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A needle system is a group of needles made to fit specific sewing machines. All needles in a system are of the same length and shank size, but are of various diameters. Lower size numbers are narrower or thinner needles used for lighter materials. Higher size numbers indicate a needle of thicker diameter, used for heavier materials. Match your needle system to your machine, then the size of the needle to the product you are sewing. You should also consider the thickness of the thread you are using when choosing needle size.