How to Thread a Bobbin

Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
Reviewed By
Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 27, 2023
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One thing you should get right with sewing machines is threading your bobbin the right way. The bobbin is one of the parts of the sewing machine that should not be overlooked. The bobbin is usually that small metal, wood, or plastic wheel in a reel design. What the bobbin does is hold the thread for sewing. It has a space on its cylinder that allows you to wrap the thread around it. You can choose to thread your bobbin with a winder mechanism, but most people prefer to do it with their hands. You can easily detach it and wind the thread by yourself. You should know how to thread a bobbin because it’s a critical part of the sewing process. You can’t use the sewing machine without it. It is what allows the machine to create a stitch. You will learn from this article, how to thread this multipurpose piece of equipment with ease.

Do all sewing machines thread the same way?

How to Thread a BobbinSome people make the mistake of thinking that bobbins are universal and can be used for all types of sewing machines. The bobbin area has to match the bobbin it uses. If it isn’t a match, it will cause problems with your sewing. For instance, you have a sewing machine that uses a plastic bobbin; its tension value will be different from those that use metal bobbins. If you use the wrong bobbin, it will make the tension lose its balance, and you will get a bad stitch. You must use only bobbins prescribed by the sewing machine manufacturer if you want a perfect stitch when you sew.

However, the good thing with some machines is that the bobbin systems have a top loading design like you can find in many Janome sewing machines. This makes the bobbin easy to load for beginners. One of the machines with the most easy to load bobbins is the Janome 4120QDC, according to consumers, thanks to the easy to load jam-proof bobbin system. However, some models have the extra functionality of running the bobbin winder, without the sewing machine running. This is thanks to the automatic bobbin winding clutch, as can be found in the Singer Quantum Stylist 9966 machine.

Asides the bobbin loading design of the machine, it’s also helpful if the machine has a system that helps you manage the thread automatically. For this, while choosing the best sewing machine to use, ensure the machine includes the Drop & Sew™ Bobbin System technology.

Tools you will need

Before you learn how to thread your bobbin, you will need the following tools:

  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Empty bobbin
  • Scissors

Threading a bobbin step by step

How to Thread a BobbinThe first thing to do before you begin with your bobbin is to check your sewing manual. If you have a Singer sewing machine, its manual has a diagram giving you instructions on how to thread your bobbin. You also need to use the right thread to fill your bobbin and the good quality ones. If you use a bad thread, it will keep cutting when sewing. Now that you have your tools; follow these simple steps to thread your bobbin.

Step 1

Take a spool of thread and an empty bobbin to start work. You will need to place the thread on the sewing machine’s thread pin holding it firmly with the spool cap. You should not make the mistake of winding a new thread on a half-full bobbin.

Step 2

How to Thread a BobbinThe next stage will involve passing the thread in the bobbin winder. Now that you have the spool of thread on your machine’s thread pin, pull the thread towards the left side of the machine. Then begin to wind it in an anti-clockwise direction close to the pre-tension disc.

Step 3

When this is done, you will need to secure the thread. There are two small holes in the bobbin where you can work the thread end and then wind the thread a couple of times but should be around the bobbin’s center pillar.

Step 4

How to Thread a BobbinYou can then place the bobbin inside the bobbin winder shaft, commonly referred to as the bobbin winder spindle. Some sewing machines Trusted Source The pandemic-fueled demand for masks has reignited interest in an age-old skill - The Washington Post The coronavirus craft effect: Sewing machines are on back order, virtual sewing classes are all the rage, and mask makers are rockstars.  will give a click sound when the bobbin is in place, especially when you turn it clockwise.

Step 5

Ensure that the bobbin has clicked securely. Pull out any of the excess thread through the slot at the base side of the bobbin. You can trim the end of the thread with scissors and leave only a short thread tail that would be passing through the needle.

Step 6

The next thing to do is to begin winding. You will need to turn on the sewing machine and step on the foot pedal to wind the bobbin. You should wind it a couple of times until the bobbin is full. If your sewing machine is modern, it should come with a fast winder button. Then foot pedal won’t be needed for winding.

Step 7

How to Thread a BobbinCheck if the bobbin has been tightly wound, if not, you will notice that the top of the bobbin doesn’t fit properly inside the bobbin case. Also, when you overfill the bobbin with thread, it prevents it from sitting tightly in its case. In this case, you will need to unspool it until it is the right fit and then cut off the excess thread.

Step 8

When the bobbin is full, load it inside the case. The bobbin goes inside the case to provide the lower thread to the sewing machine when you begin sewing. If you want to load the bobbin, you will need to lift the needle and the presser foot high up and then remove the cover of the bobbin. Pull out the thread end of the bobbin, and pass it through the tension spring of the machine. After doing this, replace it with the bobbin cover.

Final thoughts

If you are not sure that you have done it right, you can always check your sewing machine’s manual. Remember that there are different brands of sewing machines, how to thread a bobbin on a brother sewing machine is quite different so, to be certain you get it right, refer to your manual. It will show you everything about the parts of your model and how to replace your bobbins. It is very easy to learn how to thread a bobbin, and you should be done with it in no time if you follow the steps as mentioned above. The difficult part is when you do it the first time, but when you get it right, you won’t have a problem doing it over and over again.


The pandemic-fueled demand for masks has reignited interest in an age-old skill - The Washington Post
The coronavirus craft effect: Sewing machines are on back order, virtual sewing classes are all the rage, and mask makers are rockstars.
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