Needle Facts: How to Read the Needle Package

Baffled by the needle package?  What do all those numbers mean?  Let’s review the essential information printed on that tiny pack of SCHMETZ needles . . .  information that will make your needle purchase and sewing so much easier.


 Let’s start from the bottom of the package and work our way up:

Size:  Needle size is always found at the bottom of the package.  The metric size (first number i.e. 70) is married up to the Singer or International size (second number i.e. 10).  Yes, there are two sizing systems – metric and Singer or International.  This package has assorted sizes – 70/10, 80/12, 90/14.

Needle System:  130/705 is the needle system used by nearly all home sewing machines.  130/705 refers to a needle with a flat shank.  The “H” refers to a German word, Hohlkehle, that translates to scarf.  130/705 H is a flat shank needle with a scarf (indentation).  All brands of home sewing machines use system 130/705 H – Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Husqvarna Viking, Janome, Juki, Pfaff, White and more. 

Needle System:  15×1 H is a cross-reference to needle system 130/705 H.  The two needle systems – 130/705 H and 15×1 – are the equivalent, same needle anatomy – a flat shank with a scarf. . . .  Same needle, different manufacturer.

Needle Type:  There are 16 needle types for your home sewing machine.  The above needle pack contains Universal needles.

SCHMETZ:  The preferred needle brand used by sewists around the world. 





  1. Ivy M Davis says:

    How do you distinguish between a needle that is Elx705 80/12 suk cr and an Elx705 80/12. Same color code on each.

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      ELX705SUKCF has a chrome finish and a medium ball point. ELX705 is nickel-plated and has a regular point. Easiest way to distinguish the two is to hold them next to each other. ELX705SUKCF is a much brighter silver-color than the ELX705. Here is an image to show the difference:

      ELX705 Needle vs. ELX705SUKCF Needle

  2. Rosemary M says:

    I found some Schmetz Universal 130/705H, 15x1H sewing machine needles with no color codes. Are they for woven or knit fabric. Thank you

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      If you’re sure they are Universal Needles, then they can be used on both woven and knits.
      • Feature: Slightly rounded point.
      • Fabric Use: Numerous — wovens and knits. A great general purpose needle.

  3. I have a Pfaff 776 Overlocker, upon checking your needle chart PDF 1, I purchased 287WH/1738 (DB x 1). When replacing the needles I noticed that these are round shank and the needles I took out are flat. I re-checked the needle chart and found PDF 2, which states 130/705H as the needle. Which one is right or can I use both? Thank you.

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      The manual for the Pfaff 776 Overlocker specifies to use 130/705 H needles. These are household sewing machine needles with a flat shank. Round shank needles will not work in your machine.

  4. Alison Low says:

    My Toyota 6600 specifies HA x 1 SP (705 /130). I’ve never heard of such needle system, but I am certainly familiar with 130/705. Are these actually the same needle system?

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      The HAx1SP needle is similar to 130/705 H-S (Stretch Needle). HAx1SP is chrome-plated. Just like the regular Stretch Needle, the eye is longer and wider which makes the needle suitable for thicker sewing or embroidery thread. Both HA1XSP and 130/705 H-S are mainly for stretch and other elastic materials and both have a medium ball point.

  5. Steve Alexander says:

    I am trying to get up and running with a Pfaff 134-6 and i cant seem to find needles to use for light weight garment leather, 100/6 with a tringular tip sounds like it will be sturdy enough, but the 135X17 needles i have are too long?
    Please advise me as soon as possible. Which Schmetz needle should i use?

  6. Charm Healy says:

    Is there an easy way to read the needle size on the needle with something other than a magnifying glass? My needles do not have colors.

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      Unfortunately, no. Needles manufactured prior to 2014 do not have any other way of distinguishing size other than using a magnifying glass.

  7. Hi I have a Clemens muller la reine hand crank and believe it can use a singer 12 needle (slim shank)or 339? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  8. Irene McCabe says:

    I purchased a Janome Skyline S7 and am having a problem finding Janome needles in my area – Will your needles work in my machine. Thank you!!

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      You should be able to use most, if not all, SCHMETZ Household Sewing Machine Needles (system 130/705 H).

  9. chris evans says:

    hi , i have a Pfaff 138 zig zag and wanted to know what size needles will fit as i just bought the machine and it had no needle in it . cheers chris

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      Need to know the machine class. The SCHMETZ Needle catalog shows six entries for the PFAFF 138 depending upon machine class:

      138 – ALL CLASSES EXCEPT —— Uses Needle System 265KK, 438KK, DPx438KK
      138 – 6-21-915-01 —————— Uses Needle System 130B, DBx130B
      138 – FROM 1948 – 1952 ——— Uses Needle System 134R, 135×5, SY1955, DPx5
      138 – 275-01 ————————- Uses Needle System 134EK, DP-P5
      138 – 277-01 ————————- Uses Needle System 134R, 135×5, SY1955, DPx5
      138 – 915-01 ————————- Uses Needle System 130B, DBx130B

  10. Jane Wilford says:

    Hello, I have a Pfaff 93, can you advise me which needles I should buy for general use please. The instructions say system 130R, is this the same as 130/705? Also would you have any idea where I can get replacement bobbins for this machine?

    Many thanks.

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      According to one of the SCHMETZ technicians, 130R is the same as 130/705 H – Universal needle.

  11. Cecil Charles says:

    Will 135-5 needles work on a Pfaff 461 compound feed machine?

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      Yes. Unless your machine has been modified, your machine was manufactured to use needle system 134R . . . the same as 135×5.

      CANU: 20:05 1
      SY 1955

  12. D. Blanchfield says:

    I have a Pfaff 332-260-5016 bought in 1958 in Germany I need various needles for different materials. What would be your suggestion?

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      Your machine originally used (and may still use) needle system 130 B. You’re limited in points as the 130 B is only available in a handful of sizes. Most of these older Pfaff’s have been modified to use the more common 16×231 needle. 16×231 is available in a variety of points (i.e., light ball point, medium ball point, heavy ball point, triangular tip, etc.)

  13. Hello, I have a Pfaff 1230 OL overlocker – which Shmetz needles should I use with this please ? It says it uses INSPIRA 2022, but I haven’t found them and wondered which ones I can use in place of these
    Thanks !

  14. April O'Brien says:

    I have a pfaff 1222E, I bought a package of schmetz needles 130/705 H SUK, but they don’t seem to fit. They keep falling out of the machine, even tightened as far as I can after insertingredients the needle all the way. They’re too skinny. What needles should I buy that are compatible with my machine?

    • SCHMETZneedles says:

      I apologize for the problems you have experienced. Please check your email for a response and instructions for returning the needles to us and getting replacements.

  15. russell brooks says:

    I have a pfaff 145-61-216b what is the correct needle for this machine

  16. george grieve says:

    i have an old montgomery ward sewing machine that still run well need needles for it. The plate on the machine reads 1 and 17/ 32s total length are there still needles for this machine? thank you

    • Without a model number, we cannot offer specifics, but most likely it is a household machine and should be able to use SCHMETZ 130/705H needles. As an additional tidbit, Montgomery Ward machines appear to have been made by Singer. A few references specify that other than the cams, MW machines can be repaired using Singer parts. Cams appear to be machine specific. Thanks for your inquiry.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.