There’s something about sewing two perfectly parallel lines that makes you feel like you’re an expert at sewing. It’s just so perfect! In this video I’m going to show you how to use a twin needle on your sewing machine, including a little explanation about what the numbers mean on the packaging and some little tips along the way.

Or watch it here on YouTube

What Does a Twin Needle Do?


A twin needle is great for creating two perfectly parallel lines of stitching. This is great for hemming clothing, especially on knit fabrics, as it allows for stretch. Above, you can see what the view is like from the top and what the stitching looks like on the bottom. Twin needles can also be used for decorative stitch (like you’ll see in the video) and they are just cool to use!

What Do the Numbers Mean on the Twin Needle Packaging?


As you can see in the picture above, the bigger number on the twin needle packaging refers to the size of the needle and this will depend on what type of fabric you are using. If you are sewing a thick denim you may go for a size 100. If you are sewing a cotton, medium weight fabric, you might go a size 80. If you are sewing a lightweight knit, you may chose to go a size 75. The smaller number refers to the distance between the 2 needles. I believe these needles come in a distance difference from 1.6mm up to a 6mm. You can find many twin needles on Amazon here* or at your local sewing centre.

A twin universal needle will suit you if you are sewing medium weight cotton type fabrics and a twin stretch needle would be best for lighter knit type fabrics.

Things to Remember When Setting Up the Twin Needles

Some of the tips I touch on in the video include:

  • If your top threads are on the same spool holder, try to have them coming off the spool in opposite directions to decrease the chance of tangling
  • Don’t forget to use a standard foot or foot that has a wide enough gap to cater for using twin needles. You don’t want to be snapping your needles on the foot. It’s not good news. I’ve done it before. Yikes!
  • If using a decorative stitch, always manually turn your hand wheel towards you to test that the needles are not going to hit the top of the foot at the widest point of the stitch. This could be disastrous too. You can try decreasing the width of the stitch and stick to a twin needle that has a gap of no more than 4.0mm.
  • If your fabric is ‘tunnelling’ (bunching up between the sewn lines) try decreasing or loosening the tension
  • You could use some stabiliser to reduce the tunnelling as well. This is especially handy if you are doing a decorative stitch

Tips I Didn’t Mention in the Video

  • Try not to use a backstitch when starting or finishing with your twin needles. Try a locking stitch instead if you have one available
  • You can’t use your auto-needle threader with the twin needle. Boo! I have seen a lot of nifty needle threaders around the place (like this one*) or you can thread it by hand, but that would be boring…It takes me forever!

Do you have a burning question that I haven’t answered about using a twin needle? Leave it in the comments below and I’ll see if I can help you out with it!

Until next time, happy sewing!

*these are affiliate links and I truly thank you if you choose to purchase through clicking one of my links