How to Put a Bobbin in a Sewing Machine

So, you’ve gotten a new sewing machine and can’t wait to churn out your creativity onto cloth! But the maintenance and care that a sewing machine requires can be downright frustrating at times.

For beginners, this guide is going to be really helpful since you’ll be learning about a very important part of the machine: the bobbin.

The bobbin is a small wheel that holds the thread used in the sewing machine. The needle uses this thread to stitch fabric, and care needs to be taken when threading the bobbin on a sewing machine.

Different sewing machines use different types of bobbin loading mechanisms, and this guide will separately identify the different types of bobbin loading types, how to thread a sewing machine bobbin, and how to insert a bobbin.

Bobbins – how many are there?

Since you have a bobbin sewing machine, before you start learning about loading a bobbin, you need to know how many types there are so you don’t get the wrong one for your sewing machine.

Bobbins – how many are there

There are two commonly used types, the side loading bobbin and the top-loading bobbin.

Guide on how to load a bobbin

You can’t start sewing if you haven’t threaded the bobbin first. Fortunately, sewing machines come with an instruction manual that offer easy-to-understand steps that you can follow to thread and install your bobbin in the sewing machine.

Guide on how to load a bobbin

However, we’ve listed down the threading process below for all types of bobbins.

Step 1 – how to thread a bobbin

Take the bobbin out of the case, and get a spool of thread for the color you will need in sewing. Ensure that you are using the recommended bobbin size since there are over 60 different types of bobbins that fit in different sewing machines.

how to thread a bobbin

The most commonly used types of bobbins

  • Class 15 (A style) bobbin
    These bobbins have a width of 11.7mm and a diameter of 20.3mm. These are available in both plastic and metal, and have several holes around the middle. The top and bottom of these bobbins are completely flat.
  • L style
    These bobbins are flat and narrow, with a width of 8.9mm, and a diameter of 20.3mm. these are available in metal, aluminum and plastic, and as a Magna glide core.
    The great thing about these is that since they're the same width as Class 15 bobbins, they can be used in Class 15 sewing machines as well.
    However, you can’t use Class 15 bobbins in an L style machine, since they’re a bit taller, and won’t fit.
  • M Style
    These bobbins are roughly the size of a quarter and have a width of 10.7mm and a diameter of 24.9mm.
    These are available in metal, aluminum, plastic, and as a Magna glide core.

There are several other types of bobbins in the market, and you can check them out on this helpful website.

Once you’ve taken the appropriate size bobbin, take the spool of thread and place it on the thread pin on the sewing machine.

Step 2 – how to thread a bobbin

Start passing the thread to the left side of the sewing machine and wind it around the pretension disc. Make sure that the thread is wounded counter clockwise.

After you’ve wound the thread, use the two holes in the middle of your bobbin and wind the thread around it a few times, so the thread is strong and doesn’t break.

Step 3 

Once you've wound the thread around the thread, place the bobbin on the bobbin spindle. Different machines usually have these of different places, and you can check the machine's instruction guide for more clarity.

how to thread a bobbin

Once you’ve placed the bobbin onto the bobbin spindle, secure it by locking it in. cut the thread that’s hanging but make sure to leave enough that you can thread the needle with it.

Step 4

Once you've locked the bobbin, start winding it. This will gather the thread onto the bobbin. For older machines, you may need to utilize the foot pedal, but this function is usually automatic on newer machines.

Step 5 – how to insert a bobbin

Once you’ve filled the bobbin with thread, make sure that the thread around the bobbin is tightly wound. You don’t want a bobbin that has loose thread around it, since that can cause issues during sewing.

Once you’ve checked whether it’s tightly wound, load the tightly wound bobbin into its case.

Make sure to turn the sewing machine, since you don’t want any unwanted accidents. Life the needle to the highest position, and this mechanism differs from machine to machine. Some machines have a hand wheel on the right, and some have a button which automatically lifts the needle.

how to insert a bobbin

Once that is lifted, open the bobbin case below the needle and place it inside the round slot. Pull the end of the thread through the tension spring, and close the bobbin cover.

Inserting a front-loading bobbin

Some machines use a front-loading bobbin, and these have a different loading system than the top loading bobbin. This guide is designed on how to put a bobbin in a singer sewing machine, but will work for other sewing machines as well.

Inserting a front-loading bobbin

For front-loading machines, follow these steps:

Step 1

Raise the needle, via either the handwheel, or the button.

Step 2

After opening the hinged cover, insert the bobbin so that the thread runs in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction, depending on the machine.

Step 3

Pull the thread through the slit, and hold the bobbin case from the latch. You can then proceed to insert it in into the shuttle.

Solving issues with the bobbin

If, at any time, the machine seems to malfunction, then don’t worry. There’s always a chance that your machine hasn’t been threaded correctly. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you’ve done things correctly.

Solving issues with the bobbin

Exposing the bobbin thread

The bobbin thread is always under the needle, and you can bring it out by grabbing the handwheel on the right on your machine. Once you spin it a few times, the thread should come out. Once you see it, pull it out so that the thread becomes exposed.

Read the instruction manual

Tread the instruction manual as gospel! The manual is for your machine only, and will have several detailed steps (along with pictures!) that you can match with and see whether you’re doing the right thing.

The machine isn’t starting after you’ve threaded the bobbin

Sometimes, you make a mistake while threading the bobbin, and the machine won't start because of that. It would be best if you made sure that the bobbin pin is clicked in the right position. If it is still in the winding position, your sewing machine might not start.

machine isn’t starting after you’ve threaded the bobbin

Make sure that the thread is tense

If the stitching is loose, that means that your thread is not completely tense. You can solve this by making sure that the bobbin thread is coming out of its hole smoothly. Either pull it out of the bobbin cover smoothly, or refer to the manual for more clarity.

Final thoughts

We hope that this guide was helpful on how to thread a bobbin, and how to load a bobbin on a sewing machine. There are different machines out there, and you can always find your answers online, or on the webpage of that machine. We hope that that you’re successful in loading your bobbin, and are well on your way to crafting!


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