What is a Ballpoint Needle Used For

Many who love to sew are aware of the different types of needles for different types of sewing. Needles are classified based on their size and the type of project that they are the best fit for. Ballpoint needles are unique. They have a rounded, instead of a sharp-pointed tip to effectively fit their purpose.

What is a ballpoint needle used for?

A ballpoint needle best works on a sewing machine to sew knit fabrics. Because of its unique rounded tip, the ballpoint needle can sew through the knit fabric without disintegrating the threads.

Read on to find out why you need the ballpoint needle for the different fabrics that you are sewing on.

Cotton knit fabrics

When you are sewing with cotton knit fabrics, the ballpoint needle is the best needle to use. It allows for smooth sewing on your sewing machine. Its end product is a fine stitch that is not easily visible on your fabric.

Stretchy fabric

When sewing stretch fabric such as swimwear, you will use a ballpoint needle. The ballpoint needle easily goes through the stretch fabric without ruining it. It is the best needle to use when sewing stretchy fabric.

Hand-knit or woolen fabric

hand knit or woolen fabric

When you need to sew your hand-knit sweaters on a sewing machine, use a ballpoint needle. It can easily fix your knit fabrics and clothes without causing more damage.

Benefits of using the ballpoint needle

No skipped stitches

Using the ballpoint needle on the correct fabric makes sure that you will not experience skipped stitches. When you use the wrong needle for knit cotton fabrics, you will have ugly skipped stitch patches. For a fine result, use the correct needle whenever you have a sewing project.

No Bunching 

no bunching

Just like you will not get any skipped stitches, you are sure that there won’t be bunching on your fabric. When you sew on fabrics that need a ballpoint needle, you will not have ugly coils of thread. Thus, you will have fun as you sew smoothly.

No broken threads

Unlike using other needles, the ballpoint needle will not break the threads of your knit fabrics and clothes. You can use it comfortably to sew and fix knit fabrics.

Types of needles you need to know for enjoyable sewing

Besides the ballpoint needle, there are other types of needles that you can use on your sewing machine. Different needles are best suited for different fabrics. Go through this list to ensure that you pick the best needle for all your sewing projects.

Denim needle

As the name suggests, this is a needle used to sew denim fabric. Denim is hard, a normal sewing machine needle will not be well suited to sew on it. It will need a specialized needle to handle the number of layers of fabric that make denim as hard as it is. You can easily identify the denim needle by the shape of its tip. This needle has a wedge-shaped tip to pass through denim easily. It is also the best needle to handle canvas sewing projects.

Universal needle

universal needle

This is the most commonly used sewing machine needle. It has a sharp tip for ease of sewing. Its tip passes through fabrics to connect the top and bottom thread for a tight stitch on any fabric. For easy to sew and general fabrics, this is the needle to use.

Leather needle

The leather needle is the best needle to use for leather fabrics and many fabrics similar to leather. It has a sharp-pointed tip that enables it to go through leather fabrics. It almost resembles an arrowhead to allow for piercing through hard leather.

Synthetic leathers are softer than natural leather. This is not the correct needle to use with synthetic leather fabrics.

Sharp needles

Are you working with fine fabrics such as microfiber or silk? The sharp needle is what you need. As its name suggests, it has a pointed end to pierce through fine fabric without tearing it. It often has fewer problems when used correctly. The sharp needle is also used interchangeably with the universal needle for many sewing projects.

Self-threading needle

self threading needle

It is also known as the handicap needle. It is a universal needle that is much easier to thread, thus its name. For sewers who have sight difficulties, this is the best needle to use. It comprises a slip-in slot to allow for quick and easy threading.


This needle is a decorative stitching needle. It is used to make two parallel stitches on fabric at the same time. They should be affixed appropriately to the sewing machine and threaded for the best results. You should always ensure that you keep the correct distance between the needles. It is recommended that you keep the distance between the two needles between 1.6mm and 6mm, depending on the fabric being sewn.

Spring needle

spring needle

The spring needle has a unique appearance. This is because of the spring part on its shaft. The spring needle is used for free-motion stitching. The spring prevents the shaft prevents the fabric from going up the needle. It is a unique needle that you will recognize immediately. However, you need to know how to use it properly before using it. Practice often and on different fabrics. You will get expected results when you finally use it on a sewing project.

Embroidery needle

If you want to make decorations on your fabrics, this is the needle you need. It’s different for its large needle eye that prevents embroidery threads from breaking. It also has a sharp tip to make strong stitches.

Parts of a Needle

A sewing machine needle has different parts that enable it to carry out its purpose as required. Many just look at the needle and see the sharp tip and the threading eye. However, the sewing machine needle has different parts, each with specific purposes. Here are the parts of a needle that you need to know.

The top part of a sewing machine needle is known as a shank. This is the part that gets into the sewing machine.

The shaft is the stem of the needle. This is the part of the needle you see as the needle is working on a sewing machine. The shaft determines the size of the needle eye while its diameter determines needle size.

parts of a needle

Needle eye. This is the hole at the top of the needle through which we pass the thread.

The needle groove aligns the thread on the needle during sewing.

A needlepoint is easily visible and is the major part of a needle. It gets the thread through the fabric to form a tight stitch. Different needles have differently shaped points. This allows for different types of fabrics to be sewn on the sewing machine.

The scarf is a curve behind the sewing machine needle that allows for the formation of the stitch as the needle moves into the fabric.

What to consider when choosing a sewing machine needle

When choosing a needle to use for your sewing, there are a few factors to consider. First, what type of fabric is being sewn? Different needles are best suited for different fabrics. Hard fabrics need hard needles with differently shaped points. General needles are best suited for normal fabric types.

Second, you need to consider the type of sewing taking place. Types of sewing that one could do include embroidery or general sewing. There are different needles for different types of sewing.

Finally, consider how long you will sew. Most needles are only suitable to use for up to eight hours. After that, they lose their effectiveness and new ones should be used. It is important to have several needles at your disposal when undertaking a sewing project for the best results.



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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