Can You Use A Double Needle On Any Sewing Machine

This is one of the frequent questions that everyone is eager to know. The question arises when you don’t know what double needles are. Double needles, also known as twin needles, are the ones with two shafts or single shank.

These two-needle shafts comprise an eye through which two threads are threaded. The double needles are the two needles joined with one shank to the top.

While using the double needle, when you proceed with the double stitch, you will attain two parallel rows on the face of your fabric as well as a zig-zag stitch on the back of it. People are somehow afraid that changing their needle type in their sewing machine can trouble their project.

Well, double needles can be used to pintuck and for other decorative purposes in woven fabrics. In this article, you will get to know whether you can use the double needle on any sewing machine or not.

Can You Use A Double Needle On Any Sewing Machine?

Yes. If your sewing machine can sew both the zig-zag stitch and the straight stitch, then you can use the double needle. But, if the sewing machine only had a straight stitch pattern, you cannot use the double needles.

Also, you should know the sizes they arrive in. They are measured in two numbers, where the first number is the distance between the two needles. The standard measures for it are 1.8mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, to 8.0mm. The second variant is the size of both the needles. They arrive in 80 or 90 sizes.

Double needles are usually used to create parallel and pintuck rows of topstitching and the simulation of the cover stitch hem. However, it can also be used with free motion quilting, and the distinct look for zig-zag on the back of the fabric is so adorable.

Threading the needle with two threads is similar to threading it with one. Some machines have two thread tension disks that separate two threads. The tension setting can be regular if you use normal sewing thread.

Let’s now discuss in detail how to use a double needle on any sewing machine.

How To Use A Double Needle On Any Sewing Machine?

Before getting into the steps to use the double needle on any sewing machine, you need to gather some of the essential supplies. It includes;

  • A piece of scrap fabric or your sewing project
  • A twin needle or double needle 
  • The zig-zag machine foot as opening in the regular foot is not wider to accommodate both needles
  • Two reels of thread for top of your machine
  • Regular bobbin
  • Regular sewing machine

Step 1 – Choose The Type of Double Needle

Double needles are available for several sewing machines. You need to get one double needle in a packet after choosing it properly. You can classify your twin needle as per its shank thickness, the distance between the two needles, and its purpose.

All these factors will help you to choose the ideal double needle for your sewing machine. The smaller the thickness, the thinner the needle and the lighter the fabric it will sew. The distance is also to measure for a proper finish. You can check the distance between the points of the double needle that will fit with your sewing machine foot.

Step 2 – Insert The Needle In Your Sewing Machine

In the first step, you need to put the shank of the double needle into your sewing machine. The shank at the top inserts to the sewing machine like the regular single needle. It will push into the hole and then be held in place by the screw. Ensure that the needle faces the correct direction with the flat part of the shank facing towards the back.

Step 3 – Replace The Presser Foot

In the second step, you need to put the zig-zag foot on your sewing machine as it will somehow have a wider slot where the needle can fit. Also, don’t forget to double-check that the needles fit in the slot.

Step 4 – Thread The Bobbin

Here, you now need to thread the bobbin as usual. But, again, there is no requirement to make any changes. You can also check your sewing machine guide if you have any doubt while threading it. 

Step 5 – Thread Your First Reel

Here, you need to take the first reel of your thread and thread your sewing machine normally. After that, pass the thread via the needle on the left.

Step 6 – Thread The Second Reel

After threading the first reel, you need to thread the second reel of the thread via the machines as usual and into the right side of the double needle. Usually, sewing machines have to place the second reel of the thread. 

Step 7 – Thread The Needle

In this step, you need to keep the two thread spools on the threaded pin and then thread the sewing machine until you reach the double needle. With this, one thread goes to one needle and the other to its twin needle.

You also need to bring the bobbin thread as usual and hold it together with your fingers. Then, you can take two threads and the bobbin thread to the back of your machine under the presser foot.

Step 8 – Sew With The Double Needle

This is somewhat challenging as you now need to sew a stitch on the backside of your fabric. Next, you need to pin the fabric under the hem with the pins on the right side to sew the fabric.

Place the foot in the position to sew and measure the distance to sew from the edge via the fingers to feel the edge while sewing. Your stitches should be near to the edge. You can use a straight stitch with double needles to sew but can also consider the zig-zag stitch.

Step 9 – Sew Slowly

You should proceed with the process slowly. Some thin fabrics may require backing or stabilizers on the backside of the fabric to prevent the thread from pulling in the fabric between the stitching lines.

This can be done for knit fabrics. However, you also need to hold the taut of the fabric and may require stretching the double-needle while sewing the knit. Remember that you keep the thread tails to the backside of the needle during sewing.

Step 10 – The Finished Double Hem

You can check how the top has two rows of stitching on the underside of your fabric like a zigzag. It will give your built-in sewing elasticity so that stitches won’t get broken easily while stretching.

How to Troubleshoot Double Needle Issues?

If you find that a double-needle creates a tunnel or crease between the two rows of your stitch, preventing the hem from sitting flat. It occurs in lightweight fabrics where zigzag stitches are pulling the fabric too tight from the back.

You can solve this problem by appending some hemming tape under the hem to provide the fabric some thickness. With this, the double-needle will sew the fabric without leaving any crease or tunnel. If your machine has the pressure adjustment, try to increase the pressure to hold the hem flat as it is being stitched. You can also adjust the sewing machine tension to get this sort.

Where to Use Double-Needle Stitching?

Here are the uses of double-needle stitching;

To Make The Hem Similar To The Coverstitch Hem

You might have seen the double needle stitch on your t-shirts. You will see two parallel lines on the back of the stitching and a zigzag stitch that will connect the two lines on your fabric. With the double-needle on knit fabric, the hem will stretch and remain intact while using the thread with a little stretch instead of cotton thread. 

To Sew Seams On Sheer Fabric

To avoid the bulk on the seams of sheer fabric, you can prefer sewing with the double-needle and cut off the seam allowance closely. 

To Attach The Ribbon Trim

Ribbon trims are yet another thing that can be attached in a single go by sewing it with the double needle. Again, this is the correct size for it. The distance between these two needles should be lesser than the ribbon width so that both the edges will be caught.

To Make Decorative Stitches

You can also make decorative stitches or decorative borders using double needles. Remember to make sure that the width of the stitch is compatible with your double needle plate hole. You can also experiment with different stitches and colors on the scrap fabric before trying it out on the final fabric piece. You can also use interfacing on the back of thinner fabrics to prevent fabric puckering. Also, it is better that you avoid choosing open stitches over dense stitches to avoid any complications.

To Make Pintucks

You can make beautiful pintucks by sewing with the pintuck foot and double-needle.

To Make Parallel Rows of TopStitching

The double-needle is a lifesaver for the users who cannot sew straight, moreover, when you need to sew two parallel lines. This is the easiest one than sewing both the lines on the fabric with the double needle in a single go?



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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