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Needle Size to Thread Size Charts
Determining the size of thread and ciphering through the various sizing systems may seem difficult and confusing because it is. Some sizing systems use an inversely proportionate scale, where larger numbered sizes correlate to finer thread, while other systems use directly proportionate scales where larger numbered sizes correlate larger thread, while other systems use a completely arbitrary scheme. To complicated maters worse, not only do different manufactures use different sizing systems, many will use different systems for each of their own kinds of threads.
Thread can be measured by its linear density (mass), diameter or strength of a given thread.
Linear Density 
The most common way of sizing tread is by it linear density. This measures the weight of a particular length of strand or yarn. The most common systems are Weight, Cotton Count, Denier and Tex.
Some common systems include:
Tex The ISO standard Nm Metric NeC Cotton (English) NeW Worsted Ny Woolen (Yorkshire) NeL Linen NeS Silk Td International Denier dTex equals 0.1 tex Run American woolen unit Cut American Wool
Estimated Comparison of Various Yarn Sizes
denier worsted cotton woolen
(run)linen
(lea)tex metric 50 160 106 56 298 5.6 180 75 106 71 37 198 8.3 120 100 80 53 28 149 11.1 90 150 53 35 19 99 16.6 60 200 40 27 14 74 22.2 45 300 27 18 9.3 50 33.4 30 400 20 13 7.0 37 44.4 22.5 500 16 11 5.6 30 55.5 18 700 11.4 7.6 4.0 21 77.7 12.9 1000 8.0 5.3 2.8 15 111 9 1500 5.3 3.5 1.9 10 166 6 2000 4.0 2.7 1.4 7 222 4.5
Weight Systems
There are two major types of weight systems, the fixed weight systems and and fixed length systems. The sizes of fixed weight systems become larger as the thread and/or yarn becomes finer, while fixed length systems become larger as the thread and/or yarn becomes larger.
Fixed Weight Systems
These systems use the length of yarn that make up a given weight. Therefore, the larger weight, the lighter the thread.
Number Metrical (Nm)
Metric count is number of meters per gram of yarn. This number is followed by a slash and the number of threads of this weight that make up the strand.
A thread labeled 50/3 describes a yarn composed of 3 strands that would each span 50 meter and weigh 1 gram or 0.02gms per meter each. A single gram of this triple ply yarn would span 16.67 meters.
Cotton Count (NeC or cc)
The cotton count is the US accepted industry standard utilized in sizing spun threads. It is the number of 840 yard hanks of yarn it takes to equal 1 pound. Written as a fraction the numerator (top/first number) is the count per strand and the denominator (bottom/second number) is the number of plies.
size 1/1 is a tread constructed of 1 strand weighing 1 pound per 840 yards
size 1/2 is a tread constructed of 2 strands each weighing 1 pound per 840 yards
size 2/1 is a tread constructed of 1 strand weighing 1 pound per 1680 (840x2) yards
The term Yarn Size is often used interchangeably with Cotton Count, but can also be used to describe any number of sizing systems.
Equivalent Size
With the cotton count system, similar sized threads can be constructed with differing numbers of plies and thread diameters. An equivalent size for a thread can be determined by dividing the yarn count by the of plies. For example  each of the following size 15 threads are about the same density:
30/2
45/3
60/4
Thread Weight
Thread weight is a popular US size measurement system, particularly for embroidery thread. It was a poor conversion from the Japanese Gunze Count standard that originally discounted the strand count. A 30/2 and 30/3, meaning size 30 with two strand and size 30 with three strands respectively, would both be resized as 30wt. This sizing system is therefore often inconstant and confusing since it isn't always clear what the US weight really means.
The weight often represents the strand weight of a yarn if it were composed of only 2 plies.
Cut (Nac)
In the cut system, the yarn number is the number of 300 yard hanks needed to make up a pound. It is a US system for sizing wool and was used in and around the state of Philadelphia.
57 cut are generally coarse yarns
1821 cut are medium yarns
3035 cut are find yarns
A fraction is used to describe the weight of multiply yarn. The numerator (top/first number) is the number of plies. The denominator (bottom/second number) is the cut or run number of the yarn as a whole, not of the plies separately.
2/5s cut yarn is made up of two plies, and the yarn 1500 yards long weighs a pound. Each ply would be 10cut each.
Run system (Nar)
The run system is another US wool measuring system that is/was used in other parts of the US. It is the yarn number is the length in yards of one pound of the yarn, divided by 1600.
Numbers 1 through 3 runs are coarse
Numbers 3½ to 5 are medium
Numbers 6 to 8 runs are fine
Worsted Yarns (NeW or Count system)
Worsted yarns is another wool system with 1 count yarn having a length of 560 yards to the pound.
2count yarn is 1120 yards per pound
Linen Count (NeL)
A sizing system for linen used in the UK and US. The yarns are the number of leas (300 yards) in a pound. Linen can be spun as fine as 400s and even 600s.
Fixed Length Systems
These systems use the weight of a given length. The larger the size number, the heavier the thread.
Titer Denier (Td aka metric yarn number)
Denier (a French coin, = 1/12 of a sou) is a US accepted standard for filament measuring where the weight in grams per 9,000 meters of thread (grams of a 450 meters of yarn divided by 0.05).
A 200 denier thread weighs 200 grams per 9,000 meters or about 0.02gms per meter
Unlike cotton, the count in a fraction representing multiply yarn describes the finished yarn, not the plies.
150/3 is a three stranded yarn that is 150 grams per 9,000 meters with each strand being 50 grams per 9,000 meters.
Denier was originally used to measure silk strands that can vary in size. A fraction was used to represent a range of sizes.
13/16 denier identifies thread that is between 13 and 16 deniers in wieght.
To complicate thing a bit more, there are several denier systems of old.
international” denier
mass in grams of a 500meter length ÷ 0.05 Turin denier mass in grams of a 474meter length ÷ 0.05336 Milan denier mass in grams of a 476meter length ÷ 0.0511 Old Lyonese denier mass in grams of a 476meter length ÷ 0.5311 New Lyonese denier mass in grams of a 500meter length ÷ 0.05311
Tex Size
Tex is an international standard for industrial sewing thread where the number or grams per 1,000 meters of thread. The larger the tex size, the heaver the thread. A 20 tex thread weighs 20 grams per 1,000 meters or about 0.02gms per meter. A decidex or dtex is mass in grams per 10,000 meters of thread.
Tex is often rounded off to the following relative sizes:
Light Weight Threads Medium Weight Threads Heavy Weight Threads Tex# 10.0 to 11.9 = Tex 10 Tex# 27.0 to 34.9 = Tex 27 Tex# 40.0 to 49.9 = Tex 40 Tex# 12.0 to 15.9 = Tex 12 Tex# 35.0 to 39.9 = Tex 35 Tex# 50.0 to 59.9 = Tex 50 Tex# 16.0 to 17.9 = Tex 16 Tex# 60.0 to 79.9 = Tex 60 Tex# 18.0 to 20.9 = Tex 18 Tex# 80.0 to 89.9 = Tex 80 Tex# 21.0 to 23.9 = Tex 21 Tex# 90.0 to 104.9 = Tex 90 Tex# 24.0 to 26.9 = Tex 24
Manchester dram system
This was formerly used for thrown silk, where the yarn number is the number of drams for a 1000 yard skein of yarn.
Conversions
Tex Decitex (dTex)
Denier (den)
Metric (Nm)
Cotton Count (NeC)
Worsted (NeW)
Linen (NeL)
Tex dTex/10 den/9 1000/Nm 590.54/NeC 885.8/NeW 1653.5/NeL Decitex tex x 10 den/0.9 10,000/Nm 5905.4/Nec 8858/NeW 16535/NeL Denier tex x 9 dTexx 0.9 9000/Nm 5314.9/NeC 7972.3/NeW 14882/NeL Metric Count 1000/tex 10,000/dTex 9000/den NeC x 1.6934 NeW x 1.13 NeL x 0.6048 Cotton Count 590.54/tex 5905.4/dTex 5314.9/den Nm x 0.5905 NeW/1.5 NeL/2.8 Worsted 885.8/tex 8858/dTex 7972.3/den Nm x 0.8858 NeC x 1.5 NeL/1.87 Linen 1653.5/tex 16535/dTex 14882/den Nm x 1.6535 NeC x 2.8 NeW x x1.87
Another way to measure thread size is by determining the needle size needed for that thread. You can then compare multiple sizing schemes to each other.
Here are some charts to cross compare thread size with appropriate needle size.


Needle 
Polyester
stranded TKT 
Polyester
stranded TEX 
Polyester stranded
Gov. VT285 types I&II 
Polyester mono TEX 
Polyester mono TKT 
Polyester mono
Gov. VT285 type III 
60  12  12  
65  12, 15  12, 16  00  
70  12, 15, 23  12, 16, 24  00, A/3  
80  23, 30  24, 30  A/3, AA/2  
90  23, 30, 46  24, 30, 45  AA/2, B2  45  46  B 
100  30, 46, 69  30, 45, 70  AA/2, B/2, E/3  45, 70  46, 69  B, E 
110  46, 69  45, 70  B/2, E/3  45, 70  46, 69  B, E 
120  69, 92  70, 90  E/3, F/4  70, 90  69, 92  E, F 
140  92, 138  90, 135  F/4, FF/3  90, 120  92, 110  F 
150  138  135  FF/3  90, 120  92, 110  F 
160  138  135  FF/3  120  110  
180  138, 207  135, 210  FF/3, #3  120  110  
200  207, 277  210  #3  
230  207, 277, 346  210, 270  #3, #4  
250  207, 277, 346, 415  210, 270  #3, #4  
280  277, 346, 415  270  #4  
300  346, 415  
330  415  
350  415 
Needle
Size 
Spun
polyester 
Multifilament
polyester 
Textured
polyester 
Nylon stranded
TKT 
Nylon stranded
Gov. VT295 types 1+2 
Nylon mono
TKT 
55  15  
60  120  15, 18  150, T18  
65  120, 100  18  150, T18  1500  
70  100  23  200, T24  23  A/3  1500, 23, 
75  70  23, 25  200, T24  23  23,  
80  70  25, 33  300, T35  23, 33  A/3, AA/3  23, 37B, 
90  50, 40  33  300, T35, 450  33, 462, 46  AA/3, B2, B3  37B, 375, 465X, 
100  50, 40  46  450  33, 462, 46, 58, 69  B2, B3, E3  375, 465X, 588, 698X 
110  30, 24  46, 69  600  462, 46, 58, 69  B2, B3, E3  375, 465X, 588, 698X 
120  30, 24  69  600  58, 69, 92, 99  E3, F4  588, 698X, 92, 
140  16  92, 99  92, 99, 138  F4, FF3  92, 125, 138  
160  16, 12  92, 99  138  FF3  125, 138, 147  
180  12  138  138, 207  FF3, 3/3  125, 138, 147  
200  138  207, 277  3/3  147  
230  207, 277, 346  3/3, 4/3  147  
250  207, 277, 346, 415  3/3, 4/3  147  
280  277, 346, 415  4/3  
300  346, 415  
330  415 
Needle
Size 
Synthetic 
Generic
TEX 
Metric
synthetic 
unknown  T Series  Government 
55  16  T16  00  
60  16, 18  T16  00  
65  18, 21  130  
70  21, 24  130  T23  A  
75  24, 27, 30  120  B  T23  A  
80  120, 100  27, 30, 35  120, 100  B  T35  AA 
90  100, 80  35, 40, 45  100, 75  B, C  T35  AA 
100  80, 60  40, 45, 50  75  B, C  T50  B 
110  50, 60, 70  50  C, E, F  T50, T70  B, E  
120  60, 70, 80  50, 30  C, E, F, FF  T70  E  
140  80, 90, 105  30, 25  #125, #250  T90, T105  F  
160  90, 105, 120, 135  25, 20  #250  T90, T105  F  
180  120, 135, 180  20, 15  #250, #343  T150  FF  
200  180  15  #343  T150, T200  FF, #3  
230  #343, #350  T200, T300  #3, #4  
250  #350  T300  #4, #5  
280  #350  T450  #5, #6  
300  T450  #6 
Needle Size 
Cotton
Polyester core 
Cotton  Soft Cotton 
Mercerized
Cotton 
55  
60  
65  90, 80  0000  
70  100  90, 80  0000  
75  100  70  000, 00/2  
80  70  60, 50  70, 60, 50  000, 00/2, 00/3 
90  70, 50  50, 40  60, 50, 40, 36  00/3, 0 
100  50, 40  40, 30  40, 36, 30  0, A, B 
110  40, 30  36, 30, 24  A, B, C  
120  30  30, 24  C, D  
130  24  24/4, 20/4, 16/4  D, E  
140  24  24/4, 20/4, 16/4,12/4  E  
160  16  12/4  
180  16, 12  
200  12 
Needle
Size 
Cotton
4cord 
Cotton
3cord 
Linen  Silk 
65  90/3  
70  90/3, 80/3  
75  90/3, 80/3, 70/3  
80  60/4  80/3, 70/3, 60/3  100, #00, #0  
90  60/4  60/3, 50/3  70  80, #0, A 
100  60/4, 50/4, 40/4  50/3, 40/3, 36/3  60  70, A, B 
110  50/4, 40/4, 36/4, 30/4  40/3, 36/3, 30/3, 24/3  B, C  
120  40/4, 30/4, 24/4, 20/4  24/3, 20/3  D, E  
140  16/4, 12/4  16/3, 12/3, 10/3  
160  12/4  12/3, 10/3  
180  12/4, 10/4  10/3  
200  10/4  
230  10/4  8/3  
250  8/3  
280  8/3  
300  
330  8/4, (8/5) 
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