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Needle And Thread Chart For Sewing Machines

Needle And Thread Chart For Sewing Machines

The following chart compares various bonded nylon or polyester sewing thread specifications and the minimum needle sizes required

The V size is the common US measurement for twisted, multi-ply bonded nylon or polyester threads. Larger numbers indicate heavier threads.

The T sizes represent the “Tex” measurement system, where the number equals the weight in grams of 1000 meters of thread. If 1,000 meters weigh 70 grams, it is a Tex 70 thread. Larger numbers indicate heavier threads.

Please note that the “Tkt” (Ticket) sizes are equivalent to the Metric “M” thread sizes used in some countries. Smaller numbers indicate heavier threads.

Needle And Thread Char

Minimum Needle US/MetricThread Size: V (T) [Ticket]Government SizeYds/PoundBreak StrengthDiameter
12/8033 (T30) [Tkt 80]AA13,8001.8 lbs.0050″ (.127mm)
14/9046 (T45) [Tkt 60]B9,6007.5 lbs.0094″ (.238mm)
16/100/ or 18/11069 (T70) [Tkt 40]E6,00011 lbs.0115″ (.292mm)
19/12092 (T90) [Tkt 30]F4,20014.5 lbs.0133″ (.337mm)
22/140138 (T135) [Tkt 20]FF3,00022 lbs.0163″ (.414mm)
23/160207 (T210) [Tkt 15]3 Cord2,00032 lbs.0200″ (.508mm)
25/200277 (T270) [Tkt 10]4 Cord1,50045 lbs.0231″ (.586mm)
26/220346 (T350) [Tkt 8]5 Cord1,20053 lbs.0258″ (.655mm)
27/250415 (T400) [Tkt 7]6 Cord1,05072 lbs.0283″ (.718mm)
30/330554 (T600) [Tkt 5]8 Cord65583 lbs.0326″ (.828mm)

Have you ever wondered what the letters in thread sizes stood for? Or why some threads are sized differently? The thread size tells you the thickness of a thread. Getting the proper thickness affects the strength, diameter, sewing machine used, and visibility. It’s an important decision. We’re going to decode thread sizes and show you what each one means and how they compare with one another. When you go to compare the size of two different threads, you’ll want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. There are many different methods of measuring thread size, and different countries and industries use different units of measurement.

high strength sewing thread
high strength sewing thread

Weight (Wt)

Weight is measured by a fixed weight system. It is determined by measuring the length of 1 gram of thread. If 1 gram is 30 meters long, for example, then it is 30 Weight thread. The higher the weight, the finer the thread.

Tex (T)

Tex is the most consistent of the measuring methods. It uses a fixed length to measure the weight of a thread. Tex is the weight (in grams) of 1,000 meters of thread. Or, in other words, 1,000 meters of thread that weighs 1 gm. = 1 Tex. The higher the tex, the thicker the thread.

Denier Count (Td Or D)

Denier also measures thread at a fixed length. It is the weight (in grams) of 9,000 meters (or 9 km) of thread. You might recognize the term from descriptions of nylon fabrics, which are often classified by the denier of the threads from which they are woven.

Commercial Sizes (V)

Commercial sizes are used for heavy-duty threads for sewing heavy upholstery, canvas or webbing. Commercial sizes are set sizes of 30, 46, 69, 92, 138, 207, 277, 346, 415, and 554. They are the thread’s denier divided by 10. Commercial sizes are standard for marine-grade thread (you’ll see commercial sizes on the Sailrite website for our outdoor thread). Here’s a little table that shows how the different sizing methods compare:


6 Quick Tips About Thread Size

  • V-69 is the heaviest commercial size recommended for home sewing machines.
  • Heavier threads make your stitching more visible.
  • The thread size measures the thread’s thickness. If another weight is given for thread (like ounces), it refers to the amount of thread on the spool.
  • Thread tends to get stronger as it gets heavier.
  • The tension on your sewing machine will need adjusting when you switch thread weights.
  • Try to use a needle where the eye is 40% larger than the thickness of the thread.