We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Uses for a Ballpoint Needle?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A ballpoint needle, sometimes spelled ball-point, is a needle designed for work with a sewing machine. It has a rounded tip that allows the needle to thread through closely woven fabric without cutting the threads of the fabric. Its most frequent application is its use in the sewing of knit fabrics.

Unlike may other needles, the ballpoint needle for the sewing machine will not cause runs in knit fabrics. This makes it the ideal needle for sewing tee shirts, sweat pants, or dressier knit garments. The danger with using other types of needles on knit garments is that the needle will either cut or catch threads that can cause the machine and the seamstress or tailor to veer off course. Alternately, cut threads can ruin a garment.

This type of needle works well on knit fabrics of any weight. One can sew cotton jersey, or wool jersey, depending upon the size of the needle. Different needle sizes usually include information on their packaging, which suggests the appropriate fabrics for which the needle can be used.

The ballpoint needle can also be used to sew together knit garments, such as the front and back of a hand-knit sweater. It will easily piece such a garment together without ruining the hard work involved in knitting the pieces.

Since many now prefer the softness of knit fabrics for pillowcases, this needle has applications in sewing items for home design. Alternately, cotton jersey can make an excellent choice for creating a child’s stuffed animal, which will remain assuredly soft, and can be washable, unlike most plush stuffed toys.

Some get confused between the universal and the ballpoint needle with good reason. The universal needle is sometimes called a universal ballpoint needle. It also, as one would suppose from its name, can be used with knit fabric. The difference is in the appearance. The universal needle is tapered and lacks the rounded edge of the ballpoint. Sewing experts differ on which needle they prefer, but many side in favor of the ballpoint style needle, especially for delicate knit fabrics.

Often one has to use a few hand stitches to finish a garment. One can obtain hand sewing ballpoint needles as well. These will ensure that stitches remain fairly uniform throughout the garment. As well, they may be used without injuring the knit or its threads.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By jennythelib — On Mar 07, 2012

Keep in mind when you go to buy needles that ballpoint needles come in sizes just like more traditional needles. 14 is pretty standard, but if you are sewing a delicate knit, you might need a 12 or even 10. (8 is the smallest size available. I've never had call to use one.)

What I used a ballpoint needle for most recently is hemming stretchy jeans. These require a ballpoint because of the way the denim is knit in order to make it stretch. But because it is still pretty heavy fabric, you need a thicker needer. I use 16 for lightweight jeans and 18 for heavier denim.

By anon252609 — On Mar 06, 2012

In our school, they say it is used in leather. It's true.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor,...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.