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How to Guide: Cutwork Needles & Embroidery Designs

One of the newer innovations in home embroidery is cutwork needles. These specialty cutting needles along with specifically digitized designs make it possible to create beautiful cutwork or applique projects on your embroidery machine while your machine does all the fabric cutting. No scissors needed- what a treat!

There are needles that are made for Bernina embroidery machines as well as Pfaff, Viking & Inspira needles. The Pfaff, Viking or Inspira needles can be used in any brand and model of embroidery machine as long as your machines thread breakage sensor can be turned off.

Embroidery design packs have been created to be used with these needles. Pfaff, Viking and OESD offer these design packs. Each of these designs are compatible with all embroidery machines, regardless of brand. The size of the design and the size of your hoop is the only limitation. Pfaff offers a fantastic Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit, which includes an Inspira Cutwork Needle 4 Pack, a cd with 5 multi-format designs and a multi-purpose needle inserter tool.

Here is what you need to know…

Pfaff, Viking & Inspira Needles are the same as each other and are completely interchangeable. Designs made specifically for these needles will either ask you for “Cutwork Needle#” (on Pfaff Creative Vision and Viking Diamond) or by color on all other machines. They are Color Coded as well as Numbered. Each needle has a cutting blade that is angled in a specific way (the angel is depicted, below, after the color).

Needle 1 is Red:  /
Needle 2 is Yellow:  -
Needle 3 is Green:  \
Needle 4 is Blue:  I

Bernina Needles are unique to themselves. Designs made specifically for these needles will tell you which needle position to use and are usually used in order 1, 2 , 3, 4. On machines other than Bernina, refer to the stitching instructions and put in the cutwork needles when requested. There is only one needle, it is attached to a wheel that you dial to switch the angle of the blade (Each blade position is numbered from 1 to 4, the angle is depicted below, after the needle number).
Position 1:  I
Postition 2:  /
Position 3:  -
Position 4:  \

Let me know if you have any questions!

Enjoy -


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34 Responses to “How to Guide: Cutwork Needles & Embroidery Designs”

  1. Clara says:

    Can these needles for cutwork be used with the Baby Lock Elegante?

    • Carmen says:

      Yes you can use these needles with your Baby Lock Elegante. You can use them with all embroidery machines that allow you to turn your thread sensor off.

      • Tossie says:

        Hi Carmen, How do one manage to disable the thread sensor on the Babylock Elegante? I believe the Babylock Elegante is the very same as the Brother Galaxie 3000 that we use in South Africa. But Brother South Africa cannot tell me how to disable the thread sensor.

      • Carmen says:

        Hi Tossie,

        You can turn off your thread sensor in your options menu. It is at the bottom of your screen and looks like a little sheet of paper. Select that and scroll through until you see the thread sensor option and turn it off. Does that help? Thanks! Carmen

  2. Embroidery says:

    It was beautiful cut work task…Can we do it with Machine embroidery also..???

  3. I could not figure it out what your are saying regarding using the cutwork needles for embroidery design, basically I have started learning to design hand made embroidery design recently, need to try out machine based embroidery design.

    • Carmen says:

      The Cutwork needles and designs that are made to be used with them are wonderful new accessory needles for your Embroidery Machine. These needles do all of the cutting of the fabrics for you so you don’t have to use scissors and worry if you are cutting the areas properly.

      When doing traditional style of Machine Embroidered Cutwork, it is so easy to leave too much fabric from the cutout areas and have it look messy when the project is complete. Likewise, you must be careful not to cut too much away, leaving areas that will not properly catch the fabric and ruin the project.

      This is what is so great about Cutwork Needles, they do it all for you and cut in just the perfect spot.

      When using a Cutwork Needle Design, your machine will prompt you to use the appropriate needle just as it does when it is time to change the thread color. They are very easy to work with.

      If you would like to use a different brand of embroidery design compared to the brand of Cutwork Needles, refer to the Cutwork Needle chart that was posted in a previous blog to know how to convert the info that your machine Will give you.

      It is also possible to make your own Cutwork Embroidery Designs if you have Embroidery Digitizing Software and you have the desire to do so.

      Enjoy the process!

  4. Tossie says:

    I want to know How do you disable your thread sensor on the Babylock Elegante, Brother Galaxie 3000 and Brother Innovis 4000 machines to enable you to use the cutwork needles made by Inspira. tossie

    • Karyn Thomas says:

      Dear Tossie
      I work for Brother International aust, sorry you can not disable the Bobbin and needle thread sensor on the S/G 3000 or the NV4000 series to use the cut work tool

    • Maresa says:

      Tossie, kan jy my kontak asb? Maresa

  5. Tossie Prins says:

    Hi Reva, Could someone at your store who is a Fundi on the Brother/Babylock Elegante machines please please help. We are a lot of fools in South Africa who bought these machines and nobody but NOBODY in South Africa could tell you: HOW DO YOU DISABLE YOUR THREAD SENSOR ….. to use with these cutwork needles their answer is that we are only a tiny spot on the map who bought these machines, HA HA A tiny spot who wasted there money? All the other machines makes knows about the needles and help there customers to the latest techniques but Brother could not. I would love to have feed back from Brother head office to on this comment of there local dealers in South Africa. I am frustrated. I love my Brother but if things goes on like this I will certainly get rid of both my Brothers and rather buy a Husqvarna Topaz.
    Tossie South Africa

    • Reva says:

      Cutwork Needles
      I am so sorry to hear that you have been unable to get the answer that you have been looking for in your area.  Both Baby Lock &  Brother make wonderful products and you have a great machine.

      Hopefully, I will be able to give you the information that you seek since the specific model that you refer to in not one we have in the States. The Baby Lock Ellagante and the Brother 4000/4500 are very similar machines feature wise.  
      The Cutwork Needles work on any machine that has the ability to disable the thread breakage sensor.  Unfortunately, neither of these machines has that capability.

      The Baby Lock Ellissimo and the Brother Quatto both have the ability to disable the thread sensor along with a long list of other great unique features (including a camera that aids in perfect placement the easy way).

      You mentioned that in your area you have a broader network of support for the Viking machines.  Specifically the Topaz was mentioned.  

      Please know that like the Duetta, the Topaz does not have the ability to turn off the thread breakage sensor.  Unfortunately, this machine would not produce the results that you are wanting.

      Here is a list of current machines, to the best of my knowledge & experience, that do have this ability:
      Baby Lock Ellissimo 
      Baby Lock BNT10
      Brother Quattro
      Brother PR1000, PR650
      Viking Diamond
      Viking Ruby
      Pfaff Creative Sensation
      Pfaff creative 4.0
      Pfaff Creative Vision
      Pfaff 2140, 2144, 2170
      Bernina 830

      Be assured that your concerns will be passed on to the best appropriate person that I can.  Hopefully this information has been helpful.  Please let me know if you may have any further questions.

      Happy Sewing to you from across the Continents.

    • Rina says:

      Hi Tossie, Kan jy my sê of jy ooit die Cutwork needles gebruik het met die 4000? Ek het die goed gekoop en ek weet nie of ek nou sal kan gebruik nie.

  6. tossie says:

    hi carmen, i looked on my Galaxie 3000 where you said, but what is the direct word or block to go too.regards Tossie

  7. Tossie says:

    Hi REva, I took a little cutwork flower and insert the cutwork needles and it did do the trick, except for the fact that I could not disable the thread sensor. I want to contact Brother USA because I cannot understand why can’t they give us an upgrade in the software to make them compatible to except these???? Years back they did upgrade the Brother 3000 to accomodate the border hoop and the buttonhole thing???? They did not give us any upgrade for the Innovis 4000 so far. Back at the range in South Africa the Brother office tells me that I must remember we are just a tiny spot in the world the will not do it for us, but our money was OK when we bought these machines. I feel like selling both Brothers and switch to Husqvarna product.It is terrible its like buying a new car, As soon as you leave the garage they wave good bye to you….. With the embroidery machine business it is the very same.

    • Reva says:

      Hi Tossie
      Glad that you got your flower to work. It is such a fun tool.
      You may want to check into the upgrades, there is an upgrade for the 4000 to give it the features of the 4500. However, the needle thread sensor is still a feature on the Quattro and 6500.
      If you have any questions, feel free to ask us.

    • Brian says:

      Hi Tossie,

      Het jy toe reggekom met die SG300 en die cutwork?

      Laat weet asb.


  8. diana says:

    hai…i’m from indonesia.someday my sister bring mesecond sewing machine.how i get tips,trick,and optimal to use my pfaff 2140 on dvd

  9. Kate says:

    Does the Baby Lock Enterprise use the OESD cutwork designs the same way as the Pfaff & Viking? I don’t want to ruin my machine, but would love to use the designs on the larger machine if possible.

  10. NANCY AVILA says:


  11. Nafees says:

    Dear I a want to know what is the code of embroidery venere cutting needle….
    orange has its codes like
    db X 1
    16 X 231
    can you help me

  12. nancy says:

    Hola yo tengo una maquina singer futura ce 250 y me gustaria saber si este programa de agujas cortadora se pudiera usar con mi modelo de maquina este es el juego de aguja que e estado mirando Inspira Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit
    espero su repuesta y muchisimas gracias

    • Reva says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Yes, the Inspira Cutwork Needles will work on your Singer Futura machine. In fact they can fit in any embroidery machine.
      What you will want to make sure, is that you are able to turn off your needle thread sensor. If this can not be turned off, then your machine will think that the needle thread is broken and will stop continually.
      Hope that this info is helpful!

  13. Bsquared says:

    I have Viking number1+, purchased in the mid-nineties. It was viking’s first embroidery machine. Does it have a broken thread alarm?

  14. Dilni says:

    Can these needles be used on Singer Futura XL 400 ? Thank you!

  15. RUBIA NARA says:

    Hello, I have a Brother PR 650, I live in Brazil.
    I wonder if this Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit THIS TO SERVE MY MACHINE??
    I just have to disable the sensor line is this?
    Please answer me, I need to know to purchase a lot and do beautiful work!
    Thank you.

  16. Dora tejada says:

    Hello, I have my brother PE770 can I usted thiese needles. Thank you

  17. jameela says:

    is the pfaff creative 2.0 machine can make cut work design ?
    I try to do one design of cut work in my pfaff machine model creative 2.0 but when I change the needle into inspire needle
    no. 1 the needle did not cut the needle space or the hole but rather it crossed and damage the design please let us know on how to do it in a simple way demostration in here ..Thank you

    • Reva says:

      Hi Jameela,
      It sounds like there may be an issue with the design itself. Sometimes the conversion of an embroidery design from one format to another can cause a movement or jump stitch to be converted into a line of multiple stitches. This would cause the machine to stitch in that area no matter what type of needle is in the machine.

      I would be curious as to where the design came from and what software versions were being used.

      Try opening the design, that was sent to the machine, up in your software and take a look for the area in questions and delete the small stitches.

      Take a look and see if that will take care of the issue for you.


  18. Sharon Bradford says:

    I have a PE 770, and was wondering if I could use the cutwork needles wit my machine?

  19. Gwen Francesconi says:

    Can regular embroidery software be used to create cutwork designs? If so which software?
    Thank you
    Gwen Francesconi

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