Household Needles, Q&A – Part 2

What is the Significance of these Numbers: 75/11, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, etc.?

In 1942, uniform needle sizes were fixed. A metric size designation under the abbreviation NM was introduced to replace the 40 or so different size designations in use at that time. This “Number Metric” indicates the diameter of the needle blade in hundredths of a millimeter measured above the scarf or the short groove, but not at any reinforced part of the blade. A sewing machine needle with a blade diameter of 0.80 mm, therefore, corresponds to NM 80 and a needle with a blade diameter of 1.30 mm to NM 130. However, other size numbers are still in use today. For needle size 75/11, the larger number, 75, is the metric size designation. The smaller number, 11, is the Singer size equivalent. The comparison table below shows the corresponding needle sizes:

Sewing Machine Needle Size Designations


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Issuu (Inspired to SEW e-magazine)






  1. JoyceDelfino says

    I only use SCHMETZ needles on all my machines. I would really like to print this to post in my sewing room. I am getting to the age where I forget this much detail and need it in front of me.

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