose. Depending on your fabric, you might need:

  • A 100/16 universal needle for most fabrics.
  • 100/16 ballpoint needles for thick, stretchy materials.
  • Denim or Microtex sharp 100/16 needles for non-stretch denim types.
  • A sharp or topstitch 100/16 needle for dense woven materials. Consider those with a titanium coat or designed for extended use.
  • And, for leather, a distinct leather needle ensures optimal results due to its unique cutting tip.
  • Also, hemstitch (wing) needles have a 100 size variant. These needles create cuts in the fabric during sewing, amplifying the intended effect.
  • If parallel stitching lines are on your to-do list, there are twin needles in size 100 with different point spacing to help.
  • Lastly, while popular needle sizes like 80/12 or 90/14 offer more variety, it’s handy to have a reference like Schmetz’s needle chart to find out available needle point types in the 100/16 size.

Just One More Thing…

Although there are even thicker needles like 110/18 and 120/18 for more dense fabrics, they’re off-limits for my regular sewing machine. Those go straight to my heavy-duty sewing machine. But for the day-to-day heavy fabric tasks, the 100/16 is my needle of choice. Always ensure your needle’s tip aligns with your fabric’s features.

European American Description
60 8 60/8
65 9 65/9
70 10 70/10
75 11 75/11
80 12 80/12
90 14 90/14
100 16 100/16
110 18 110/18


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Hello! I'm Monica, the creative mind behind sewing-beginners.com. On my blog, I delve into the world of sewing, sharing my passion and knowledge with a community of both novice and seasoned sewers. From foundational techniques and comprehensive tutorials to innovative projects and expert tips, I cover a wide array of topics to assist you on your sewing journey.

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